WHY YOU MIGHT BE STUCK
“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” –John 8:32
Knowing the truth that leads to freedom involves more than mere intellectual ascent. To know the truth that results in freedom involves accepting and agreeing with the truth that comes from God, despite our feelings, perceptions and experiences to the contrary. Knowing the truth means acknowledging both the truth about God and yourself.
Many people are saved yet are not experiencing the freedom Christ secured for them at the cross because they do not (accept, submit to, or act on) the truth (Hebrews 4:2), or have not “renewed their minds” (Romans 12:2) with the truth. As a result they often remain in a frustrating state of hopelessness in regard to change. In addition, they are often plagued by conflicting thoughts and emotions that keep them from experiencing the love and freedom that Christ promised and came to bring.
To know the truth that results in freedom involves accepting and agreeing with the truth that comes from God, despite our feelings, perceptions and experiences to the contrary.
Have you ever experienced the frustrating cycle of sin-confess-sin again? This is actually quite common because in addition to seeking forgiveness we also need to address the effects of the sin involved
. We know that according to God’s promise in 1 John 1:9 that He is faithful to forgive us our sins if we confess them.
Imagine a scenario where someone has confessed their sins but they’re still struggling with the same sin. The issue may be lingering because of the effects of this sin or act of sin against a person
which can be resolved by addressing any influences of Satan or the unseen influences of darkness have had (2 Cor 4:2
). In this case, being set free involves recognizing and resolving patterns or symptoms that are not aligned with scripture such as wrong beliefs or negative thoughts by renouncing (rejecting, cutting off, separating from)
any influences that are opposed to God’s truth.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32
). Knowing, accepting, and walking in the truth is the key to freedom from spiritual influences of evil and the necessary component for renewing one’s mind. Satan and the unseen powers of darkness seek to influence and captivate the mind by introducing thoughts or ideas and appealing to our feelings, natural appetites and needs in order to deceive us and direct us away
from God’s truth, provision and will (Genesis 3
; Matthew 4
). He takes advantage of any opening, area of weakness or vulnerability—sin, trauma, fear, lies we’ve believed about ourselves or about the way things are, lies about God, or any opportunity that is contrary to the truth and the purpose of God.
How Not to Get Unstuck
Many Christians try to battle for their mind through self-effort, increased learning, and more discipline (cf. 2 Timothy 3:7
; John 5:39
). However, the Scriptures tell us in Romans 12:1 that transformation comes not by more effort but through renewing one’s mind. We renew our minds with the truth when we not only hear the word, but obey it. To obey and submit to God’s truth requires accepting it as truth despite our feelings and perceptions. We are able to do this when we are willing to acknowledge or agree that what God says is true (solely because He is Truth), then declare His truth aloud, and renounce (disown, disagree with) that which is untrue. We are then able to complete the act of submitting to God and His truth and thereby exercise the faith He requires when we obey in response to His truth. This kind of obedience is only possible through the empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit as we rely on and request His help.
Have you tried to deal with a repetitive sin issue or patterns of negative thoughts on your own? What did you learn after reading Why You Might Be Stuck, part I? If you have struggled or think you might be struggling with an effect of sin, we encourage you to schedule a prayer appointment by calling our office at 559-226-2750.
article by Keith Martens, M.Div.