Over and over again in my life I find myself struggling. Not with circumstances, but with ME, with lies in my head. I will stop in the middle of a thought or an emotion and realize that I am believing something that simply is not true. I find that I have momentarily stopped living in the reality of my identity in Christ. This might seem like a small thing, but it results in the difference between daily defeat and daily victory!
How to determine if I’m believing a lie.
This is sort of easy. Lies bring guilt, shame and condemnation.
When I find that my emotions are all over the place, that I’m struggling with a lot of guilt and shame, I am believing a lie somewhere. Well, the truth is that until we get to Glory, there will be lies that we are believing. But the ones that God is revealing to us are the ones that are holding us captive right now. They are keeping us from living fully in our identity in Christ. Some things I find in my own life:
- I’m feeling guilt over a recent conversation – not that I know I said something wrong, but the fear that I was just plain stupid
- I’m feeling a general overall feeling of being condemned – that God couldn’t possibly love me because I’m just plain worthless
- I’m feeling constant embarrassment around others – that no one could really like me
- I’m feeling like a failure as a wife, a mother, a friend, a Christian – that everything I do is wrong, that I am wrong
Beloved, these general waves of guilt, shame and condemnation are NOT from God!
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1
How to discern the lies.
This one takes a little work.
Sometimes the Lord will reveal it to you as you pray and ask. Sometimes we need to seek counsel from others. Sometimes it takes an intense time in the Word. But if we are seeking Truth and Wisdom, God will reveal it! He desires us to fully understand our identity in Him.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. Jas. 1:5
God desires us to walk in wisdom. And He promises that He will provide what we need when we need it, if we seek Him for it.
Let me say this: scripture is the KEY. The Word of God is the guide for our lives. Not a rule book, but words from the heart of the Father to reveal and enlighten us. It is filled with riches to bring healing and truth to our spirits and refreshing to our souls. It sets boundaries that our fleshly minds might otherwise miss. It declares who we are and whose we are! It gives words of life and hope.
What might the lies look like?
We know that the enemy is the father of lies. He likes to mix in truth with the lies to make it more difficult for us to discern. This is where it is vital for us to immerse ourselves in truth so that the lie just feels off. Even if we don’t know the truth to combat the lie with, we will begin to know in our spirit that something is not right.
When I was a baby Christian, I met a person on the street claiming to be saved. He invited me to a fellowship time he and his friends were going to. As I started to talk to him, something just didn’t feel right. The Holy Spirit was giving me a “heads up” in my spirit that this was wrong. I politely left the conversation and found out later that this was a bizarre sex cult. YIKES!
Did I recognize the lie outright? No, I didn’t. But the Holy Spirit in me sure did! Listening to Him is the #1 key to discerning the lie.
- I’m a failure
- I’m unloved
- I’m worthless
- I can’t do anything right
- I can never succeed
- I will never please God
- I’m destroying my children
If these are some thoughts you have, you are hearing the lie!
How to deal with the lies and find my identity?
It always seems to come back to scripture, doesn’t it?
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12:2
It is the Word of God, through the power of the Spirit, that fills our minds with truth. We need to have our minds renewed, our thinking rebooted, if you will. Part of our salvation is the sanctification (or continual transformation into the image of Jesus) that goes on in our lives on a daily basis. This comes from finding the lies we are believing and counteracting them with the Truth of God found in the Word.
Lie: I’m a failure.
Truth: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Lie: I’m unloved.
Truth: He loved me before the foundation of the world.
Lie: I’m worthless.
Truth: I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Do you get the idea?
How can you live out the fullness of your identity?
Spend time this week looking at the overwhelming thoughts and emotions in your life. Then ask the Lord if you are stuck in lies that are keeping you floundering where God desires victory for you. And pull out that bible and immerse yourself in it. Let the blessed truths of His Word cast out the lies so you can walk in abundant joy!
Believe what God says about you. His words are truth and life.
Thanks Kate — It’s a problem for we seasoned citizens too — The lie that we are over the hill, past our prime, or a burden. I credit Paul Newman for reminding me “If we have a pulse, we have a purpose” — and it ISN’T to lay about moaning about the good old days! Praying is always possible on the days our bodies are not cooperating, or we are alone.
The wonder is so many solid churches have their services on youtube or their websites, we are able to worship too if we are home-bound. And as we enjoy this luxury, gratitude is a welcomed guest in hard lonely places.
Love in Christ,
Fantastic thoughts, Barbara!! Thanks for keeping us ever mindful of more lies we can defeat!