Bible Passage: John 8:25-32
Feature Verse: John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to those who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Recently, I was facing some challenging circumstances in an area of my life, and I’m so pleased to say that in it all, God took the chance to dose me up with some tender (yet firm) love and care. At this time, I experienced His undivided attention, lavish grace, clear instructions on what to do, and strong promises that He is with me in and through it all. What was also really amazing was that He gave me some clear words to tell me that not only is He with me, but He is also holding me close and caring for me like a shepherd does with his sheep. In fact, one morning, while I was praying, within the space of a few minutes, the Lord led me to read two Bible passages that drove this point home:
Psalm 100:3 was the first one, and it says, “He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” He also led me to read Isaiah 40:11, which says, “He gathers His lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.”
Wow. Talk about a word in season. Talk about God’s Word coming alive and meeting you where you are at. The more I dwelt on God’s Word, and embraced it as true, the more peace I experienced, and the more certain I was of God’s love, and the fact that He was and is in control of every aspect of my life. I was able to respond to the situation with a deep confidence that the Lord is indeed my shepherd, I shall not want. The Lord indeed carries me close to His heart. I am His child. He is fond of me. He loves to love on me. In Him, I live, and move, and have my being. My life source flows from Him. I am His. HE IS IN CONTROL!
I share all this with you almost in the same way that David shared his experiences of God, in the Psalms. God’s holiness, His mercy, His love and commitment to David, was so real to him, that he wrote about it, over and over again. It was his truth. And in turn, it became his reality. David’s knowledge of the truth framed his thinking and his perception of what is real. Not to mention that it also became part of ‘the scriptures’, and for those of us who embrace the Word as real and true, we get to know more about who God is, by reading the Psalms.
You see, when God’s Word becomes real to you, it begins to shape your reality. It shapes your understanding of who you are and who God is. It shapes your perception and handling of things happening in the world, and of the experiences that life throws at you. It shapes what you believe is possible in and through your life. It shapes what you understand to be your life’s calling and purpose. It shapes how you experience joy, and pain. Gosh, it even shapes how define yourself, and the identity and lifestyle that you choose to have. And very importantly, it shapes what you communicate to the world about your life, and about who God is to you. When you begin to appreciate God’s Word and embrace it as truth, what Jesus said in John 8:31-32, starts to emerge as real in your life:
“If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
So, what then does it mean to “abide” in or “embrace” God’s Word as true to the extent that it begins to shape your reality and even your identity?
For me, abiding in God’s Word is both a matter of practice, as well as a matter of the heart. It’s like when you decide you want to become a lawyer, for example. The desire and commitment to this life choice begins in your heart, and then, you take practical and continuous steps to get that law degree, and become a lawyer. Basically, you merge your desire and your commitment, with the practical and daily use of your time and resources…and in time, you become a lawyer. And even then, you need to get work experience, to become a good lawyer, or a specialized lawyer…so you keep at it, and you don’t give up. It basically becomes a lifestyle.
It’s the same with abiding in and embracing God’s Word. It’s a matter of your heart. You have the genuine desire to believe God’s Word as truth, and then you add to that desire, the practical daily life of a person who really wants to have his reality transformed by the truth of God’s Word. So you spend time reading and meditating on the Word of God, you attend Bible Studies, you speak to people about what you are learning, and you also learn from them. You apply what you are learning practically in your life, and where your current lifestyle wars against the Word of God, you make choices to choose the God way. And then most of all, you pray about God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth in it to you…And you do it all over again, and again, and again, not as a religious practice, or a tick-box exercise, but as a matter of genuine desire, because you have come to believe that God’s Word is truth.
That’s it. Abide in the Word, and it will redefine your life, and when it does, you will experience true freedom in Christ, because you will be living life from that place of having God’s Word be your reality. Hey, you might even find yourself writing some ‘psalms’ to help others know about this God that you have come to experience to be true, real, and so close to you.
