Monday, April 1, 2013

Lies

There are at least two kinds of lies that we often believe. Both wreak havoc on our spiritual and emotional lives. Lies about God. Lies about ourselves.

In Nehemiah 6, Sanballat sent an unsealed letter to Nehemiah that contained lies meant to intimidate Nehemiah, to distract him from his calling, to discourage him in the task God had sent him to do. They were lies about Nehemiah--much like the lies about ourselves the enemy whispers in our ears. Lies like, “I can never be good enough for God,” “There is something different about me, something wrong with me… I just don’t fit in, so I might as well stop trying.” Or how about this one, “I really don’t have anything of value to offer the body of Christ or anyone else. What makes me think I can serve God?” Or, “I’ve just failed too many times, I am in no position to minister to anyone else.”

In Genesis 3, the lies of the serpent were about God—meant to put doubt in Eve’s mind about who God was and what His plans were for her life. Also much like the lies Satan whispers to us about who God is and how He feels about each one of us... “He doesn’t hear my prayers, or if He does, He’s choosing not to answer them.” “He really doesn’t want what’s best for me.” Or “He doesn’t love me as much as He loves Miss Susie Perfect-Christian-Mom/Wife-with-the-perfect-family-who-seems-to-have-it-all-together! Why would He love me as much as her since I’m a failure anyway?!”

Wow, I’m going to stop right there, because I can feel the effects of those lies even as I type them. I know they’re not true, but unless I make a conscious effort to find the truth and believe it, repeating it over and over to myself, those lies have a profound effect on my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical state. They are debilitating lies that keep us from accomplishing the things God sent us to do. They keep us from loving one another effectively. Instead, we get caught up in self-protective, defensive, reactions. We become self-absorbed, ruminating on what’s wrong with me, what’s wrong with God, and what’s wrong with everybody else! We become consumed with jealousy, envy and self-pity. We isolate ourselves because, frankly, relationships are just too difficult, messy and painful. Please tell me it’s not just me!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live that way! But in order not to live that way, I have to make a conscious effort to think differently… to learn the truth about God… to learn the truth about me… then meditate and ruminate on the truth instead of the lies. Kick the lies to the curb by telling yourself the truth!

There is a huge difference in the outcomes of the stories of Eve and Nehemiah… Eve believed the lies, bringing sin into the world resulting in eternal consequences for all mankind. Nehemiah saw through the lies. He was secure in his calling and pressed on despite them.
 
What is the truth? I was once a sinner, but the price has been paid! I still struggle with sin, but I have been redeemed. Christ’s sacrifice was enough! I can’t out-sin God’s love. Life is tough, but that’s no surprise to God. He told us it would be. So far I have not been boiled in oil, sawn in two or crucified. That’s what the early Christians faced, but they continued to keep the faith.

My life is actually pretty cushy. I have been very blessed. When I begin to count those blessings, I realize how much God loves me and cares for me and the lies are exposed for what they are… attempts to discourage me, distract me, and deflate me.

Lord, I want to know you! I want my faith to be deep enough and strong enough to withstand whatever may come my way. I need a deeper knowledge of You. I need a deeper knowledge of Your truth. Thank You for Your faithfulness to me. Help me to always be faithful to You. Amen.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!

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I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother raising her granddaughter. I am blessed with incredible family and friends. I love working for my church and serving on our Women's Ministry Team. I especially want to reach the women who wear their "Everything's fine" smiles on Sunday, but go home to deal with tough real-life issues throughout the week.