“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (ESV)
In the text above, a transition happened. The people Jesus is speaking to are coming out of a religious system that is rejecting Jesus. They are coming out of that system into this kingdom system. They have believed, and Jesus states to those who have believed Him, here’s how you stay with Me, here’s how you stay believing, here’s how you stay free: continue in My Word.
Now listen, this is the most complex thing I will ever say: Do you know how to stay free? Stay, or continue, in the Word!
The Scripture says abide in My Word. The word abide is an interesting little word. The definition is below:
Accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).
“I said I would abide by their decision”
So, Jesus is saying: To stay with Me, you must act in accordance with My Word, accept the Word, and accept the rule of the Word in your life. Act in accordance with what the Word says you are, what the Word says you can do and what you should not do. If you read His Word, then act in accordance with it, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
When you read God’s Word, it is all about freedom. Being set free from the bondages comes about by accepting God’s truth in your life.
The way to stay free is to be tethered to God’s Word. When you read, hear, or speak God’s Word, the byproduct of that will be freedom. On the other hand, if you entertain, listen to, or read the lies of the enemy, the byproduct of that is bondage. I can think of a lot of bondages. The one I believe is the most dangerous though is this one: The belief that it is the will of God for you to live in the condition you are in.
I think many believers in Christ believe they deserve the trial they are in. You cannot read God’s Word or sit in a Bible-believing church and come to that conclusion. That thought process, of living in misery, is a contradiction to the Will of God for your life.
One of my favorite filter verses is found in John 10:10. Look at this verse. I mean, really look at it. Don’t overlook a single word.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:9-10 (NLT)
The thief’s purpose is to do what? Steal, kill, and destroy.
What is Jesus’ purpose? Give you a rich and satisfying life!
Take a moment and compare the situation you are in against the purpose for which Jesus came and the purpose that the enemy comes. Which purpose is trying to be fulfilled in your life? Which purpose are you more focused on? Which purpose do you have more faith in? Call me what you may; a Prosperity Preacher, a Word-of-Faith Preacher, or whatever you want to call it. I choose to believe that God doesn’t send things into my life that will steal, kill or destroy me. That isn’t His purpose. Why do I choose to believe that? I choose to take God at His Word. If I believe the Word for Salvation, why wouldn’t I believe it for all parts of my life?
Because I believe that, I act in accordance with that decision. I believe that serving Jesus, and having Jesus in my life, is the best decision you or I can make! The way I stay with Him is to take Him at His Word. How I know what His Words are – I read them. As I read them, I accept them and then I act in accordance to them.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:22-25 (NLT)