There are many lies that we believe about ourselves that stop us from moving forward into our destiny. When we believe these lies about who and what we aren’t, there can be grave and stifling effects. These lies and labels hide the truth of who we are meant to be and snuff out the life we are meant to live.
Whether these lies are rooted in shame, fear, or a misunderstanding of God’s nature, they all have the same destructive result. If the enemy can get you to believe a lie, or take on a label you ought not to, then your whole picture of life will become distorted.
You are not the only one who has fallen prey to lies. Here are some the most common ones we believe:
1. “I Can Do It on My Own”
We tend to be entrapped by the thought that our problems are a burden to others, so we take matters into our own hands. Too many of us are carrying burdens alone and it is crippling. It is a path that leads to isolation and weariness. Whether you have one friend or a battalion of friends, we are better together than we are alone.
Our problems are not an inconvenience to God. God tells us to cast our cares on him and that his burden is light. This “I can do it on my own” mentality is another one of the enemy’s schemes to keep us isolated and bound. Freedom comes when having done all that we can to stand, we allow our brothers and sisters to hold our arms up in our weakness. Moses had Aaron. David had Jonathan. Elijah had Elisha. Timothy had Paul. Jesus had the disciples. I cannot imagine how much more difficult my circumstances would be without the encouragement and prayers of my friends.
It is a very brave thing to admit to you cannot do it on our own. God can always work with that.
2. “I Am Not Qualified”
There is this notion that only those who are in full time ministry or on church staff are those qualified by God. We exalt positions and titles and discount ourselves. There is not a 10-step list of how God chooses or equips his sons and daughters. In addition, God isn’t looking for who prays the most eloquent prayers, he doesn’t pit our testimonies next to each other to pick the best one, he isn’t looking at our lives to see who is serving in the most ministries. You are qualified because you are His.
His word says in 1 Peter 2:9, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him…”. In the Bible, when God called Gideon and Moses to their respective missions, they both had concerns about whether they were qualified to do what God was requiring of them. However, they chose to give an obedient ‘Yes’ to God. God is looking for those who—though they cannot see how they fit into the equation—are willing-obedient.
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealth when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important (1 Corinthians 1:26-28).
3. “Vulnerability Is Weakness”
I come from a family that publicly we were what seemed to be a functional put together family and behind closed doors it was a knock-down-drag-out WWF tag team match. Being open about our feelings and thoughts was not something encouraged, but more so ridiculed. So, I learned to bottle things up and all the pain that I was carrying manifested in different ways (i.e anger, low self-esteem and people-pleasing, etc).
The high of life was not enough to fill that emptiness that I felt.
So many of us walk around broken because we allow the hurt or disillusionment from a situation to close our hearts and define who God is. Not to say that the stings of those experiences don’t hurt, but there really comes a point where we need to “let go and let God”. There comes a point where we have camped out in the land of grief and disappointment for too long. We need to trust that God can give us the strength and faith to move on. We need to trust that he can set us free and fill our empty spaces with healing.
The enemy deceives us into thinking that if we open up and talk about our issues we will be met with judgment or shame. However, the truth is vulnerability in the right hands will always lead you to your freedom. Vulnerability is the doorway to deep intimacy with God.
4. “God Could Never Use Someone Like Me”
We say things like, “God could never use someone like me” as if there is a criterion. God has never placed parameters on who He loves, commissions, equips, or forgives. His response to us has always been to come. Come and drink. Come and eat. Come and see. Come and follow. Our one job is to respond to his love manifested through grace — that is it. God will never confront you with your past to propel to your future.
Yes, things of the past will be dealt with along the journey of sanctification, but it is not a precursor to serving him. We need to stop shortchanging our freedom and destinies. There is a sense of unworthiness that we tend to project upon God because of shame. Shame no longer needs to be the lens you see yourself through.
In Hebrews 12:2 it states, “because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame”. You are the joy that has always awaited God. Aren’t you thankful you serve a God that disregards the shame and greets you with dignity? He created us to be “instruments for his special purposes to be useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Tim2:21).
5. “I Need To Perform Be Seen”
In life, the more you put into something the more you hope to get out of it. For instance, if we put enough effort into our work, we hope to be noticed and finally get that commendation we were hoping for. Such is the practice we have in serving God, where if we are not careful we fall into the trap of performance thus becoming more concerned with how much we do to be seen and less concerned with the why. We have become professional performers, getting involved in every ministry possible. We are on the worship team, the greeters team, the missions team, the youth team, the production team, the offering team, the tear down team, the prayer team.
