Lie Huggers

29 11 2013

Another insidious obstacle to intimacy with God are the lies we embrace. Those we hold as truth about ourselves, others, as well as God.

A lie told often enough and loud enough will eventually be believed. 

Those of us from dysfunctional homes can attest to this fact.

“You’re so stupid.”

“You good-for-nothing.”

“You’re a lazy bum.”

In our innocence, we believe this stuff. Worse, we agree with these statements. I explained what this looks like, and how God opened my eyes to the lies I believed in Now Why Would I Agree With That.

Another type of lie has to do with what we believe about God’s character. The less we know about Him, the more likely it is that we will believe things that are not true about Him.

For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear someone state:

“God is punishing me for…”

Often, this person is angry with God because they believe He is being overly harsh with them.

In fact, I’ve done this myself. 

Years ago, I chose to live life on my terms. I was tired of doing things God’s way…His plan was too slow for my liking. I took matters into my own hands.

As a result, I made many foolish choices, ones that hurt my children, and my family.

When my “perfect” solution didn’t work out the way I thought it would and my house of cards came tumbling down around me, I became very angry with God, and believed that He was “sticking it to me” for being disobedient.

His “punishment” felt “over the top.” I felt like I was being beaten mercilessly – and I hated Him for it.

Really? The Bible says that Jesus took our chastisement…ALL of it. In Hebrews we learn that when necessary, God disciplines His children…and that if we don’t receive discipline then we are illegitimate children.

There is a big difference between being disciplined – and being punished: Discipline is for correction, for the good of the one receiving this attention. Punishment, on the other hand, is retribution and exacting payment from the one being punished.

You see, what was happening in my life was not punishment. It was a different matter entirely: The principle of sowing and reaping.

I had sown several fields of wild oats…

…then was shocked when I reaped wild oats!

All of the painful messes I had to deal with (along with my kids and family) were natural consequences of the choices I’d made.

So long as I could blame God, I didn’t have to take responsibility for my actions.

Since my troubles were “God’s fault,” He obviously couldn’t be trusted, so I kept Him at arm’s length.

We need to know that lies are birthed in the heart of the enemy…and injected into our thinking.

The most tenacious and dangerous lies sound like truth.

Further, lies deeply impact emotions…they are not simply a brain game. It goes like this:

An event takes place…say…a major illness in one of our kids.

We find ourselves questioning God. After all, He could have prevented it. He could heal them if He wanted to.

“What kind of God would bring this on a child?” we may ask. Or “what did I do wrong? Why is my child being punished for my sin?”

These lead to lies: God is not good. God can’t be trusted. God isn’t just.

In turn, we develop convictions: “I can’t trust God, so why bother to read the Bible?” “I don’t want to serve the kind of God that would take out His anger on children.” “I feel like He doesn’t care, or He wouldn’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening.”

This leads us down a path of destructive emotions and behaviors that isolate us from God: We quit talking to Him, quit reading the Bible, and leave the church. Bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, rage…or despair, feelings of worthlessness, and hopelessness. Our emotions can go either way.

“Since God can’t be trusted, I’m going to have to fix this myself;” or “I have to take care of myself.”

Or even, “Why shouldn’t God do this to me? I don’t deserve to be loved.”

We need to know that God’s great love for us makes us targets for His enemies – Satan and his cohorts. This adversary hates our guts and wants to hurt God by destroying us.

How do we counteract these lies? 

It begins by asking the Spirit to search our hearts and reveal the lies we currently believe.

When He brings them to light (usually one at a time), we ask Him to show us what the Bible says about the matter.

Identify the lie – then replace it with truth.

Then we ask Him to cement this into our minds experientially. We must ask expecting an answer. For, answer He will.

I once asked Him to show me His love – demonstrate it.

I went through a 6-month period of time where everyone brought me “princess” stuff. He laid it on the hearts of the women at a retreat to have a princess birthday party for me, and later I was given a gold (deity) lambskin (Who is the Lamb??) jacket.

Did I need “stuff?” No. But for this particular request, that was how He chose to show me.

Do I still have it all? No. Much of it has been passed on. I needed to experience His love…not amass material goods.

Today I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am His beloved child.

(NOTE: He used other people to answer my request. Things didn’t just drop out of the sky. WE NEED TO BE THE BODY TO ONE ANOTHER!)

Here’s an exercise for you to prayerfully do with the Lord:

Write down every title or definition of the Father, Son, and Spirit that you can think of.

Make a timeline of your life that includes major (to you) life events. Not just the obvious “marriage,” “birth of a child,” etc., but any other major event that stands out in your memory.

Now, going back to the list you made, note at these major events things like:

Where has God, as Father, provided for, healed, protected, defended, etc. me?

Where has Jesus as brother healed, loved, brought liberty, led, strengthened, etc. me?

Where has the Spirit given comfort, taught, etc. me?

This is a wonderful exercise…it won’t be done in fifteen minutes, but can be kept in a journal where you can fill in things as the Lord brings them to remembrance.

Jesus said,IF you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 

THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

You’ve dropped in on the series Intimacy with God. It begins here: C’mon In…

This section is about obstacles to intimacy. It begins here: A Clogged Conduit

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2 responses

30 11 2013
melwild

Great insights and practical help to get us out of those lie clogs. It’s so true what you said, “So long as I could blame God, I didn’t have to take responsibility for my actions.” That’s what it often comes down to, we won’t look at ourselves. It’s interesting how the writer of Hebrews tied not accepting discipline to bitterness in chapter 12. And looking at our own issues is some of the “discipline” from God, to get us to see what’s missing in our experience with Him. Removing the clogs. 🙂

30 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

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