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.