God longs to reveal Himself to those who are ready to fully embrace what they discover. In many ways our yes precedes seeing more of Him.
Our yes is our invitation for more of Him. Revelation of truth releases responsibility for truth. Revelation is seldom given to those who are merely curious. You’ll never see Him reveal truth just to make us smarter or more capable of debating with those who see differently. Truth by nature is the transforming power of God to instill freedom in the life of those who embrace it. It could be said that freedom exists in a person’s life to the degree he embraces truth from the heart. It’s more than a mental agreement to a concept called truth. It is the heartfelt yes to a way of life. That way of life becomes measureable in our lifestyle of freedom. Jesus put it this way: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). My journey starts to break down when my thoughts violate who He is. When our questions express our hunger for discovery, they’re fruitful. But when our questions challenge who He is, they are foolish and lead to intellectual pride and ultimately spiritual barrenness.
Who He is is revealed in what He says. He identifies Himself as the Word. In other words, He says nothing apart from who He is. His Word reveals His nature and manifests His presence. Jesus was never a broadcaster of truths He didn’t live. Even the people of His day recognized this as a reason for His unequalled authority—“Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks” (John 7:46).
Lies are costly, as they steal life from all who embrace them. Tragically, if I believe a lie, I empower the liar. The devil is the enemy of our souls. He works to trip us up through lies, intimidation, accusation, and seduction. His aim is to get us to question who God really is. His first interaction with Adam and Eve was to get them to question God’s motives for giving a command not to eat the forbidden fruit, which was from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan said, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4–5). He accuses God of using His commands to protect Himself from humanity by keeping people from becoming like Him, knowing good and evil. Such nonsense was the tool used to poison humanity at its core.
This great deception released a curse into the human race. Tragically, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit to become like God. They tried to obtain through an act what they already had by design—they were created in the image of God. They were already like Him! Willful disobedience will never bring us increase but will instead cause us to lose what little we have. Their disobedience made them like the one they obeyed—the serpent. For this reason Jesus came as the Rescuer, crushing the serpent’s head in the process. (See Genesis 3:15.)
Entertaining a lie still can have an effect on us—spirit, soul, and body. It’s a poison that works into our being to destroy our identity and purpose. The devil lies about who God is and, in turn, who we are. It’s all about identity. Through rebellion, satan lost his place of identity with God for eternity. He is trying to do the same to the only part of all creation that was made in God’s image.
I can’t afford to have a thought in my head about me that He doesn’t have in His head about me. Thinking independently of God is not freedom. In fact, it is the worst possible bondage imaginable to think outside of the purpose and design set in place by the greatest creative genius ever to exist. The mind-boggling challenge comes when we realize that this One who owes us nothing has invited us into a co-laboring role in caring for all He has made through the privileged relationship of discovering His heart. As a result, the greatest gift we can give ourselves is to require that our thought life work in tandem with His goodness. Being tethered to His goodness is the most wonderful illustration of freedom and liberty possible.
- Bill Johnson, author of God is Good