As Christians, one of the biggest battles we face in our minds is whether to believe God’s truth or the enemy’s lies. What we believe about ourselves, about God, and about the world around us is determined by what we’ve experienced and what we’ve been taught. For example: if a child is told they are stupid, they will live their life believing they are stupid. Or if a kid's parents get divorced, the kid might feel alone and develop a belief that they have to look out for themselves, or even that God won’t be there for them.
It could be that someone has a lot of negative thoughts about themselves that go through their head and they believe that they are pretty lousy. I know I’ve struggled with that! I’ve definitely struggled with a bunch of fear-based lies in my life. I was afraid of being alone, I was afraid I wasn’t good enough, I was afraid God wouldn’t come through for me, things like that. Fear ran my life, it affected my decisions, affected how I felt about myself that day, affected what I did with my time. It was a vicious cycle that I felt stuck in. I thought my whole life I was going to believe deep down that I wasn’t pretty enough or talented enough or smart enough.
I’ll never forget the day I had a meeting with my Pastor. We were talking about how I’ve been struggling with fear for a long time, and it wasn’t getting better. He said to me, “You’ve had leaders there for you and fighting for you through this, right?” He was right. And he said, “And God’s always been there with you. He’s been fighting for you this whole time, and never left you. Right?” Again, he was right. Then he said something that has completely changed my whole perspective. He said, “So you’ve had leaders fighting for you, and you’ve had God fighting for you, and you’re still struggling with all this fear. The reason you are still struggling is because the most important person in the equation isn’t fighting. And that person is you.”
I had been sitting around wondering why I was struggling so much, why God wouldn’t help me (dramatic, I know) and the truth was, I wasn’t doing anything to help myself. What I learned that day is that in our lives we aren’t supposed to sit back and make God do everything for us. He won’t. He absolutely wants to help us, but it’s up to us to choose if we even want help. That day when I realized I wasn’t fighting for myself was a game changer. I began to realize that I was living like I was a victim waiting to be rescued, when the truth was I had already been rescued!
When Jesus died on the cross, He took on our stuff. He took on our sin, He took on our shame, He took on our fear. He took it all so that we didn’t have to. I realized that day that I had a choice. Fear didn’t own me, I got to decide if I was going to give in or not. I got to decide if I was going to believe the truth that God had told me. The truth is, God has been around way longer than we have. We all have these different lies we struggle with about life, about people, about God, and about ourselves. We tend to think we know best because of experience, things that people have said, etc.. and we forget that actually our lives are just a blink of an eye compared to how long God has been around. Not only that, but He’s the one that created us. That means He really knows us.
It’s so important for us to believe God’s truth over lies. It’s important for us because it affects how we live our lives, but it’s also important for the people that are watching us live our lives. We have proclaimed that we follow Jesus. If we are following Jesus, then it is our job to be making every effort to believe the truth that He says about us. Imagine if I owned a big beautiful house, and one day I invited you over and you found me on the front yard living in a cardboard box. If I kept telling you, “Go ahead, go inside the house! It’s big and beautiful and warm and cozy and you have a place there!” …. Wouldn’t you find that pretty unconvincing if I was telling you that you belonged in the house, yet I wasn’t allowing myself to live in the house? You’d have a hard time believing me. I would probably look like I didn’t actually believe what I was telling you. So if you’re trying to tell someone the truth of what God says about them, and yet you’re not believing what He says about you - why would they believe you? Whether you believe God’s truth affects more than just you. It affects anyone who sees your life. It affects our family members, it affects our friends, it affects our co-workers and neighbors and even the people that follow us on social media. What message is your life speaking?
So what do we do?
We all have areas in our life where we struggle to believe the truth. It’s all about what we do with the struggle. The day my Pastor talked to me about the fear I was struggling with, he gave me a challenge. He told me to speak the truth and renounce the lies. So I asked Jesus to give me five truths and I wrote them down and put them in my makeup bag. Every morning when I went to put my makeup on, I looked in the mirror and told myself the truth. I’m not kidding, it completely changed my life. Things started to change. Jesus was able to work in my life and help me overcome, because I was finally choosing to fight for myself and believe the truth. It’s so powerful! I know it sounds simple, and it really is. Tell yourself the truth. Jesus says in John chapter 8 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus made it available to us, so let’s be free!