There is only one antidote to an ungodly belief, God’s truth. Anything other than God’s truth will limit the life of God in you. If you replace an ungodly belief with another ungodly belief, it will only change the form of bondage and not bring true freedom.
I want to present four passages of Scripture that provide insight into how God has provided what you need to overcome ungodly beliefs. Here are the list of Scriptures and the way they bring freedom:
- John 8:31-32 - Walking consistently in Christ’s word brings freedom
- Romans 12:2 - Renewing your mind to God’s truth brings freedom
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - Active spiritual warfare brings freedom
- Ephesians 4:22-24 - Laying aside the old self and putting on the new brings freedom
In this first part of the series we will cover the first Scripture.
John 8:31-32 - Walking Consistently in Christ’s Word Brings Freedom
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).
It is imperative that you know and believe God’s truth. There are four aspects in the words of Jesus that I would like you to consider.
All truth must be based on the word of God. There are three main sources that God uses to communicate His word to us today: the Bible, God speaking directly to us, and through godly men and women.
God reveals His truth through the word of God, the Bible. We should test every belief we hold against the word of God. Anything that contradicts what God says is an ungodly belief and should be rejected.
That is why it is so important to be in the Bible and know what it says. It is God’s love letter to us. It is Him revealing His truth to us concerning His plans and His salvation. Knowing the word of God and allowing it to shape our thinking is vital, but remember that the word of God points to Jesus.
We have already mentioned that some of our ungodly beliefs come about because of a wrong view of God or a misinterpretation of Scripture. So how can we know that we are hearing God correctly? The answer to this question comes from the next two sources of God’s word.
God Speaking Directly to Us
God is alive. God still speaks today. All three persons of the Trinity are involved in communicating with us: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Look at these wonderful passages of Scripture:
Jesus speaks for the Father - John 14:10 - “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”
Jesus speaks to His sheep - John 10:27 - “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The Spirit speaks to us - John 16:13 - “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak: and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
Jesus speaks to Saul - Acts 9:3-6 - “As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.””
Jesus speaks to Ananias - Acts 9:10-12 - Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.”
The Holy Spirit speaks to the church in Antioch - Acts 13:2 - While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
These are a few of the Scriptures that show God speaking to people in their everyday life and revealing His will to them.
With that said, God speaks today. He will speak to you as you read the word of God, as you pray, and as you go through everyday activities. God wants to direct you through His spoken voice.
God Speaking to Us Through Godly Men and Women
One last way that God speaks to us is through the lives of godly men and women. He does this in two main ways: godly counsel and prophecy.
God Speaks Through Godly Counsel
Godly counsel can come from a variety of sources, some may even surprise us. Many times you will be in conversation with other believers and they will say something that reveals God’s will for you. They may not even know what is taking place in your heart or mind but they speak a word that brings clarity and understanding to your situation.
It is also important for you to consider seeking out godly counsel. God did not create you to live the Christian life on your own. He created a family for us to be part of and there are those in the family who have walked with God and can offer you godly wisdom in your life.
This is especially true when it comes to the area of ungodly beliefs. When you believe an ungodly belief you think it is true. Sometimes you may think you are hearing God telling you something, when, in fact, it is the enemy speaking out of the ungodly belief. I’ll give you an example.
I was leading a Cleansing Stream retreat in the Minneapolis area. Part of the ministry time includes giving the person time to hear the truth from God. We take time for people to ask the Lord what truth He has to say to them about the topic we are ministering to.
I asked the woman what truth the Lord has revealed to her. She said, “The Lord told me that I will never be set free from this. It has been here too long and it’s too big.”
I looked at her and told her that what she heard was not from God. It was a lie from the enemy He wanted to keep her in bondage. I then rebuked the spirit and commanded it to leave. It left instantly.
Sometimes we need godly insight from believers who understand the ministry of healing and deliverance and the workings of the enemy. Praise God for fellow brothers and sister who understand the ways of God. Proverbs 24:6 says, “For by wise guidance you will wage war. And in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
God Speaks Through Prophecy
Another way that the Lord speaks to us is through prophecy. I know that some people get nervous when the word prophecy is used. This is because it has been so misused within the church and has had many harmful effects on the lives of people.
A big concern is that Bible talks about false prophets. There are those who are out there trying to deceive you and take advantage of you. They are misleading people and leading some to destruction.
Still others say that we have the Bible and so prophecy is no longer needed. God is not going to reveal any more revelation to add to the Bible, therefore there is no further need for prophecy.
I understand all of the concerns that people have over the above issues, for I have them too. But that does not do away with the fact that God stills speaks to His people today. The simple meaning of the word prophet is “spokesman” or “speaker.”
