God has been showing me some things about myself. Revealing lies that I have believed that have shaped my entire life. And I never even knew it.
The most recent one is "I have to perform to be loved and acceptable." I have to wear the right clothes, speak the right words, do the right things, have the right friends, believe the right doctrine, etc, or no one will love or accept me. It was that way with my parents. Sure, they always said they would "love me no matter what" and I'm sure they would, but unless I followed All The Right Rules, I was not acceptable. Even a small child understands the difference. I learned very well how to "perform" for them. I was even taught how to perform for God. Our church was the queen of religious performance. One wrong move and there goes our salvation! This lie, and the fear of not measuring up, was one of the cornerstones that our church was built on. I am so grateful to God that He revealed Himself and His heart to me at a very young age. At least I didn't grow up trying to perform for Him. It was hard enough to perform for everyone else in my life. I think I would've given up if I had to perform for God too.
But it's amazing to me how much that belief has affected my life. You know one of the reasons I fell in love with Sky? Because I didn't have to perform for him. He saw me and loved me, who I really was, not the fake, perfect person I put on every day. I didn't need the right clothes or the right doctrine...he loved me without any of those things. He saw my heart, and he loved it. And I loved him for it. Still do. :)
I think the reason God's shown me this is because that lie is beginning to creep into my relationships...even my marriage. My heart has been so heavy lately with the thought that if I don't perform for Sky then he won't love me. Some days it seems so true. Only now I can see the warfare. Satan is using this unhealed part of my heart to take me out and steal the joy that I have in my marriage. Trying to bring me into that bondage again. Well, I will not be bound by that lie anymore. Now that I can see the chains, I refuse to be bound by them. "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free." I have been "accepted in the Beloved"...THAT is the truth! God has accepted me and loves me because of Jesus Christ, not because of my performance. The Truth has and will continue to set me free.
What about you? You have lies that you've believed just as I do. Deception is the Enemy's only weapon against believers. What lies have helped shape the bondage in your life? What have you believed about yourself or about God that is not true? Have you ever stopped to think that the issue that you keep butting your head against has been caused by belief in something other than God's truth? That the problem in your marriage that won't go away is due to some lie hidden deep in your heart? Or that the sin you can't seem to overcome has been caused by a lie that Satan spoke into your heart long ago and you made an agreement with? You see, every time you agree with a lie the Enemy tells you, you've let him create a stronghold in your heart. A stronghold that can only be torn down by replacing that lie with the truth.
Look what 2 Cor. 10:3-5 says about this: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exhalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." Paul here is telling us what Jesus already said: that every lie (arguments and anything that exhalts itself against the knowlegde or truth of God) creates bondage (a stronghold) and has to be cast down by the Truth that is in Christ Jesus. The Truth will set you free.
Some examples of lies that shape our lives could sound like these:
"Everything I love will be taken away from me."
"If people really knew me, they wouldn't like me."
"If I can just be beautiful enough, or talented enough, or smart enough, or good enough, I will have worth."
"Beauty is dangerous and can be used for evil so I have to do everything I can to hide mine."
"There is no such thing as intimacy in life."
"I am on my own."
"I will never be good enough."
"If I want something done right I'm going to have to do it myself."
"If there is a God, He's too busy to care about me."
"God helps those who help themselves."
Any of these sound familiar? Some of them are from my own heart. All of them are lies that have terrible consequences in our walk with God and the people around us. All of them must be renounced and replaced with the Truth from God's Word. But first they must be recognized. Ask God to show you where you have lie-based strongholds in your own heart. Then ask Him to show you the Truth that will set you free. He who promised is faithful...my whole life is a testimony to that Truth.
"For He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..."