“…If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
I don’t know how many men there are out there like myself, but I think the number is far larger than most care to admit. What I mean by that is how many men have lived or are living lives in which they hid sins from their wives, and from their Christian brothers. I always justified my activity of hiding the sins as, “It’s not a big deal if I lie about _______ (so many things to fill that blank with!).” I would carefully hide things in my phone. Some of the big things I would hide were the pornographic sites, and ESPECIALLY the conversations with other women via text. I lived in constant panic and worry about where my phone was. Chained to it. Chained to sin. Chained to hiding the sin. Chained to a cycle of destruction.
I didn’t want my wife to know the truth of what I was doing, because I lived in fear of the result of truth. The reason I feared truth, was because I was not living the life God created me to live. The truth I chose to believe was that I could do whatever I wanted. I will tell you, firsthand, living a life hiding your daily actions is not freedom. It’s the opposite. I was living immediate satisfaction to immediate satisfaction, in a constant state of fear, and leaving a terrible path of destruction in my wake.
Jesus, when talking to His disciples in John 8, was explaining to them that true freedom is in Him, and when we are called to Him, receive Him, we ultimately get changed by Him. When He told them, “you will know the truth”, I have to believe He was referring to Himself. The reason I think this is because He refers to himself as the truth in other places.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
We are set free then, by Jesus. His truth is what allows us to be set free. His truth is what changes our hearts and minds. We make a choice by free will to follow Him or deny Him. After He gave a teaching to a crowd of followers in Capernaum and He claimed to be the bread of life, some followers/disciples chose to leave His teachings and abandon that freedom. They said it was “too hard of a teaching”. They couldn’t understand that Jesus was the gift of life given to the Hebrews as they were in the desert escaping Egyptian bondage. For 40 years, I didn’t get the freedom from sexual and lying bondage I was in; I thought the truth was too difficult, and I was scared of it. Such a dangerous eternal game I was playing by living such a way. I chose to deny the truth of Jesus and thus the freedom. I chose sin, my own satisfaction, and bondage.
I’m here to tell you that freedom is real and alive! The Spirit of the Lord renews, calls us to confess, repent, and turn away from sin. That’s not to say there won’t be temptations. Paul is very clear in Romans 6 that the flesh will desire flesh (sin). No man, not even Christ lived a life without temptations. How though, will we react to His offer to know and love truth? I know my choice. I’m going to follow Jesus, invite His Spirit in my life daily, dwell on Him in praise and worship, and enjoy freedom. I no longer am afraid of being away from my phone. I’m no longer worried about what my wife or kids might see on it. I’m no longer afraid. I’m thankful for the truth, because The Truth Has Set Me Free!