(excerpt from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)
From the very beginning of humanity’s fall into sin, we have been in bondage to the lie that we can live independently of God and thrive by depending on our own abilities and resources. This distorted view of reality perverts everything that is true and righteous into a culture of lies. We will not accept anything we do not believe is true, but what we believe is not really true. With our skewed perception of God, our reality views Him as one who is not invested in our best interests and who deprives us of our rightful pleasures. Or we may even believe God is okay with whatever we want to pursue because He ultimately wants us to be happy, right? To be free from the perversion that results in our bondage, we must live in God’s truth.
Truth is comprised of principles, precepts, and promises of God that empower life with the strength of God. Although God’s law is written in our hearts, we must make the choice to believe God’s truth by accepting His reality as fact. Yet just knowing God’s truth as fact will not change our lives until we believe by faith and appropriate God’s truth in the course of our living. It is not until truth shapes our choices and molds our behavior, sculpting us into the image of Jesus, that we may say we believe. Do we really believe what we say we believe about God so that it permeates our lives and defines our actions?
“For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.” (Rom. 2:13–15 NLT)
Living in the truth is the process of divine transformation where God changes me. The permeation of God’s truth in my life alters all aspects of my being—what I believe, how I think, what I feel, how I behave, and the choices I make. I am made new. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20 NLT).
“So are you saying all I need to do is read my Bible and everything will be fine?”
Actually, if you personalize God’s truth contained in your Bible, you will be transformed. The relevance of His life-changing truth is all that is needed for life and living. The One who designed us knows exactly what it takes for us to live an abundant life. Why do we think we can come up with a better plan? He had it all figured out before He even created Adam and Eve. It is simply our responsibility to surrender to His design by walking in His way. We accomplish this by believing and acting on God’s truth. His Word is an all-encompassing record of the ways we can trust Him.
Submission, obedience, and death to self are the means through which the Holy Spirit postures our souls to fight the sinfulness of our hearts. Yielding to His transforming work matures us to Christlikeness. Although the trauma of truth may be painful, God calls us with His truth to redeem us from the miseries of life. It is vital that we receive the convicting power of truth and allow this intrusion to accomplish His work, thereby transforming us into His likeness. To turn a deaf ear is to shut out the life-giving opportunities God wishes to undertake. God disrupts our lives so He may redesign our souls. “Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you” (2 Tim. 1:14 NLT).
Prayerfully discern: What lies am I believing that keep me from an intimate relationship with Christ?