Recently I was watching Murder She Wrote on Netflix. Do you remember that show? I didn’t watch it when it first aired in the 80’s because I was a kid and had much more important things to do. Halle, my youngest daughter, loves watching it with me and she asks questions about the hairstyles and decor and what it was really like to live in 1980. In the most recent episode we watched called, Sticks and Stones. As the story unfolded I thought about how what was happening on the screen was a very clear picture of what happens to believers when the enemy is at work.
In the idyllic town of Cabot Cove something strange was happening. All over town people were receiving anonymous letters. The letters were accusatory, pitting neighbor against neighbor. One accused the lead character, Jessica of having an affair with a friend’s husband, one accused a local businessman of cheating on his taxes and one said that a local fire was arson. It seemed bizarre that suddenly and for seemingly no reason these letters started appearing. As the episode progressed the investigators realized that one of the letters was true and that all of the other letters were sent to bring confusion and to make the truth seem like all of the other lies.
I tend to observe people. Not in a “people watching” sense. I observe people to try to determine where they’re coming from and I listen, really listen, to what they’re saying. What I see very often is people who are Christians but that walk out life according to lies that they believe about themselves. I notice it often in people that grew up in an abusive home or if a parent’s actions weren’t outright abusive, they were careless with their words, called them names or berated them when they didn’t get things right.
You don’t think!
Can’t you do anything right?
I can’t stand to even look at you!
The words sting and may not break a bone but can certainly crush a spirit. I have watched many people, including people that I love, walk in the brokenness that those kinds of lies bring. I call them lies because that’s what they are. Unfortunately people that grow up constantly subjected to those things often seem to live down to those expectations or they work very hard to be successful to prove that those things aren’t true about them. The truth though is that anyone who has confessed Christ as Savior has a new life.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Several years ago I was walking through a season of brokenness. During that time God was lovingly and patiently walking me through it. One Sunday as I was at church worshiping I suddenly saw a picture in my mind of my birth certificate. On it nothing was written except that in the box that said Father was written, God. In that moment I understood that I no longer had to live according to anything that happened in my past. Jesus was the new standard for my life. I was no longer bound to live up to or down to any standard set for me by anyone else, I was only bound to Jesus Christ and his will for me. That moment set me free from things that I had carried with me for years.
So how do you find and walk in freedom and recognize the lies that Satan bombards believers with? I’ve narrowed it down to 5 steps that might seem too simple or basic but as someone who has walked through many difficult seasons- one might even call some of them impossible- this is what I did. And, quite frankly, this last month or so has been really difficult for us as a family and this is how I got through it. With the exception of #4 because Travis and I have been part of the same church for more than a decade. The impact that ministry has had on our family is immeasurable and we wouldn’t be the people that we are today without it. Now, on to the steps.
Step 1. Read the Bible daily.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
It may sound too simple but if a believer doesn’t regularly read the truth of the Bible they can easily be deceived by the enemy. Lies becomes obvious when compared with the truth. Is your path off of where it should be? The Bible will help make that path straight.
Step 2. Pray daily.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18
Simply put, praying is communicating with God. Pour out your heart to him and listen to what He has to say to you.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! Acts 16:25-26
Some days I crank up worship music in the living room for a time of worship or while I’m doing housework. Worship drowns out the enemies accusations and gets my eyes off of me and onto the one who is greater than my problems, bigger than my fears and failures and gives Him the praise that He deserves.
4. Find a Bible believing church
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.Romans 12:4-5
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
A believer should never try to go it alone. Do you know what happens in the Savannah when a zebra gets separated from it’s herd? It gets eaten. I need other believers, you need other believers. Don’t fall for the lie that church is just a bunch of rituals or irrelevant or not for you. The church is the body of Christ and you are part of that. Pray and ask God to lead you to the church that He wants you to be part of.
There are many resources available but one that I’m really familiar with and have a great deal of respect for is the ministry of Neil Anderson. His ministry is centered around those who are bound and broken finding freedom in Christ. I went through a series of teachings on his books Victory Over the Darkness and The Bondage Breaker several years ago. It was truly life changing for me in that it helped me to recognize the things that I believed about myself that weren’t true.
I’ll leave you with this, a short list of some of the things that are true about you if you are a follower of Christ: