Once again, my thoughts this morning are on purpose. As God has been showing me different truths and opening my eyes to just how big of a battle we’re in, I have been surprised at the tailor made assaults that the enemy makes on who God intended us to be. He is always trying to twist and distort in any way he can to keep us from fulfilling the destiny that God has for us. He knows that if we believe truth, we will become dangerous, fearless and completely dependent on God and because of that, we will be powerful. He lies about God to keep us from being able to completely trust Him, and he lies about us to keep us hidden in dark corners of shame and self-doubt or even delusions of self-sufficiency and pride. He surrounds us with funny mirrors in the form of people speaking his lies, situations that happen and our own thoughts. Pretty soon, those lies become hard and fast ‘truths’ that we live our lives out of.
You see, our lives are really significant and really insignificant at the very same time. God has given us a part to play in this season at this point in time, but at the same time, this story has been going on from the beginning of time and will continue until the end. It’s not about us. It’s about Him and He’s invited us to be a part.
Our piece is small, but it matters. It matters because the grand story matters to God, but at the same time, He cares about each and every person. He’s so excited about this story that He really wants each of us to be part of it. We can’t really understand it and we don’t really need to, but it is the truth. The grand story will keep going with or without us, but this quest for purpose that humanity has, is proof that we all want to have a part. God designed us this way.
The enemy wants to keep us from this and he knows that a life lived free from his lies, is powerful and a key to others finding freedom and hope. This is because a life that is lived free from lies does what it’s supposed to do! Reflect God and glorify Who He is. The enemy knows that a life reflecting God is a dangerous life. A life reflecting sin, religion without heart, ‘goodness’ without God is not dangerous to the enemy, but a life that reflects God? The enemy can’t stand this! This sort of life is free from being entangled in sin, filled with hope and freedom, strong enough to endure suffering and pain, and is willing to die for the truth it has found. It is unshakable, unstoppable and life-giving. It is a life being restored. This is what Jesus came for and that is why the enemy so opposes it. If this was Jesus’ purpose, it is also ours, but we must be free of the lies to be able to walk in it.
I imagine we will never be 100% free of the lies that flood our minds until we are not on this earth, but we can always be walking toward freedom and as we grow and mature in knowing God, more and more truths will be clear to us.
So far, for me the biggest lie and assault on my life that has been uncovered is loneliness. I know it seems highly impossible that I could be lonely growing up in a house with eight kids and always being surrounded by people. Truthfully, for much of my life I endured a suffocating loneliness that persisted no matter how much I was with great people. I often described it as being in a glass box in a room full of people. I could converse with them, interact with them and even laugh with them, but I could not escape my box. I read a book that talked about how introverted people feel as if they’re in a glass box. I’m not going to lie, I felt a little sad. It was kind of like, “Oh, I am confined to this little glass box forever. I thought it was something I could escape from, but I am stuck.” The book was absolutely incredible, BUT the glass box was a lie I can see now, because now I am free of it. I NEED and crave alone time, but the glass box is not where I have to live. Loneliness was the glass box. I can be present in a crowd as long as I have time to rejuvenate. I will never like mingling. That falls under the category of seriously not fun, but I can find a few to engage with. As long as I have a few heart friends and connections, the glass box disappears. I can see it now, but the enemy also used some really specific things said by really specific people to confirm what he was already saying to me. These friends were not trying to do this, but the arrows really hit the mark and cemented some wrong thinking about who I really am.
To illustrate how easily this can happen, just about a year ago, I was with a friend and was going to say a really off-handed remark. It was something kind of random and it was a neutral remark I thought. I don’t really remember what it was, but it was a news story or something that had happened. I felt strongly that I wasn’t to say it, but I said it anyway. The friend looked at me in shock and said, “That’s exactly what I’ve been afraid of happening to me. I was just thinking about that all morning.” I knew immediately that the enemy had used me to confirm a fear he had been speaking to her. I apologized immediately and told her that clearly the enemy was trying to lie to her.
