Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

John 8: 31, 32

Let me give you a partial list of the things that get in my way on a regular basis; there is fear, fear of rejection, of failure, of looking dumb, of sounding dumber, and of being wrong. Another is self-doubt; then, there is the long list of trust related challenges that I let stop me in my tracks. Simply stated, there are enough progress-stopping issues and concerns in my life that I should be able to avoid almost all real engagement with people and for God’s kingdom. Most of these concerns can be rationalized and repackaged by my clever mind to sound reasonable and proper; most of them are used by Satan to get into my head and to convince me that it is best to avoid proceeding with something that God would use for His purposes.

Yet, anything that keeps me or that keeps you from following God’s lead in relating with others and in entering into their lives with the message of God’s love, hope, and salvation is a type of enslavement; we become trapped inside of a mental and an emotional prison that is created in our hearts and minds; it is the result of the self-defeating thinking that is the stock in trade of Satan. Self-disabling doubt is a primary weapon that evil uses against us; for, if we take ourselves out of the fight for the souls of people in our world, the Lord’s army, His body, is made weaker.

This is one of the reasons why Jesus is telling us that it is vitally important to listen to the right voices, to the right words. He says that we need to be so deeply immersed in Him that we literally live with God. He will surround us with His truth; He will fill us with it; and He will infuse our hearts and our minds with its clarity and strength.

It isn’t easy, it does require constant effort, it does require continual surrender to the Lord; yet, living in the empowerment of freedom is one of the most tangible gifts that God gives to His children. The fibers of doubt and fear and hurt run deep in our bodies; the old ways of thinking come quickly to the front in our daily lives. The answer for each of us is found in the truth of God’s word, and it is accessed through staying in close touch with Him through the Spirit. We need to wrap up in the warm, protective, and strengthening coat that is God’s all encompassing involvement with each of us; we need to accept the freedom that He has given to us; then, we will be free to live in the center of God’s will and to share the joy of His love.