Prophecy is God speaking to us through another person. It is as simple as that. Agabus warned Paul what would happen to him if he went to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-11). In Acts 13:2 a prophetic word set Barnabas and Saul apart to begin their missionary journey.
These prophecies were not adding to the Bible, they were giving direction or a confirmation of a calling. There was even a time when the prophets warned of an upcoming famine that allowed Paul to take an offering to Jerusalem to meet the people’s needs (Acts 11:27-30).
We should not be fearful of prophecy. It is from the Lord. We also should not be ignorant and accept every word spoken by a person as from the Lord.
We are to test everything to see if it is from God. We must test is against Scripture. The Apostle John tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Paul tells the Corinthian church, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment” (1 Corinthians 14:29). We do not have to fear prophecy, but we do have to judge it. We have to test and see if the word lines up with the word of God or the Spirit of God.
If You Continue in My Word
Once we know what God is saying to us we must walk in it. Obedience is a natural part of the life of a believer. When God speaks to us there is no room for disobedience.
Many times when people quote Jesus they use the second half of the verse. They say, “You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.” That is true, but it is not the whole truth. Knowing the truth does make us free, but how do we get to know the truth?
We get to know the truth by doing what is said in the first part of the verse. We must continue in the word of Jesus. He said, “If you continue in My word. . . .“ That means consistently walking in what Jesus has said.
On the night of His betrayal Jesus spent time sharing His heart with the disciples. He was giving them His last instructions before He went to the cross. Three times Jesus mentions that those who love Him will keep His commandments.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me and He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love Him and will disclose Myself to Him” (John 14:21).
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).
Continuing is Jesus’ word is required to experience the second half of the verse.
You WIll Know the Truth
Like many of the words in the English language, the word “know” has several meanings. The two we want to deal are best seen in through a simple illustration. Take, for instance, the following sentence. “I know how engines work but I don’t know how engines work.”
The statement seems contradictory until we understand what the meaning of the word know is in the sentence. The first use of the word means I have an intellectual understanding of how engines work. I can explain the overall workings of an engine in great detail.
The second use of the word implies practical knowledge that is learned through experience. Everytime I try and fix a vehicle stuff happens. That is because I don’t know how to fix them. Many times I do not have the tools. Most of the time I do not have the experience.
Now let’s put that illustration to work on knowing the truth. There are two ways we can know the truth. The first is intellectually and the second is through experiencing it. Jesus wants us to have both present in our lives.
As a pastor people constantly come to me and ask advice as to what they should do to experience the truth of God’s word. They are not seeing the reality of what the word of God says in their lives. As is my custom, I will tell them what the Bible says. Many times the response is, “I know that.”
After hearing that response time after time, I began to ask another question. “Are you doing it.”
One of the challenges of the Christian life is that we can know the truth (have an intellectual understanding and agreement with what the Bible says) and still not know the truth (experience it in our daily lives).
Some people describe these two ways of knowing as head knowledge and heart knowledge. We know the truth but fail to experience it.
Jesus words show us that if we want to experience the truth in our lives, then we are going to have to walk in His word. We must not only agree that what Jesus says is right, we must walk it out on a continual basis if we are going to know (experience) the truth.
And the Truth Will Make You Free
It is as we experience the truth of God’s word in our lives that true freedom comes. As you continue to walk in obedience to God’s word you will experience more and more freedom. True freedom comes as we learn to yield ourselves to the will of God and walk obediently in His word.
There is a vast difference from knowing something in your mind and experiencing it in your life. Take Carla for example.
Carla put her faith in Christ and started growing in her relationship with God. She loved the Lord and sought to serve Him with all of her heart. A major struggle in her life was with fear.
She was at times consumed with fear. Fear was a constant companion, especially when her husband had to leave on a business trip.
Carla knew that the Bible says God had not given her a spirit of fear. She knew that verse very well and quoted it over and over in her mind and out loud to try and force fear to go away.
It did not work. Fear was controlling her life despite her knowing what the word said.
One day when talking with her husband, Carla revealed the struggle she was having with fear. Her husband discerned that there was a spirit of fear on her and commanded it to go in Jesus’ name. It left immediately and Carla was free.
She was free from years and fear. She was at peace. Now she not only knew the truth of God’s word on not having a spirit of fear, she experienced the truth and was set free from the spirit of fear.
Jesus desires for us to know the truth in our heads and our hearts. He wants us to walk in freedom. Thank you, Jesus.
That’s it for today. May God bless you as you as you live life as God intends it to be.
Any great examples how the Lord helped you experience the truth of His word? Leave a comment below.
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