January 29, 2018
Let’s Get This Straight
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
Friend to Friend
“Dear Sharon,” the letter began, “I found your e-mail on your website. I was searching for some information on what the Bible says about affairs. Somehow I came upon your site. I feel like I am on the verge of destroying my life. My life with my husband had never been good—marginal at best. I find myself working hard on my appearance so other men will notice and desire me. We have four children, and I’m miserable. My husband is in the military and away at boot camp. I’m glad he’s gone.
“I am on the verge of having an affair with just about anyone to escape my marriage. I don’t want to look back on my life and think I could have been happy with someone else. I feel like I am trapped in a loveless marriage. I want a divorce.”
Friend, can’t you just see the enemy rubbing his hands together like an anxious fly? I bet he shuddered when she clicked the SEND button on her computer screen and sent this e-mail to me. “Oh no,” I imagine him saying. “This could ruin everything.” He knew that I would help her recognize the lie.
When you consider the words in the previous letter, they really aren’t that different from the lies Eve believed in the Garden. God is holding out on me…I would be happy if…I’m going to take control of this situation… Rain on the consequences. Anything is better than this.
When I hear stories of women overcome with hopelessness and despair, my heart breaks. This is not what God had in mind when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to die on Calvary’s cross, rise from the darkened tomb, and ascend to heaven from the Mount. This is not what God intended for His bride when He gave her the gift and the power of the Holy Spirit. No, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). So what has happened to block the flow of abundant life into the hearts of men and women? Why are we not living in victory? Where is the living water? I believe the flow is blocked because we believe lies rather than the truth.
Robert McGee, author of Search for Significance, wrote, “One of the biggest steps we can take toward consistently glorifying Christ and walking in peace and joy with our heavenly Father is to recognize the deceit which had held us captive. Satan’s lies distort our true perspective, warp our thoughts, and produce painful emotions. If we cannot identify those lies, then it is very likely that we will continue to be defeated by them.”
John 10:10 reveals Jesus’ intention for abundant life and the enemy’s intention to block it. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” We have already realized who the real enemy is, and he is doing everything in his power to keep Christians from experiencing the abundant life. His ultimate goal is our utter destruction and his MO is lies.
The Bible says, “For we are not ignorant of his [Satan’s] schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11 nasb, emphasis added). “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11, emphasis added). His schemes include a step-by-step progressive plan of one lie that leads to another lie that leads to another lie. He begins small and works his way up to more destructive and disastrous misbeliefs. The way we stop the progression is to do as Barney Fife suggests in The Andy Griffith Show: “Nip it in the bud.” Recognize the lie the moment it enters your mind.
But the only way to recognize a lie is to know the truth. We must know the truth so that when a counterfeit comes along we recognize right away its lack of authenticity.
When someone is training to become a bank teller, he or she is taught how to recognize counterfeit money. However, the instructors do not teach what counterfeit bills look like. Rather, they teach what genuine money looks like. They study the markings, the coloring, and the feel of real money so when the counterfeit comes along, the teller can recognize it.
D. L. Moody once said, “The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.”
So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to lay the straight stick of God’s Word alongside every thought that enters our minds. And then we’re going to make a decision: true or false.
That decision can determine the destiny of your day.
Heavenly Father, please help me to detect the lies that tumble about in my mind. Give me the wisdom to recognize the lies, reject the lies, and replace the lies with truth...You Truth. I pray the Holy Spirit will convict me quickly, and that I will respond obediently.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Write down three lies that you have believed about yourself. Pray and ask God to show you what they are.
Now go back and write down three truths from Scripture that debunk those lies.
If you can’t think of the truths from Scripture, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
More From the Girlfriends
You’ve heard the lies before. Maybe even whispered one or two to yourself from time to time. Maybe repeated them so often you’ve started to believe them. “Nobody loves me. I’m worthless. I would be happier married to someone else. I’m just not good enough.” The list goes on. It’s time to recognize the enemy’s lies and to replace those lies with the Bible’s liberating truth. It’s time to renew your mind and think God’s thought rather than be held in bondage by the enemy’s deceptions. It’s time to be set free to see yourself as God see you: His holy, chosen, cleansed, forgiven and dearly loved child. Now that’s a truth worth repeating. To learn more, check out my book, I’m Not Good Enough...and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.
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Originally published Monday, 29 January 2018.