It is exhausting. We must break the agreement that we are not seen or worthy to be seen. You don’t have to manipulate to be seen. We are seen by God, simply because we are his. When the Prodigal Son was far off on his road back home scripture says,“He was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). We serve a God who see us and meets us where we are before we ever lift a finger of performance.
6. “I Am Alone”
There is this constant theme in the Bible where God goes off the beaten path to encounter those who are alone. God found Hagar in the wilderness and provided shade for her head and rest for her weary soul. Jesus found Peter while he alone in the mundanities of life and called him to be a disciple. He talked to the Samaritan woman at the well. He highlighted Ruth in the field. He met Paul in prison. He met Hannah in the temple. He met with lepers on the road of isolation and the demon possessed in caves of banishment.
God has had his eye on you since he knit you together in your mother’s womb. It is in his nature to always come after the one he loves. People come and go, but he will never leave you nor forsake you. He goes before you. His goodness and his mercy follows you. His angels encamp around you. His Holy Spirit is in you. God has made it that every move that we make, that every breath that we breathe is met with his presence.
He is our first, greatest, and forever companion.
7. “If Only I Was Like This Person”
In a culture of social media, comparison has been at its worst. We now see the lives of others through our screens. Through stories and posts we find out about the pretty details of the friends and celebrities we follow.
However, there is a trap that we are prone to succumb to when we behold something for too long. We begin to view your lives through the lens of that thing and begin to see the inconsistencies in our own life. We glorify the results of someone’s hustle, not realizing the arduous process it took to get there. We idolize posts of glamorous lives, having no clue about personal demons and trials these people are dealing with.
This comparison is a distraction to rob us of being our true selves. A platform should never determine who you are, but who you are determines how you use that platform. You are enough. What you have to offer is enough. You don’t have to be fake to fit in. You can be yourself.
Don’t let a copy of you rob the world of the original version of you. We are all called according to his purposes. We all have a destiny that God wants to work in us and through us.
8. “I Am Not Accepted”
We all have this desire to be a part of something. We want to be picked first to be on the team. We all desire to be chosen in love. These all point to the inherent feeling of belonging.
The Bible says that when the world was void, God began to fill it. As he created the sun, firmaments, and all of creation, he declared that it was good. Society tells us that we should behave to prove that we belong-that we need to change our look, our speech, and ourselves and there lies the deception of Satan. In Genesis 1:31 it states, “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good, and He validated it completely”.
We have been seeking validation in the wrong thing; a validation we already have been given by God. We are first and foremost accepted by the one whose opinion matters the most. Our greatest freedom comes in knowing that he has seen the worst in us, knows our secret sins and accepts us anyway.
9. “What I Have To Say Doesn’t Matter”
Being the youngest in my loud family it was quite difficult to ever get a word in. Children should be seen and not heard was the rule of thumb in my upbringing. What I didn’t realize was how much this devalued my words and even thoughts. I became afraid to speak up for what I believed, closed off, and was even afraid to pray out loud.
Our strongest weapon is in our voice. It is the enemy’s tactic to silence us. There is life and death in the power of what we speak. Power to build up and tear down. Power to bind and loose. Power to bless and curse. God spoke and the earth and all of heaven came into existence. When we declare the name of Jesus we invite heaven onto Earth. To stay silent is to squelch our dreams, remain where we have already been, and to never fully discover who we are and whose we are.
10. “I Don’t Have Authority”
Jesus only did as his father instructed him to do; that is where His authority lies. It has little to do with us and all to the with the one who gives it. When we embrace the father’s authority, we become a force to be reckoned with. Every time we exercise our authority we are spreading God’s fame and government across this Earth. The power of the name of Jesus comes to life every time we use your authority.
The enemy is quite threatened by this authority given to God’s people through the Holy Spirit. So, he puts fear and distraction in the hearts of men to stifle that authority which comes from God. The enemy knows that when we take authority, God’s power is revealed: healing is brought forth, demons flee, souls are set free, lives are healed, we come into our true selves and the kingdom of God is at hand. It is that same authority that removed the sting of death and the grave. Your authority is your victory.
It is time for us to break agreements with these labels and lies. They have wreaked havoc on our lives for far too long. It is time to release the kingdom of God and his truth over our lives. You are accepted. You are chosen. You are seen. You are of worth. You are created with purpose. You are enough.
You are not a copy, but best when you embrace that you are Tailor Made.
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