Making the Truth Your Personal Possession

Jesus said very clearly that knowing the truth sets you free (John 8:32).  That seems very straightforward, but there are a lot of Christians who don’t seem to be enjoying their freedom.  Now we know that just knowing the information is not enough.  Getting hold of spiritual truth where it changes your life is more than mental assent.  It is somewhat of a mystery, but it involves God revealing the truth to you.  Someone has said that “desperation is the key to revelation.” Another way to say it is that when we come to the end of ourselves and our resources, then we are in a mode to receive what God has for us.   Many wives and mothers have asked me concerning addicts in the midst of their addiction, “When will they ever stop?”  My answer is always,”when they come to the end of themselves and their resources.”  How does that take place?  Only God can bring a person to the end of self, but often the loved ones are the addict’s greatest resource.

So, what is our part in this?  Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”   Now if we have to buy something it is going to cost us something.  For the truth to become part of our lives and free us, we must appropriate it and make it our personal possession.  And it is going to cost us something.  Psalm 4:2 says that men love delusions and seek lies.  To buy truth and not sell it involves hard choices.  It means we must choose God’s truth and His ways over our feelings, circumstances, demands of others, temptations of the flesh and the world, etc.  When do you get to that point and begin to make that choice?  It is my observation that people only do that when they have tried all the other ways and realize that they Don’t work — in other words when they are desperate.  Watchman Nee calls it , “the faith of stark desperation, having God alone to cling to.”

Often after I have shared my testimony of how I found freedom, people will ask me, “Does that mean I have to become a drunk and lose everything to get free?”  My answer is,  “No, but it helps.”  No you Don’t have to become a drunk, but you do have to come to the end of yourself.  I have heard Neil Anderson say many times, that the best day of his life was when he came to the end of himself.   Mike Harden, who is the Director of No Longer Bound, a Christian Treatment Center, says, “I wouldn’t take a million dollars for my brokenness, but you couldn’t give me 2 million to go through it again.”   I understand.  The worst and most painful thing that ever happened to me was going through my brokenness and coming to the end of myself, but when I finally got there, I realized it was the best day of my life.  Why?  Because that is what it took for me to experience Christ as life and appropriate my freedom in Christ.

Neil Anderson has said that there is a price to pay for freedom.  The price is yourself.  When you come to the end of yourself, your agenda, your goals, your theology, your plans, etc. and are really convinced that apart from Christ you can do nothing, then you are desperate enough to pay what it takes to buy the truth that sets you free and appropriate Christ as your life.

MQ

2 thoughts on “Making the Truth Your Personal Possession

  1. Amen… It was the same for me..It was only after I came to the end of my self that I came to comprehend the grace of God where forgiveness of sin is concerned. And also came to know that its only Jesus in me that can live a victorious life in me Galatians 2:20

    • Yes, you have nailed it. There are two things that must happen before a person finds their freedom in Christ.
      1) You absolutely must come to the end of self and the end of your resources. The apostle Paul put it like this, We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. The only way anyone experiences freedom from addiction is when they are convinced that they can do absolutely nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5). There is nothing to do or not do as it has already been done through the finished work of Christ, For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Freedom in Christ has already been provided for every believer in Christ. The most common question I get is how do I get free? You don’t get something you already have that has been given to you. There is nothing to do! You believe the truth that you are free and when you do you will experience freedom.
      2) You absolutely must believe you have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20). Yes, the only life that is free from sin is experienced by faith as you trust Christ in you to live your life by faith. No, you will not live completely free from sin. My testimony is that I found my freedom from addiction thirty years ago. I haven’t lived a perfect life which my wife would be glad to confirm, but I have lived free from addiction for 30 years.

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