Discerning the Lie

I am fascinated by military strategy. To me the most interesting component of war fighting strategy is what Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz, the Prussian general

Carl von Clausewitz

Carl von Clausewitz

and military theorist, described as the “fog and friction” of war in his most notable work, Vom Kriege (On War).  In actual combat there is, thanks to fog and friction, a vast difference between what ought to be theoretically and what turns out to be the real situation.  The job of the military commander is to sort out the schemes of the enemy designed to deceive, distract, divide and thwart his forces while inflicting the same on his enemy.  As children of God we find ourselves in a similar warlike situation in that satan is relentless in seeking to mislead us with erronious information while trying to divert our attention from our Savior and His provision for us.  Praise God that He has given us the ultimate war-fighting manual, the Bible, by which we have all we need to discriminate between truth and deception and be victorious in life.
The following is a really helpful article written by my online friend April Cassidy, who is a leading voice in women’s ministry.  April itemizesScreen Shot 2016-07-11 at 9.53.12 PM various types of lies that attempt to deceive us.  She has also listed resources that are useful in dealing with the lies we are prone to believe.  This article appeared first at April’s website at: http://www.thepeacefulwife.com as: Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced.  Incidentally, I highly recommend April’s book, The Peaceful Wife – Living in  Submission to Christ as Lord.  It contains wise counsel on how to have a fulfilling and godly marriage.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 10.13.39 PM

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

By April Cassidy

April Cassidy "The Peaceful Wife"

April Cassidy
“The Peaceful Wife”

Here are some lies I have come up with that some of us may believe – I’m sure they don’t all apply to everyone, but they may give you some ideas to prayerfully consider as you invite the Holy Spirit to examine the hidden motives of your heart in your quiet time. This is not an exhaustive list! If you recognize that some of these lies are things you struggle with, I invite you to search on a site like http://www.openbible.com or http://www.biblegateway.com for terms to find verses in Scripture that reveals God’s truth about these topics. Be willing to REALLY dig into whatever lies are issues for you and spend as much time as you need to hash through what is true and what is not true. Some of these things are not conscious beliefs, but rather unconscious fixed beliefs upon which we have built our lives. Allow God to transform your thinking though the power of His Word! Compare everything any human author said against the Bible. Be willing to trash ungodly thinking and rebuild your life on God’s Word.

Lies about Perfectionism/People Pleasing:

1. I should be able to be perfect in my own strength without Christ. I’m a good person. I am not a wretched sinner.
2. Other people’s approval is the most important thing.
3. If I can do things perfectly in my eyes, I can control everything and I will be safe and can be guaranteed the outcomes I desire.
4. My approval and opinions are more important than God’s.
5. I am responsible for things that really aren’t my responsibility.
6. If I am not worried, afraid, and trying so hard that I am exhausted, I don’t really love other people.
7. I can’t relax and enjoy intimacy with God or with others.
8. My value is in what I do – not in who I am or in what Christ did for me.
9. If I don’t ever make mistakes, other people will love me and never be upset with me. This is a reasonable plan.
10. Perfection, in my definition(i.e.: how clean my house is, or how much I follow a list of manmade rules), is more important than people and relationships.
11. I am the key here, not God. 

Resources:

http://www.openbible.info “What does the Bible say about perfectionism?”
Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
http://www.gotquestions.org for “What does the Bible say about perfectionism?”
You may also search my home page search bar for things like:

idol/idolatry
dying to self
pride
perfectionism
people pleasing
control

Lies about God:

1. He is not good.
2. He is out to get me.
3. I have to earn His love.
4. God is holding out on me.
5. God’s commands are oppressive.
6. God is small and wimpy.
7. God is evil.
8. God is tempting me.
9. God can’t help me.
10. God won’t help me.
11. God is not sovereign. People are.
12. God is a tyrant. And people are just robots with no choices.
13. God needs me.
14. Jesus is not enough for me.
15. Circumstances are greater than God is.
16. God’s Word is not true or not totally true.
17. I can’t trust God.
18. God is not loving.
19. God is not just.
20. God should submit to me.

