Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)
Relate: One of the first blog posts I ever wrote anywhere was a form of thinking out loud about revelation and how we can know something. In that post I defined four different levels of experiential revelation: 1) Heard, 2) Felt, 3) Seen, 4) Impacted. The first is when someone shares the truth with you. You only get the information secondhand. For example, you weren’t there but someone tells you a bus just zoomed by on the highway. The second level is when you sense something happened but it doesn’t really affect you in any way. Perhaps you are in a church service and you feel something happening but you don’t truly enter in. Using the bus analogy, you are standing by the side of the road but your focus is in the wrong direction. You can feel the breeze of that bus zooming by but that’s about it. The third level is when you see and recognize truth for what it is. You see the bus go by with your own two eyes. You recognize that God’s word is beneficial and you see the fruit of those who are following God and that it would be right for you to do so as well. Perhaps you even start to go through the motions of being a Christian yourself.
The first level is for those who are not really there. The second and third level are for those who stand on the sidelines. They stand on the perimeter and they truly believe that they have experienced the truth. They think this is where it’s at, but they are still safe. The fourth level of experiential revelation is when you step out into the road. You get hit by that bus and it forever wrecks your life.
React: This is the type of knowledge Jesus is talking about when He says, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” You don’t just hear about the truth from others or from the Bible. You don’t just go to church where you can sense or feel that God is moving. You don’t just investigate the truth and see for yourself it’s efficacy through an accumulation of knowledge. You allow the truth to impact and change your life. That is where freedom is at.
If a person says they are a Christian, our question should be, “Where is the change?” If they say they are free then we should ask how freedom has impacted their life. You can’t truly live until you’ve died. “Break free” is a much better phrase than “set free”. Has there been a breaking. Has Jesus wrecked your life? If not, do you really, truly know Him?
God, I belong to You. I don’t just want to hear about You. I don’t just want to be caught on the sidelines seeing and sensing Your move as You pass me by. Give me the courage to step out. I want to make an impact as I am impacted by You. Wreck my life. Let me die to this world. Set me free as I come to learn, truly know in a life impacting way, Your truth.