Let us pray:
Holy Spirit, I ask in Jesus name, that You will help me to understand this principle of abiding in God’s Word to such an extent that it becomes my reality. Help me to surrender areas of my life that war against what Your Word says to be true. Help me to love Your Word so much, that I am willing to allow it to transform my mind, and my life. Lord, I want to experience the truth and power of Your Word, every day. This is my desire. Help me to merge my desire, with practical daily choices to abide in and embrace Your Word. In Jesus name. Amen.
This Week’s Challenge:
For those who already feel like they abide in and embrace God’s Word, please write a ‘psalm’ and share it with at least one person outside your immediate family, this week. By a ‘psalm’ I really just mean something that speaks about your experience of God so far, and how He has transformed your life and your reality.
Now for those who feel like God’s Word has not yet become so real to you that is begins to frame your reality, here is your challenge:
Look for at least 3 Bible verses that resonate with you in some way. Write them down on pieces of paper, preferably a post-it note, but whatever is easily accessible to you. In your journal, write down what these verses tell you about who you are and about who God is in your life. Every morning, for the next month, recite these verses and pray about them. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you as true. Ask Him to help you to embrace the Word as your reality.
I would love to hear from you. Please go ahead and email me your thoughts about this Truth Turn Up. Also let me know how your challenge for the week went. My email address is [email protected].
Critically, I’d like to end this by saying, I am Toyin, fully convicted by my own words, and very much still under construction in the hands of the Father.
By Toyin Oladiran, Christian Transformational Coach and Founder of The Narrow Gateway
4 January 2017
The B.O.O.M Walk Program by Toyin Oladiran
We all come from somewhere. We all have our battle scars. We all have those life experiences, past or even ongoing, that have forced us into shadowy corners in our lives, preventing us from living fully, loving fully and most of all, serving God to the uttermost.
Some of us have carried on in this way, and gone on to do life ‘normally’, to become pastors, engineers, fathers, builders, lovers, secretaries, government officials, wives, teachers, sports coaches, gym instructors, you name it. Yet many are living a façade; a classic tale of smokes and mirrors. Many are carrying around, and being defined by those pivotal life experiences. Many have learnt to accept that this is just the way life is – living with and from the baggage.
What’s your scar? Where does it come from? Is it still driving your thoughts and responses to life? Are you tired of your scars keeping you wedged off into the fringes and sidelines of life, constantly angry, bitter, frustrated, rejected, insecure, proud, self-righteous … etc?
That’s what you and I will be tackling with the HOLY SPIRIT in The B.O.O.M WALK PROGRAM.💥
This Program is for EVERYONE…
…Yes, I said EVERYONE!
Be careful now. Do not think that only people who struggle with what we erroneously call ‘the big sins’ like murder, slavery, adultery etc struggle with the ‘Old Man’ (‘B.O.O.M’ stands for ‘bow out, Old Man’). Yes those are reflections of the ‘Old Man’ at work, but for the vast majority of people, the traits of the ‘Old Man’ are way more subtle, and internal.
I’m talking anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, pride, fear, insecurity, rebellion against God, inferiority complex, lack of self-control…the list can go on.
The ‘Old Man’ thrives in secrecy… it’s all about the state of the mind, isn’t it?
Come on. Do not be afraid! And do not settle for more of the same!
Click here now to indicate your interest and to begin to prepare your heart and your spaces. The kind of transformation we are talking about here does not come by the click of a finger, neither does it come by lurking in a spectator’s seat. You need to take a bold step, own who you are and where you are at, and come along, for The B.O.O.M Walk Program.
I cannot WAIT to work with you. And if I am so excited about it, imagine how God, the Incredible Lover of your soul feels?😉
Hugs and Love,
Toyin Oladiran (Christian Transformational Coach and Creator of The B.O.O.M Walk Program)
The Narrow Gateway
We back your bold and brazen quest for #thatGodlife that is found by those who dare to enter by “the narrow way”.
Click here to get your free access to our edgy programs, podcasts, videos, blog-posts. Get the practical support that you need, to do life differently; to respond to life by taking the road less travelled.