We really do need to be so aware of the things we are speaking to those around us whether it’s our children, our spouses, extended family, friends, coworkers or anyone we’re around. If someone is over sensitive to something, I can almost promise that a lot of times there is a lie that has cemented itself and what was said probably hit it. I have seen this with my kids, my husband and in myself. Sometimes they are things that I have spoken loud and clear. I have one who tends to not be very neat and tidy. I am ashamed to say, I have harped on that one about that so long and hard (Remember, I am neat. That’s not bad, it’s how God made me. It’s not good or bad to be neat – it just is what it is. He didn’t make everyone this way and that’s okay too) that I have to be very careful how I ask them to pick up now. I have to say it in an non-irritated tone and say it very matter-of-factly no matter how irritated I am. Now when I say, “Pick up”, that also says, “You are so messy, you are a failure, you will never measure up” etc. I have not ever voiced some of these things, but the voices and tones I have used and the attitudes I have had have spoken loudly. I have been working on speaking life into that area because there is now shame attached to that and sadly healing that needs to happen and thankfully is happening. I have been intentional in speaking life by saying, “The thing that makes you not precise is the very thing that makes you bring so much life to those around you. You are so fun and easy to be around. You make others comfortable and you enjoy life to the full. I wish I had more of that. Life is an adventure to you. Organization is a dull and boring way to spend time to you and that’s okay. You need to learn those skills, but they will never be your top priority and that’s okay.” Those things are true. This one is like a breath of fresh air. Even strangers come up to us at the store because of the demeanor they have. It’s incredible. This one has a lot of who I wish I was. This one is peace and joy to be around. I can see where the enemy is trying to steal life by accentuating who this one is not, and he is trying to use me. It makes me so mad that he succeeded for a while!
“Words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18, NIV)” I don’t know about you, but I want my words to be wise – not reckless. This has happened countless times to each of us and by each of us. I am just trying to illustrate how easily this can happen to us and through us and how these things affect us so much. Sometimes, it’s a good thing to ask what we are oversensitive to and what those around us are sensitivie to too. We need to handle each other gently. Perfectly normal skin doesn’t hurt when you touch it or even put a lot of pressure on it, but unhealed skin can hurt a lot even at the slightest touch. The same is true of our hearts.
I really believe that the lies are handcrafted for us to keep us boxed in to a small place and keep us from what God has designed for our lives. My heart and passion is opposite of loneliness, you see. I want people to feel welcome, loved, free and at rest in our home and around us. He has given me a nurturing heart and I want to speak peace and healing. I feel protective of hurting people. I want to be a safe place for people to land. It’s like my heartbeat really. I have a heart for lonely people. It’s something that God has put there, but do you know what will be the thing that will keep me from doing this or being this? Loneliness. When I am feeling lonely, nothing sounds better than to isolate. I don’t want to talk to anyone, be around anyone or give to anyone. When I feel lonely, isolation sounds amazing. I am highly prone to being hurt and oversensitive. When loneliness is present, I am paralyzed and refuse to budge. I drown in self-preservation and view everyone with suspicion. How in the world can I even begin to fulfill the things that God has put in my heart – a small piece of His heartbeat in mine – when loneliness prevails? Simply, I can’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a loud introvert, so I do need alone time to rejuvenate, BUT that is entirely different from isolating. God has been debunking the lies that have contributed to the loneliness and freeing me from this. I have been able to see the direct opposition the lies have been to the things God has placed in me. When we can see the lies, our road becomes a little clearer.
John 8:31-32 says if we hold to HIS teaching, then ‘we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.’ We need to hold as truth what He says. This is why knowing His Word and studying it is so important. This is how we learn who He is and what and how He thinks. This is of utmost important if we are going to combat the lies we hold onto.
As you can see, living out of lies will keep us from our true purpose. If you aren’t already seeing some, ask God to begin to show you those things that you have been believing that have been keeping you from living out the truths and purposes He’s placed in your heart. He has put things there. Every single person has a God-given purpose and purposes that He has designed them for whether they know it or not. Meeting Him is just the first step. There is so much more for all of us! Lord, help us to see things as You do…