“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16: 13, NIV).
Do you live in the Spirit of truth? As I consider this question, I can feel my face become heavy. My eyebrows shift and furrow. My teeth are not quite clenched, but close to it. I feel my mood change into something deep and almost dark. Why does this question evoke such a reaction?
My immediate world is pretty cushy. I have a positively adoring husband. He has worked hard to provide for me and our family for over thirty–five years. We have grown children. We have grandchildren, including one due this Spring. We live in a pleasant home. We have some lovable pets and, to round it off, God has seen fit to allow us to call Hawaii our home.
These things are all true. I live them out daily. Still, the question of “living in the Spirit of truth” feels different from my daily walk of life. “The Spirit of truth” seems daunting, almost scary. I know that this is residue from my past and from human expectation. When consulting with the Spirit of truth, I understand that this feeling is fear—the fear of inadequacy. If I allow this fear to take over, the flaming arrows from hell can set my body on fire with past shame, present challenges, and future worries. Fear is a ploy of the evil one to hinder my forward progress. It still takes practice, yet I am finding myself becoming skilled at detecting and shooing away this unsettling feeling.
Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8: 31, 32). Instantly this verse brings me relief, and my shoulders relax because I know that I am living free. My once clenched teeth are now separated, the pressure is gone from between my eyes. A broad toothy grin resides on my joyful face. I live free because I hold to the teachings of my beloved Jesus. I praise God for the Bible and the truth that it reveals, not only for me but for all people.
I began really reading the Bible for myself when I was a young adult. I searched through it to find out for myself what really mattered to God. I have learned this: Truth begins and ends with Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior, and my best friend.
Through reading and learning God’s Word I understand more about Him and the Spirit of truth. They are one and the same. Jesus promised us that when He left this earth physically, He would send us the Spirit to guide us into all truth. Praise be to God.
So, do you live in the Spirit of truth? Allow me to ask you the same question in a different way. Imagine receiving a message from God. He has informed you that Jesus is on His way, and He will be arriving at your home in just a few minutes. How do you react? Or, how do you feel deep inside knowing that Jesus is with you every second of every day? He knows everything that you are doing, even if you believe no one else is watching.
If these questions bring excitement and a smile to your face, it is safe to say that you are living in the Spirit of truth. If your life is an open book, even the deep, dark, painful places are open for honest discussion, then “Congratulations!” Jesus has triumphantly walked you through the valley of the shadow of death and redeemed you from sin.
You are one who lives in true joy because you live with the knowledge of Nehemiah 8:10: “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” You no longer grieve over your past, your present, or your future because you understand and can say that the joy of the Lord is your strength. You learn over time to walk in His truth, and you continue to demonstrate it through your everyday life, regardless of circumstance. However, if you do not have peace, joy, or excitement at the thought of Jesus popping in on you unannounced, you most likely are not living in the Spirit of truth. If there is fear or panic, it is time to make a change.
In John 14:6, Jesus tells us that He is the truth. If you acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and you know He lives in your heart, it is time for step two. Live out the knowledge of Him as your Lord. Live as He desires you to live and “hold to His teachings.”
We read in 1 John 1: 9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This is the best place to start. Continue to confess your sins and tell Jesus that you need His help in your daily walk. Make time to talk with Him about every area of your life, the good, bad, and in–between. Jesus wants you to live Psalm 16:11: “You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” He wants you to follow His way. He wants you to live in joy with Him now and throughout eternity. Invite Him to guide you into all truth!
Living in the Spirit of truth brings freedom beyond description. It is life and life abundantly. Learning to pray, study God’s Word, listen and obey that still small voice (1 Kings 19:12, 13), brings about heavenly changes in an earthly body. Living in the Spirit of truth releases us from the chains of our past, regardless of our most grievous sins. It helps us to understand that we do indeed have a Father in Heaven and He adores us!