Monday, January 31, 2011

Not So Pretty Little Liars

"I'll never be good enough."
"God never answers my prayers."

"You don't know my marriage.  I might as well give up!" 

"Whatever.  It doesn't matter." 

"This is just who I am."

Do you know what all those quotes have in common?  While they differ a great deal in topic, they're ironically similar in 3 different, but very telling ways.

1.  They were all spoken to me personally within the last 3 months.

2.  Each one of these quotes belongs to a Christian.

3.  Every one of them is a lie.

What we THINK and what we SAY when we find ourselves on the brink of unbelief determines whether we'll spend the next season of our lives fortifying or faking our faith.  We will never, and I want you to believe this in the pit of your gut- EVER grow our faith as long as we put more stock in our own LIES than we put in the Words of God.   In fact, the only downside of being the product of an Intelligent Designer is that we do have the ability to let our thoughts run wild.  In truth, sometimes the worst thing we can do is think.   Now, on a good day, thinking would absolutely be considered an asset, but on the days your car won't crank, your husband ignores you, your kids disrespect you and the pile in the mailbox is all bills and no checks, any thoughts that aren't first held obedient to Christ will give you a one-way ticket to Unbelief Island. 
Now, while it's our minds, thoughts, emotion and will that tell our story of being created in the image of our Father, we have sadly used that ability to think to train ourselves to be Plan A in our own lives.  Shake your head and sigh if you will, but it remains true.  When things go helter skelter, we look inside ourselves for the answer.  Oh, we may say, "Help me, Lord," but then we immediately start brainstorming what we're going to do, say, be...what we're going to move, change or manipulate.  Even though the Bible clearly tells us that we can do no good thing without Him, off we march into the Service Department of Life.  We grab a wrench and head for what we perceive to be the crux of the problem.  What we don't do is look to the hills and wait patiently for Help to arrive.  And so, after a few decades of practicing our convenient, low risk version of faith in God, we find ourselves incapable of not only relying on Him, but incapable of being honest about who to blame when we fail to manipulate our own faith.  And in the process, we become believers of LIES rather than seekers of Truth.  And, even worse, the lies we believe aren't being spoken from our greatest enemy, but from our very own mouths.

Do you remember Elijah?  That great prophet of old?  The one whose very name means Yahweh is my God?  Well, he did more than just prophesy truth and humiliate the masses that chose to put their faith in a lesser god.  He also stood at the crossroads of belief and took a wrong turn.  He participated in a 'stare down' with a crisis of faith and blinked.  He valiantly spouted the very Word of God into the lives of others, but choked when his own heart needed him to whisper the truth.  In a nutshell, our hero of faith was human and in his error, he left us a beautiful lesson.  Wanna' see?

Once upon a time, in a far away land and a time long forgotten, there lived a stoic man known to the wandering world as Elijah.  Elijah paved a few streets in history with his great faith in and willingness to tune his ear to the Lord, God of Abraham.  In his short breath of a life, he defended the worship of his Great God by trusting God to put on a light show for the worshipers of Baal.  He so believed in the unmatched power of God that he asked for fire to fall from heaven and down it came.  He prayed to God and the dead came to life.  There were times in his life when he opened his mouth and the very Word of God traveled past his lips.  And he left this world in a whirlwind complete with a chariot, horses and fire, but before he went to be with his Maker, he bounced over a bump in the proverbial not-yet Roman's Road.  This great and celebrated man of faith had a season of unbelief.  Yes, even Elijah wrestled with trusting God in the thick of things.  After he taunted the worshipers of Baal, after he spoke the Words of God only he could hear, after he prophesied much, after his prayers brought raining fire from heaven and after his faith acted as the catalyst that caused the dead to live, he lied himself into a pitiful cave of fear and unbelief. 

It doesn't seem right, does it?  A man of that caliber of faith shouldn't lose battles with doubt and fear, but he did.  You see, just a little while after Obadiah told Elijah that he had rescued a hundred of God's prophets into his own care so that King Ahab couldn't kill them, Elijah stood before the Lord and said, "All of the prophets of God are dead.  I'm the only one left!"  And as if the lie wasn't bad enough, the fact that Elijah believed the lie changed everything for the prophet of God because while the actual events of Elijah's life paint a perfect picture of God's faithfulness and power, it was Elijah's own dishonest words that caused him to FLEE from a woman in such terror that the Lord found him hiding in a cave asking to be put out of his misery.  And all because when he came to a scary fork in the road, he entertained his own vain imaginations rather than what he KNEW to be TRUE of his God.  

So, I ask you friends, in what area of your life have you believed your own lies?  What does it take to make you spout ridiculous errors about God's abilities?  When do you allow what you feel to trump what you know about God?  Are you running away in terror when all you have to do is stand and tell the truth?  Elijah stepped in and did his enemy's job when he decided to believe his own lies.  Haven't we all done the same?

I, for one, am ready to let go of the lies.  I want to be a champion of truth.  No longer do I want to be the object of my faith.  I want to be able to take a gander at life and all its possibilities from God's perspective and check mine at the door.  As a matter of fact, I'd like for my life to be defined by a great confidence in God.  In other words, I want to trade in my humiliation in the cave for a great confidence in the battle.  And thanks to the Word of God, I know just how to start.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind... 
My 'in-real-life' translation?  Replace the lies with truth.

"I'll never be good enough."
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
your love, O Lord, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.

"God never answers my prayers."
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 

"You don't know my marriage.  I might as well give up!"
"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

"Whatever.  It doesn't matter." 
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

"This is just who I am."
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God! 

Insert your favorite lie here.   
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?...Let God be true, and every man a liar.

Make no mistake:  Elijah's lie had no bearing on the power of God.  God was just as able to save Elijah from Jezebel before Elijah ran as He was after he huddled in his cave of fear.  Elijah's lie landed himself in the cave of shame, not God.  You see, that's the danger of our dishonesty.  When you believe your own lies, they become truth for you.  Elijah begged for his life to be over.  He fled, hid beneath a tree in the desert and gave up, then ran further away to hide under the rock when he should have been standing on it.  God was still powerful.  God still had plans to pull the ground from beneath Jezebel's feet.  God was still on Elijah's side.  God still had the ability to raise the dead when Elijah asked, drop fireworks from heaven on his command, and postpone the rain until Elijah said otherwise.  God remained unchanged.  The lie only changed Elijah.  And because he believed the lie, at least for the season he huddled himself in that cave, the lie might as well have been true.  

It's time we desired truth from our inner most being.  Choose truth.  Choose life!


  1. Wonderful, wonderful, WON-DER-FUL! I'm guilty of speaking these lies... but that is changing! God's word holds every truth we need! Praise the Lord.

  2. This is in one word :AWESOME!

    Thanks.. This has really opened my eyes and my heart!

  3. Sweet Sue, you do so good, honey. I'm so proud of you. I wandered away from God at one time but He never left me! I thank Him everyday for allowing me life long enough to take His hand again.
    I often think of that one sheep that strayed. You might want to use that sometime.
    Luke 15:4-7 I was that sheep...I like to put myself in that parable. I once was lost but now I'm found :-) Praise the LORD! Still begging forgiveness each day. I fall so short.

    I Love you.

  4. Sue, thanks for sharing and I love it and appreciate your honesty and the brevity of these great lessons from Elijah!

  5. Such Truth spoken here. THIS is a way to start my day!

  6. I love you so much! I finally get what you've been trying to tell me all these years. Let me rephrase that. I finally WANT to get what you've been telling me all these years.



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