As I was praying this morning in my den chair next to the window, I heard a familiar whooshing noise. Looking out the window I was not surprised to see the multi-colored hot air balloon barely rising above the rooftops one street over. This same balloon flies on most calm summer mornings. Ever-so-slowly it sinks toward the homes, then a stream of fire shoots up into the opening at the bottom of the balloon and then the whooshing sound hits my ears. Now the balloon is gaining altitude, catching a soft southerly breeze and keeps on moving.
How ironic to see such a sight as I was struggling in prayer. Jesus said that if we abide in His word we “shall know the truth and shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Except I wasn’t feeling so free. I felt like the balloon heading for the pointy rooftops. But just as the balloon, I needed to fuel my sagging soul with the fire of God via his Scripture.
Suddenly I started realizing that being free as Jesus described didn’t just happen. He clearly said that if we abide in His word then we will be made free. ‘Abide’ means dwell, or become at home in or even to endure. As the balloon pilot shoots a jet of fire into the bowels of the balloon, so do I need a similar jet of fire shot into the bowels of my being. Such a fiery shot comes via Scripture. Prayer is good, journaling is good, but the essence of the freedom is in the Scripture. How much do I know? How much of what I know do I actually live out? If I only know Scripture, that is, I’ve memorized, but I don’t live it out in my daily life, I am not abiding; I have not made myself at home in God’s Word. I am merely a passing visitor.
However, if I intentionally strive to understand the Scripture and live it out daily to the best of my ability and in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, then I am abiding. I may only be abiding in a small room in the overall dwelling of God because my knowledge is limited, I am still abiding. Jesus wasn’t talking quantity, He was talking quality. So the more time we spend abiding in Scripture to then live out in our daily lives, the freer we will become.