I just have to tell you that I am sick of them – sick to death. They insinuate themselves in places where they have no right to be, and they only stay because we don’t tell them to leave. Now, some of you may be thinking of pesky relatives, but I’m actually talking about lies. (I am not talking about lying here, as in telling lies; I am talking about the lies that sneak into our minds, telling us untrue things about ourselves, our lives, our families – you get the picture.) It is absolutely heartbreaking, the number of lies people live with on a daily basis. And even worse than when we are living with lies is when we begin living out lies. I am serious – we need to get some truth that will break these lies, or we will never be free to live out the amazing destinies God has planned for us.
“It’s all for nothing if you don’t have freedom.” – William Wallace in Braveheart
Here’s the thing about lies. On their own, they are utterly powerless; they have only the power that you give them. That means that lies don’t just suddenly pounce on us, taking us unaware and dragging us away. For a lie to have any power in your life, you have to embrace it. As you continue to cling to that lie, you are allowing it to sap your God-given strength, and that is a very dangerous thing, because that is what incapacitates you and makes you unable to fight the lies in your life.
That being the case, why on earth would we ever embrace a lie?! Because they sound like truth. If I told you that the sky had purple and green polka-dots today, would you believe me? No, because you would know I was lying to you. (At least, I hope you would!) For a lie to be believable, it must have a hint of truth. When Satan whispers lies to us, he coats them with truth so that we will swallow them. It reminds me of the scene from The Princess Bride where Miracle Max’s wife coats Wesley’s miracle pill with “chocolate coating, to make it go down easier.” However, that pill – just like the lies Satan feeds us – was, in reality, bitter and unwieldy. Lies generally begin with a single errant feeling that crops up in your heart. (This feeling is the “true” part, because you truly feel that thing.) Sometimes this can be brought on by circumstances or by the way others treat us. Whatever it is that sparks the lie, we can choose not to embrace it. My parents always told my brother and me that when untrue feelings come into our heart, we can refuse to give them credence by saying, “It’s true that I feel this way, but this feeling isn’t telling me the truth.” The problem in that is that we don’t usually recognize lies for what they are, and that is why understanding and embracing the truth is so vital.
“How I Love You” was written by Keith Green and has very poignant lyrics — I really like the way Jason Upton redid the music! Seriously though, check out this verse:
“I was lied to;
You told the truth,
Because You are the Truth.
I was lied to;
You told the truth,
You told the truth to me.”
The truth is that we need Truth, and real Truth comes from only one Source: Jesus Christ. Jesus says that when we know the truth, the truth will set us free (John 8:32). But (are you ready for this?) He doesn’t just tell us that we need truth; He tells us what truth is – Himself (John 14:6). This Truth is really all we need to know, for once we know what the Truth is, we’ll always be able to recognize the lies, because the two things will never fit together.
“…[W]hat fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
We are warned that “[our] enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Why this warning about insatiable lions? Because we need to be prepared. We often notice frontal attacks and recognize them for what they are, but Satan plays dirty (remember Eve and the lies he told her?), so he’ll hit us in the place that is the most sensitive, the most vulnerable – our hearts. Once something goes wrong there, there is really nothing we can do to stop the poisonous spread of incapacitating lies – that is, aside from running to the loving arms of our Father and re-embracing Truth.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul goes into detail about the spiritual armor that we believers should and must wear if we are going to live in a way that is powerful and effective. We are told to gird ourselves with the belt of truth. I never really thought about it before, but that is actually a powerful metaphor for the way we must use Truth to protect the places in our lives that are most vulnerable to attack.
I have a dear friend who spent years living under a lie. What was his lie? “You’re worthless. No one cares about you, and no one loves you. You’re just worthless.” I couldn’t believe that he believed it – I mean, he is outgoing and talented, and now is crazy in love with Jesus. Yet he lived with this horrible lie whispering around in his heart for so long that he actually began to live out the lie, and his life meant nothing to him anymore. By the time I met him, God had got ahold of him and rescued him from his destructive lifestyle, but still the lie would come back to tell him, “You’re worthless.” I could always tell when that lie popped up again – he would become almost depressed, and painfully sad. I told him that none of those things were true, and though technically he knew that, he would say, “But Sabra, it feels so true.” Hearing that broke my heart, but more than that it made me angry – really deeply angry in a way that I had never been before, like a sort of righteous indignation. God told me at that time that I needed to step it up – my friend needed someone to fight alongside him. In a physical sense, there was nothing I could actually do, because I knew that the battle was spiritual. So I fought with him and for him as we spent time together and also when I was alone in prayer. There are times when we each must “fight the good fight” alone – just us and God – but there are other times when we need other people to come alongside us, adding their strength to ours and helping us face the battle.
As for me, I am tired of embracing lies. I want Jesus to illuminate every part of my life, exposing the lies and setting me free. Like William Wallace in Braveheart, I am ready to go to battle for freedom because I know what is right and cannot ignore it anymore. I am ready to fight for myself and for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have been incapacitated by lies in their lives. I cannot possibly tolerate lies anymore; I utterly loathe them. So be strong, braveheart; it is time to fight. “Freedom!” is the battle-cry, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).