You will know the truth and the truth will set you free--maybe you’ve read these words in your Bible.
Maybe you’ve heard them in a sermon.
Read about them in a devotion.
Today I’m chatting about how knowing Christ as our way, our truth, and our life sets us free from the pressure to get it all together. Hope you enjoy a different format today. Below, you can find a transcript of the video if you’d prefer to read.
More posts in this series:
If I Get it All Together, Where Will I Put It?
If I Get it All Together, How Much is Enough?
If I Get it All Together, How Long Do I Have to Keep it Up?
If I Get it All Together, What if I Trip Over It?
If I Get it All Together, What if I Mess it Up?
Do you ever worry about getting it all together? You know, you’ve got your life going in five thousand directions and your to-do list is as long as a roll of toilet paper. You know what I’m saying, right?! Don’t tell me that I’m the only one who has a crazy schedule like that. And maybe you’re like me… You say yes to too many things, and all of the sudden, all of the good things that you’re doing kind of spiral out of control, and you’re saying to yourself, “If I could just get it all together!”.
Anybody with me on that?
Well, I’ve been thinking very deeply about all of this and I’ve come to some pretty important conclusions and here’s one…
Strap your seatbelts on because this is good! If I get it all together, where am I going to put it? Do you ever think about that? Seriously, and if I get it all together and I figure out where I’m going to put it, how long do I have to keep it up? Is this something that is a once and for all shot of getting it together or is it something that I’ve got to do every single day, all day?
And what about when the kids need to eat dinner, do I still have to have it together? See, these are very important questions that we all need to know.
And if I get it all together, and somehow I manage to keep it all together, how long do I have to keep it up?
And what if I trip over it? I mean, that could be really bad, right?
So, I don’t know about you friends, but I have spent way too much of my life stressing and worrying about getting it all together. And, in reality how many of us know what “it” is? Can anybody tell me what this “it” is that we need to get together? You know, I know that “it” can be a pronoun or a noun, but you know what? I’m really not interested in a grammar lesson. I’m trying to get by here, right? And I think that you are too.
So, how do we get it all together in a way that enables us to walk in freedom? I think that God’s Word has some really wonderful truths that can help us with this challenging but realistic issue that we all face. You know, sometimes I think I need to stop trying to get it together and remember that I have a God who promises to put it together in my life.
Let me share with you a verse that has been very meaningful to me. And that is Thessalonians 5:23. I’m going to read it to you in the Message because this version makes a lot of sense to me. It’s one that kind of hits home. I study in other versions but sometimes just to relate, I like the Message. And this is what it says. “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole put you together– spirit, soul, and body and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
I don’t know about you, but when I read that phrase, “the God who makes everything holy and whole, (making himself) put you together”, that little place in me that gets so stressed out trying to get it all together, took a big sigh of relief. It was a light bulb moment, really. Realizing, Wow! I can stop trying so hard because God promises to do the very thing that I’m trying to do and He’ll do it so much better. He will put me together spirit, soul and body.
Now, this reminds me of a truth that Jesus said in the Gospel of John. In John 8:32, he says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” As long as the truth that I am building my life around and organizing my life around, is this nebulous concept of trying to get it together, which is really a performance-based way of living… meeting the standards of the world, seeking the approval of others, trying to be successful… all of those kinds of things and when we realize that we’re organizing our life around something that’s not true.
God never intended for us to get ourselves together. He wants us to trust Him and rely on Him to put us together. So, this John verse, “And you shall know the truth…”, right before that, Jesus is talking about when you abide in my Word, then you’ll be my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
We don’t want to just take that verse by itself. When we take the time to abide in the Word, something wonderful happens, and that’s what He is talking about in John 8:32. What does it mean to abide?
Well, abide means to remain, to settle into. I kind of like to think of it like living in a house. If you buy a house and you just camp out on the front porch, you’re not really living there. But if you move everything in and settle in and make it your home, and really get comfortable there and that’s where you live your life from, now that is abiding.
Are we just running in to God’s Word like a drive thru window at McDonalds to get our happy meal to make our day good, or are we abiding in His Word?
Are we moving in and really settling in to what it says and embracing that as our truth?
Well, Jesus tells us that when we abide in His Word that we are His disciples. We’re His followers, His learners and that we will know the truth.
Friends, if we never take the time to really engage with God’s Word in a meaningful way we won’t know the truth that sets us free.
I’m not talking about you have your quiet time every single day and you read your Bible all the way through in a year. It’s not about following rules. I’m talking about relationship and where your heart is.
When we really engage with God’s Word, something wonderful happens. Like I said before, we will know the truth. Now that is a Greek word called ginosko. I love this word.
Knowing is about perceiving what’s true, knowing what’s true, and there is power in knowing what’s true. So we know the truth and that knowledge sets us free. Now, what does that knowledge set us free from? Well friends, one of the things that knowledge sets us free from is that trying to get it together life. That trying to get it all down perfectly, trying to be super successful and trying to have others approve of us, trying to be that perfect Mom and that perfect wife, that perfect professional.
When we abide in Christ’s Word and rest in Him, the truth (both the person and the word) sets us free and it sets us free. In Christ, we are to know the reality of what it is that we’re living for and the resource and source that we have in Christ to live from, and this is what sets us free.
Free from that trying to get it together life, free from habitual patterns of sin, the things that trip us up and hold us back in life. It also sets us free from the pressure of the flesh, that drive to get it all together to do it all perfectly, to impress others… you know what I’m saying.
It is a wonderful thing when we discover the truth of Christ’s Word and discover the power of His presence within us, and we learn to rest in that and trust that God will put us together… body, soul and spirit, and enable us to keep it together.
So, I don’t know about you but I am going to hang up my sign and just give it a rest on this get it together life. I’m going to trust the Lord more to show me the truth each day, to live in that truth, and let that truth set me free from the things that hold me back.
Many thanks to these friends for help with this video:
Videographer: Laura Wenzel
Transcriptionist: Barb Moses
Loved hanging out with you, Ginger, in your beautiful back yard. You did such a great job with this-I really felt like I had spent time with a friend! And I had! Thanks for the words of wisdom and for helping to apply God’s word to something I definitely struggle with. I made a list of all the things I feel like “if only I could get these things done/under control, then I would feel better and more content.” It helps to recognize this tendency to have this “if only” list-now if I can just release it to the Lord and be free! Thanks again for your sweet and wise words!