Linda and Family
The first step in the process was to identify your area of bondage, and we do this by praying. Prayer is a topic I’m passionate about! The demands of life can cause us to be busy, but I want to exhort you to not put anything above some time with the Lord. The time of day you spend with Him doesn’t matter. However, fellowship with God is a priceless privilege. You cultivate friendships by spending time together and that’s what God desires as well. Pray for discernment!
The second step in ending the cycle of deception was to identify the lie at the root. And we do this by asking God to reveal truth to us. However, I also believe one other key component is enlisting the help of others (we need friends!)
“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6.
Our upbringing and history of relationships impacts who we choose as friends. Some friends have hurt us, and we’ve made vows to ourselves to never have a friend like that again to avoid the same disappointments and betrayals. Our experiences could have happened in elementary school, high school, or in our adult life, but whatever the difficulty for some of us, it has crippled us from having the intimate relationships that the Lord intended for us. This can result in sin. Our tendency is to look for change through acquiring knowledge. We go to seminars, classes, and retreats, hoping that God will miraculously take us to the next level of spiritual growth. We deceive ourselves if we think that growth and healing come merely through accumulating data. Growth and healing always have and always will come through relationships with God, self, and others. Psalm 133
In Mark 3: 13-14, Jesus appointed 12 apostles. They were His companions. They witnessed every part of his life. He chose Peter, James, and John to be His bosom buddies. This serves as an example to us. We’re called to intimacy in friendship.
Do you have a friend that sticks closer than a brother? Someone who loves you, who speaks truth to you, and whom you can speak truth to in return? You must determine not to live in isolation, but rather to live an examined life. We need accountability and support, but these two are not the same thing. True accountability requires that someone have the guts to make you uncomfortable if that is needed. Support requires that someone have a love that will stand by you even if you are sinning repeatedly. It’s great when you can have both in one person, but not every friend is at that level, which is one more reason to have at least two or three to help you grow.
Our culture has driven us to think of promises as personal fulfillments. Think for a moment of the culture we live in. We can be accessed by television, radio, internet, and cell phones. We are told, "If you follow this diet, you’ll lose 20 pounds in two weeks!", "If you use this face cream, you will look twenty years younger in ten days!", "If you use this shampoo, your hair will be full and shiny!"
The sensible part of us knows that such promises are nonsense, but isn’t there another part of us that desires to believe miracles can actually happen? And don’t we think at some level, surely these kinds of promises wouldn’t be made if they weren’t true? The reality is God’s promises are not about us, but about Him. His promises are an expression of His holiness. When God makes us a promise, He can never break it. I wonder if we have such a hard time believing this, resting in God’s promises, because we have been lied to so many times, because so many earthly promises are broken. Therefore, there is a struggle to count on Him. The reality is that the world’s promises are fleeting and although we break God’s heart at times, he still continues to love us. We don’t have to say that right thing, and risk Him not liking us. We don’t have to worry about hurting His feelings. God’s love is unconditional.
The last step in ending the cycle of deception and cultivate a heart like God’s is to know His truths. I have picked 8 of my favorite to share from the book Lies Women Believe:
- God is good. He loves me and wants me to have His best. (Romans 8:32)
- God doesn’t make mistakes (Isaiah 46:10)
- God’s grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- My past does not have to plague me ( 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
- Gods’ word is sufficient to lead me, teach me and heal me (Psalms 19:7)
- We must relinquish control (Matthew 16:25, Luke1:38, 1Peter 5:7)
- God is more concerned about changing me and glorifying Himself than about solving my problems (Romans 8:29)
- It’s not about me; it’s all about Him (Colossians 1:16-18, Revelation 4:11)
Remember Jesus? His family underwent an unexplainable birth. He was rejected by His fellow countrymen. He took upon Himself the form of a man with no extra “special privileges”. He carried the cross for His own crucifixion. He was cursed, beaten and spit upon. To add final humiliation, one of the criminals who hung on a cross next to Him spewed insults at him. Jesus didn’t deserve that punishment and death- we did. Do we actually think He lacks understanding? He experienced the worst that hell can pour out, and He rose again to set us free and secure for us a destiny with Him forever- a destiny that the enemy cannot touch. No matter what circumstances pull the carpet out from underneath us, God will use the darkest of nights to let us know that He is there to keep us safe.
We need to take and claim the following scripture, “I am complete & accepted in Christ.” Ephesians 1: 4-6
Where have you been finding your security, identity, purpose, and value? If it’s been in anything other than the Lord, you will be disappointed. God loves you….right where you are. As we grow, we can learn to take God’s heart and make it the center of our own thinking.