Inscribed on the facade of the CIA building in Washington is one of my favorite scriptures. It’s John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Despots and dictators use lies to control people, but this inscription shouts: Americans, if you want to stay free, you’ll need to make sure there’s an open flow of truth.
Now let’s apply that at a personal level. The devil is a cruel dictator who tries to keep each of us in bondage with his lies. The CIA may uncover facts, but as believers, we know there’s a higher level of truth– spiritual truth– that keeps us free from him. The extent to which we know and apply this truth (and know the Spirit of Truth Himself) determines the level of freedom we enjoy in our lives.
You shall know the truth. The word know there is the same word used in Mark 5 to describe how the woman with the issue of blood received her ultimate cure. It says she knew or “felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.” When she knew the truth, it was personal, and it did set her free.
Let us use her story to look at the 3 levels of truth and how to get them working for us.
Level 1: Facts.
Facts are the lowest level of truth. They comprise things we can detect with our 5 senses or with our emotions. Good or bad, they are temporary and subject to change.
The facts of the Mark 5 woman’s condition were grave. She had suffered continual bleeding for 12 years. Now she was physically weak, financially wrecked, and emotionally isolated as “unclean” under Jewish law.
When we don’t like the facts, sometimes we’re tempted to hide from them. Resist that urge. Burying your head in the sand is a form of bondage. This woman faced the facts, but she didn’t let them control her. Instead, she found a way to get to Jesus.
So go ahead! Get the medical testing. Tally up your debts. Reach out to that estranged loved one. Whatever the problem, look into it and find out what you’re truly fighting. Sometimes the facts aren’t as grim as you think. Even if they are, you can take them to Jesus. He offers you a higher truth that can turn everything around!
Level 2: The Word.
Greek: Logos. Higher than facts, we have truth in the form of the written Word of God. It’s unchanging, forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). The Bible is a general guide to point us to God’s plan. The more we align our lifestyle to match it, the more freedom and success we enjoy.
The woman in Mark 5 would likely have read the Old Testament. Maybe she had come across Psalm 107:20 that says, “He sent his Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Somehow, though, this scripture and many others regarding healing, had not come true in her own life. Yet.
God’s general will is for His people to be healthy and whole. God’s general will is for us to have abundant provision and success. Peace. Wisdom. Favor. Healthy relationships. Godly government. the Bible establishes these ideals for God’s people, but we have our parts to play to live them out.
Level 3: The Living Word.
Greek: Rhema. The third and highest level of truth is the living, God-breathed Word of God, spoken by Him directly to us. God can speak to us directly from scripture or when we’re listening to someone else proclaim the Word, like when we’re in church. It lights up the inside of us, and suddenly we see clearly from God’s perspective.
Somehow the woman with the issue of blood heard about Jesus, the Living Word. She took his healing power so personally that she left her quarantined home, crawled under the crowd, and reached for Jesus’ hem. She knew the highest truth, activated it, and it set her free. Jesus finalized it when He addressed her directly: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
What’s keeping you bound today? Together, we can rise higher in applying truth at 3 levels, and become more and more free.