How many of you know that what we believe about ourselves determines how we live our lives?
I’m sure most of you just thought, of course, that’s obvious isn’t it.
But, if that’s true why do so many of us believe things about ourselves that simply aren’t true!! Come on, I know it’s not just me!
You may even have multiple lies swirling around inside your head. I think we all have a backing track or a soundtrack that plays in our mind and it’s often not a good one, one that we haven’t selected ourselves and it’s reaffirming those lies…I am not good enough, I am a waste of space, I’m not as good as them, I’m the biggest sinner there is, I’m a rubbish mum or whatever it is for you, just fill in the blanks.
Some of these lies may have come from things that have been said about us or over us as we have grown up, but not always, some we just pick up along the way and just like seeds they have taken root in us and gotten tangled up into our identity. Sometimes they have been there so long that they seem real and you probably wouldn’t recognise them as lies because they are your reality, as you live out of them.
I used to be a primary school teacher and I would often think that the children are like little sponges soaking things up that they are explicitly taught, and those things that are definitely not, like mimicking those around them, the good and bad behaviours, mannerisms and use of words (not always good). They can’t help it, that’s just what they do and as adults we are the same as we try and act like the people around us so that we fit in where we are and to make ourselves socially acceptable. But, at the root of it all we just want to fit in and be popular and significant. This seemingly never stops….
However, there is another way to live that frees you up from this need to be like every one else, to get your acceptance from others and that’s to find your identity in Jesus.
Gen 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
That doesn’t mean we are all the same, not by any means. We are all unique and different and that is the point. We are supposed to be confident in who we are and not to feel the need to be like anyone else and just be the best version of ourselves, the one God created and He never makes mistakes.
Did you know that God never makes mistakes? That means He didn’t make a mistake with you!
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Isaiah 64;8 Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Sadly, even as Christians, we can be prone to listening to the wrong soundtrack because we are only human and we can easily slip into believing lies about ourselves or even God, and this happened right from the start of creation with the enemy whispering lies about God, into Eve’s ear to make her doubt what God had said.
Gen 3:1 The serpent was more clever than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden’?”
“We create spiritual ecosystems by what we think and they can enable or disable God’s word.”
When we are believing lies about ourselves and our head is full of negative thoughts it’s hard for Gods word to take root and impact our lives significantly, much like the parable of the sower in Matthew.
Matt 13: 3-9 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Our thought life and what we believe can be a real battle ground and if we don’t take action the negative thoughts and lies impact our lives and those around us. As Christians we need to have a revelation of the power of our words, as we can use them to fight the lies we listen to in our heads. In fact, they are one of our greatest weapons!
Prov 18:21“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
In the battle the first thing we need to do is learn to listen out for a lie, something that is accusatory or negative because we know God doesn’t talk to us like this, although obviously He will talk to us about things He is unhappy with that we may be doing, but He doesn’t talk in a condemning way, that is not His nature.
Once we recognise the lie, we need to break agreement with it, and it is always powerful to say it out loud (somewhere you feel comfortable) and it can also help if you have a friend who you can do this with, that can pray with you. But, equally you can do it alone, but remember there is power in your spoken words.
Then, ask the Holy Spirit what the truth is, what does He think and listen carefully.
Speak out this truth and don’t just do this once, it needs to be something that you repeat over and over. Look at yourself in a mirror and declare the truth. Do this as often as you need to and if you say it often enough you will start to really believe it and things will start to change. This new way of thinking needs to become your new soundtrack and at first it might seem totally alien to you because the lie was so deeply rooted. But, when you believe how awesome you are and start seeing yourself the way God does, you are going to bless all those you come into contact with and impact the world around you.
Roms 12:2 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.
I’m going to be real with you and tell you that the biggest lie that I believe, and one that keeps reoccurring or at least variations on the theme is this; I don’t hear from God or I don’t hear Him clearly.
What I have found is that the enemy likes to lie to us in the very area that God is calling us in. It’s not rocket science, is it? The enemy doesn’t want us to walk in our God given destiny because he’s afraid of how powerful and amazing we are. So, I take reassurance from that and that the enemy would love me to shut up and keep believing this lie but sadly, the enemy is a loser and I do hear from God and increasingly more accurately as I increasingly step through fear to share what He tells me or shows me.
After I heard the talk from Phil, God gave me a picture, (this is one of my primary ways of hearing from God) and He reminded me about The Lovely Mr B’s vinyl collection (which seems to be growing quickly!!) and the cool app he has on his phone for managing this. Via the app he is able to catalogue his collection and amazingly with one shake it selects an album for him to play. This means that he listens to his collection and doesn’t just play the same ones all the time (variety is the spice of life and all that). He will then put the album on and put the album cover in a holder on the top of the stereo, so he can see what is NOW PLAYING.
Through the picture God highlighted that we all have a soundtrack playing and that we have complete control of what we choose to play. For some of you;
It’s time to change the record!
This is an active thing that you need to do, and it won’t change itself. It involves you doing something.
You need to recognise the lie spinning round, break agreement with it, declare the truth the way God sees it and then keep declaring that over yourself.
Then, you need to put that on display for the world to see and this will become your…