21. God just wants me to be happy (by my own definition of temporary fleshly happiness).

Resources:

http://www.openbible.info “what does the Bible say about the character of God?”
David Platt’s Secret Church series “Who Is God?” at http://www.radical.net or on Youtube
John Piper’s site http://www.desiringgod.org – search “the character of God”
Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology – search his podcasts for “the character of God” or “God’s providence”
Beth Moore’s studies like – “Believing God,” “Get Out of That Pit,” “So Long Insecurity,” “Breaking Free,” etc…
Kay Arthur’s books like – “Lord, I Want to Know You,” “The Names of God,” “Lord, Teach Me to Pray,” “Lord, Heal My Hurts,” etc…
http://www.gotquestions.org – the Character of God
God’s promises to believers
Does God Want Me to Be Happy or Holy? – by John Piper (God does command us to delight in Him, to rejoice in Him, and to have joy – but those are different things than the world often describes as pleasure or happiness – our definition of “happy” matters a great deal!)
On my site:

Lordship of Christ
Submission Means Holding the Things of This World Loosely
Fear

Lies about Self:

1. I know better than God.
2. I am worthless/ugly/unloveable.
3. I am not a “real person” or a “real woman.”
4. God’s promises and His Word apply to other people, but not to me.
5. I know best for others. They all need my help and wisdom but I can’t ask for help or need help.
6. I can convict others of sin, that is my job. I am responsible for others’ decisions, choices, and the consequences they experience.
7. My sin isn’t as bad as other people’s sin.
8. God can’t forgive me.
9. I can’t forgive myself.
10. I can’t learn to hear God.
11. I must earn people’s love.
12. I am (or should be) the savior for myself and others. I am sovereign over my life and other people’s lives and circumstances.
13. I am exempt from God’s commands.
14. My emotions are greater and more important than God. They are the source of absolute truth, not God.
15. I don’t need spiritual nourishment from God and His Word.
16. I don’t have to pray for myself.
17. I can cherish certain sins and lies in my heart and be fine.
18. I am above having to forgive or give grace. I deserve to hold on to the “treasure” of bitterness.
19. I haven’t been forgiven from much because I don’t have much sin in my life and don’t really need a Savior.
20. I can’t be beautiful in God’s eyes.
21. I can’t know God.
22. Other people are important but I am not important at all.
23. I can be close to God and strong spiritually without allowing God full access to the darkest places of my heart.
24. My motives are always good.

Resources:

http://www.openbible.info – “What does the Bible say about identity in Christ?”
John Piper’s site http://www.desiringgod.org – identity in Christ, security in Christ, emotions, earning God’s love
David Platt’s Secret Church “The Disciple’s Identity Part 1 – You in Christ” “The Disciple’s Identity Part 2 – Christ in You”
http://www.gotquestions.org – identity in Christ
On my site:

Cinderella and the Gospel – receiving the love of Christ
I Am Responsible for My Emotions
I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
I Can’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions
Bitterness

Lies about Others:

1. I am more important than they are or they are more important than I am.
2. I am justified to sin against people if they don’t do what I want them to do.
3. If I am in a bad mood, I have a free pass to lash out at other people in hurtful ways.
4. People are here to serve me or I am to be a slave to people.
5. I have to avoid conflict at all costs.
6. Others are responsible for my happiness and emotions. If I am upset it is their fault and they better fix it.
7. Others are responsible for my spiritual growth and character.
8. Others should submit to me and do what I want them to do.
9. Others must be perfect by my personal definition.
10. Others should control me. And I should have no voice.
11. I should control others and they should have no voice.
12. Others’ feelings don’t matter or my feelings don’t matter.
13. I have to disrespect myself to respect others or I have to disrespect others to respect myself. I can’t respect God, myself, and others at the same time.

All of these issues require proper balance and biblical understanding. If we swing too far one way or the other, we are living in sinful, destructive mindsets rather than in the truth.

Resources:

The Doctrine of Man at http://www.biblehub.com
I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
Avoiding Conflict
Respecting Myself
Isn’t It Demeaning to Me if I Respect My Husband?
Are We Responsible for Our Spouse’s Happiness?
Fear Fuels Our Need to Control
Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity
Husbands Are Not the Absolute Authority

Much love to you! I am praying for you.

April

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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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