The Interplay of Truth and Freedom That Sets You Free

The Interplay of Truth and Freedom That Sets You Free

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There is an interplay between truth and freedom that dynamically changes your life. The more the truth of God’s Word anchors you, the freer you are. Our example, as always, is Jesus Christ. He was supposedly the freest man ever to live. People’s opinions did not manage or entangle Him because the truth of God’s Word ran surveillance over of His mind. I’m not suggesting He dismissed views as though people did not matter, but Jesus weighed all opinions by the ultimate truth. This process of not letting other so-called truths manage Him made Him free.

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Controlling Thoughts

“And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion” (Mark 12:14).

You can see the implied correlation between truth and freedom in this passage. The key to freedom is to have God’s truth manage us. If His Words do not steer our minds, something else will. Our minds are not vacuous caverns but spaces filled with thoughts, ideas, imagination, and wishes. For example, an addict is under the management of how to acquire a fix. His “truth” that a fix is all he needs drives him to figure out how to secure that next high. The dark turning of his mind builds an indomitable worldview for relationship building: “Will they give me what I want?”

The addict exchanges the truth of God’s Word for another truth (reality) that is amenable to his ravenous heart. He latches onto a lie that drives him to bondage, not freedom, but in his addictive and twisted way of thinking, he operates under the premise that his truth will set him free: “If I can get another fix, I will feel better.” Most of us are not addicts like that, but we have been under the tutelage of other oppressive, manipulative false claims that led to anxiousness, fear, insecurity, and self-doubt rather than the freedom we hoped would happen.

Through years of training outside the influences of God’s Word, our truth convinced us of the need to please ourselves through self-reliant means. And like the addict, we were not free because “self-reliant truth” that might be motivated by a sincere desire to survive is not God’s truth that—actually—sets the captive free. There are many other examples of distorting the truth for a perceived good that ultimately backfires. The most common one, of course, is anger: the angry person “goes off” on someone because they’re trying to control an outcome.

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Exchanging Truth for the Truth

Any of us can believe a lie, thinking it is true. Ironically, God will permit us to pursue our “truth” all the way to jail, which was my story. I believed many lies, acted on those lies as though they were truths, and it landed me in jail. My “truths” did not set me free, but the consequences did convince me there has to be another truth out there somewhere. To get out of those dire consequences, I had to exchange my truth for the truth of God’s Word.

Jesus spent His youth growing up in the knowledge of the Lord (Luke 2:52). He had latched on to the truth early; unlike the distorted truths illustrated above, He trained His mind to stay dialed in on God’s Word, which gave Him other-worldly clarity. He continued to feed His psyche with God’s truth, which slowly annexed more of His mind, to the point that people would say, “We know you are true.” They further surmised that He was so true that He did not “care about anyone’s opinions.”

Do you see the connection between the management of God’s truth and the lack of management from other people? For those who want to live in this kind of untethered freedom that releases them from the management of others, they must begin a systematic, methodical training regimen that shifts whatever false truths they believe to God’s Word. A growing freedom will begin to take root, springing up into newfound courage that weighs the culture’s version of reality on the scale of God’s Word to see if there is any merit in it. God’s Word breaks through the fog, shining the light into our former darkness.

Freedom to Live

Peter talked about the maneuver of exchanging our false truths to being true like Jesus when he said,

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22).

The more we purify our souls by being obedient to God’s Word, the more we experience release from self-protective, self-centered, and self-reliant fear that is always observing, measuring, and responding to ourselves as though we sit at the universe’s core. We become less concerned about ourselves and have a growing appetite to focus on others, adjudicating their needs through the filter of God’s Word, and we respond accordingly, either comforting or confronting or some other appropriate response.

Because Jesus was free from the opinions of others, which was proportional to His maturity in the truth, He knew how to think, what to say, and how to act. How cool would it be to no longer be under the spell of peoples’ opinions, free to make biblical judgments about others and react to them according to what they needed or what the situation demanded? If you can see the interplay between truth and freedom, then may God give you an appetite for His truth so you can experience the benefit and pleasure of untethered freedom.

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Call to Action

  1. Do you see how God’s truth empowers you to disconnect from any unsavory controlling interest while simultaneously releasing you to serve others in redemptive ways?
  2. Do you want to enjoy this kind of freedom? If so, will you work through these seven steps?

Step One: What controls you, or who influences you? What do you want more: peoples’ approval, God’s favor, or something else? Think about your animating center, the thing that revs you up. Your answer must be God. If He is not our animating center, our lives will always wrestle with competing, non-satiating soul noises while shalom claws at the door of our hearts, unable to intercede.

Step Two: How badly do you want God’s Word to control you? The answer to this question will determine the outcome of this process. Your answer must not be impulsive but reflective as you count the cost and assess your desires. The impulse will be to say, “Yes, of course, I want God to control,” but pump the brakes first. On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten as an intense desire for God’s management, what number would you choose?

Step Three: Make a pre-commitment for the process of loving God and His truth more than anything else by telling someone what you’re thinking and plan to do. The temptation would be to make a “commitment to the Lord” and then renege on it, but a pre-commitment of telling at least one other person might be the impetus to move you forward.

Step Four: Study Christ in the gospels, specifically His interactions with others, especially His adversaries. What do you see Him doing? Why did He do it? What did he resist? What would you have to do to be like that? How could you apply practically the life of Christ to a person or situation in your life today?

Step Five: Continue this study process, reflecting and applying even if these studies become a background discipline that you continue to do while doing other studies. The goal is for the impulse of Christ to be yours, like kinesthetic memory.

Step Six: Test the process by assessing frequent interactions with others to measure your transformation to what you’re seeing Christ do in the gospels. You might not see immediate results, but consistent assessments will reveal positive progress over time.

Step Seven: Keep your friend informed about the work the Lord does in your life.

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