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.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36
The Freedom Trail in Boston is a red line. It traces the significant places in the road to America’s freedom and the cemetery where the men are buried who paid for it. Jesus gives us a red line to follow to spiritual freedom and it is abiding in him and his word. It starts with believing, knowing, and obeying. We must experience the red line to validate its truth.
Ask God to help you know your own heart today. Jesus is speaking to those who believe. Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God, crucified, buried and risen again? The Jews Jesus spoke to believed they were slaves to no one, but they were unwilling to recognize their spiritual bondage to sin. God’s word says we all sin (Romans 3:23). The journey begins here, agreeing with God.
If you believe, you want to know him. One of the best ways to know him is through the Bible. Reading, memorizing, meditating, researching God’s word. Spiritual disciplines like prayer, solitude, and fasting also help our hearts to abide in him and his word. How would Jesus say your heart is doing at abiding?
Obeying God’s word brings freedom. We lose the trail if we stop abiding and obeying. Sin deceives, desensitizes and destroys. Spend some time dialoguing with God about the desires of your heart. Are you obeying the word and living in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus? –As we learn, then we can abide, and obedience becomes a heart response. The more we obey God’s word the more freedom we will experience. Jesus who is the freest, grants us freedom in the truth of his redeeming work. We are no longer slaves but adopted sons; everything belonging to the Father now belongs to us.
A country needs law abiding citizens. In God’s Kingdom, he wants Bible obeying disciples with hearts completely his. Are you one of them? Describe your life. Does what you believe, know, and obey validate the truth? Is your heart in bondage or experiencing freedom? Talk to a trusted friend, mentor, counselor, or life group member if you need help being truly free.
By Donna Burns