12 Apr 2012
Liberated by Truth
…“If you continue in my word you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Jesus said freedom is directly associated with knowing the truth. Here, the word “free” is translated from the Greek word “eleutheroo”, which means to “liberate.” According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word liberate is defined as – “to set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control.” The Free Merriam-Webster dictionary defines liberate as “to set at liberty, to free from domination from a foreign power.”
Without knowing the truth mankind will continue to be oppressed, confined, dominated, and controlled by the dark spiritual forces that invaded planet earth when Adam disobeyed God. The truth Jesus is speaking about here is not according to our earthly understanding of truth but is the revelatory truth that originates in the councils of heaven.
This revelatory truth is resident within God Himself. Remember, Jesus declared “I am the truth” (Jn.14:6) and His Father calls Himself the God of truth (Ps.31:5). Therefore, one of the only ways to access the truth that liberates is to come into the very presence of God Himself. Not only are we to come into His presence, but we are invited to linger, rest, and dwell there for extended periods of time.
While in His presence we are instructed to be still. This literally means to slow down, loosen up, to be less active and tense, to relax, to be motionless, to get quiet, and be silent. When we get in this place of stillness, then He says we will know that He is God (Ps.46:10). In other words in the state of a fast paced, worried or tension filled life we will not be able know Him.
It is only when we set everything aside – including intensified physical activity, frazzled emotions, anxiety-ridden thoughts, and perplexing problems – and get still. Only then will He open up the revelation of Himself – of who He is, what He thinks and desires, how He operates, and much, much more of the inexhaustible nature of His Person.
When you leave His presence, you will leave a changed person, knowing what you know about Him at the deepest levels of your being. You will walk away liberated in ways you will not fully grasp until you come to the stark realization that the very things that have held you in captivity are completely gone. In many cases God’s liberation and deliverance is so smooth and effortless that the reality of what He has healed is a sudden after the fact revelation to you.
Another way we can know the truth is by observing the works of the Lord. He declares that all His work is done in truth (Ps.33:4). Whether it’s examining various aspects of His creation or witnessing Him working in our lives or the lives of others, or experiencing the activity or moving of His Spirit – whenever, however, and with whomever He does His works – there is revelatory truth being released in the midst of what He is doing. Just witnessing this truth can also liberate us.
God also declares that His word is truth (Ps.119:160), His law is truth (Ps.119:142), and His commandments are truth (Ps.119:151). Since all of God’s word originated in and came forth from His heart, His word is also full of truth. Therefore, when we purposely and faithfully take God’s word into our hearts and allow it to saturate our innermost being, we set ourselves up for God’s Spirit to come and ignite and activate the word stored in our hearts.
As we drink in His word we take in that which is in His heart and graft it into our own hearts. Thus, we enter into heart to heart activity with God. As this happens the liberating power of His word is released into the depths of our personhood. When this occurs, we experience freedom at some of the deepest levels of our existence.
Another dimension of liberation is achieved when the truth that resides with in each believer is identified, developed, and released. The Apostle John spoke of this when he rejoiced because the brethren testified of the truth that was in Gaius (III Jn.3). I believe the truth that was in Gaius was being manifested and released through his leadership and successful efforts in ministry. The gifts within Gaius were given by God and were pre-ordained by Him to be used by Gaius in his service towards the Lord.
The reality here is that within every believer is a portion of the revelation of God’s plan and purpose for their individual lives. I am speaking of the redemptive gifts resident within the personality make-up and tendencies of every believer. This is redemptive truth that resides within the very personhood of each believer.
The believer’s knowledge of his personal gift-mix frees him from moving into aspects of ministry, vocation, experience, or lifestyle that are contrary to his gifting. This also frees the believer from frustration and from missing God’s perfect will for his life. Knowing our individual gift-mix liberates us to develop the skill set and abilities that provide maximum release of the anointing, authority, and purpose of God through our lives.
There are several things we must do to contribute to our own liberation journey. First, Jesus said, “if you continue in My word” (John 8:32). In the original language “continue” is translated from the Greek word meaning to “stay.” In other words we must purposely remain in the word of God. We must habitually, dwell there. And, at times we must tenaciously fight to resist the dark forces that would attempt to draw us away from the word. Notice the early disciples focused on staying in the word and prayer (Acts 6:4).
This principle of “staying” also applies to our times spent in God’s presence. We must always remember the protocol for coming into His presence – which is – to come with singing – entering His gates with thanksgiving – coming into His courts with praise – and blessing His holy name (Ps.100:1,4). As we start moving into His presence we should have already begun the practice of “being still.”
Finally, we must be teachable. The Greek word “mathetes” which is translated disciple – actually means a “learner” and/or, a “pupil.” In over thirty years of working with the Body of Christ, I am amazed at how many believers have moved above being teachable. Unfortunately, for many this means getting stuck at the level where we’ve assumed we’ve arrived. Instead, we need to imitate Paul, who humbly confessed he had not yet attained (Phil.3:12). Like Paul, we too must admit that we have not yet arrived and commit ourselves to becoming lifelong learners.
Rev. Ivan Doxtator, MSW