John 8:31-32 - "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 14:6 - "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
I'm learning: Jesus is the truth. And he, exposing lies by the light of his truth, has been setting me free from so much bondage in my life. Bondage like insecurity. Pride. Envy. Chains that have bound me, he has broken. PRAISE THE LORD!
I am still a work in progress; I always will be. This freedom I have been granted is in Christ alone, and in the light of the presence of the Lord my tendency to fall back into these traps is exposed, and by his grace, I am able to continually surrender them to him and allow him to remove them from my life. It is a cycle of grace. It is beautiful. In it, there is freedom and joy. I am so thankful!
Yet, there are still areas that come up that need to be exposed, still chains that need to be broken. Through prayer, this one came to my attention the other day, when I was at a near-breaking point, crying out to the Lord for help:
The stronghold of lies.
I have been lied to much of my life. Lies that come at me in the form of statements, or sometimes, questions. Much like the serpent with Eve in the garden... There are questions in my mind that begin with, "Did God really say...?"
Jesus described the devil this way...
John 8:44 - "...He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Some of the lies that I've been hearing and believing much of my life sound much like this:
"You're failing. You're a failure."
"You are a problem."
"This is your fault."
"You can't do anything very well."
"What is wrong with you?"
"You are unstable."
"You're not amounting to much of anything, nor can you."
"You have no self-control; you need get a grip and learn to control yourself."
Etc, etc, etc...
Sound familiar? Perhaps you've heard similar things.
Yet, I am learning some stuff. God wouldn't say anything like that to me. In fact, he says the opposite. He tells me I'm loved and valued. He tells me that he does everything well, and I am the result of his good work. He tells me that there is nothing wrong with me that he hasn't been able to fix. He tells me that he is my stability, my rock. He tells me that I'm his child, and that I don't have to earn that place. He tells me that self-control is not a reflection of my effort but a result of his Spirit living and working inside of me.
And he... Is truth.
He also tells me that he is my righteousness, and that I can be strong in his might. He tells me there is a battle, and it's spiritual... But all I need to do to win is STAND... with HIM. Armed with his presence, his words, his life.
2 Corinthians 5:21 - "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Ephesians 6:10-17 - "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
John 15:7 - "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 - "For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete."
By God's grace, I am experiencing the joy of his presence and the power of his might. I am learning remind myself of truth in my life. When lies come into my head, I'm learning to pick up "The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." God's words speak LIFE and over me. God's words cover me with truth... with Christ. And this truth can destroy strongholds and set me free.
Galations 5:1 - "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
Proverbs 18:10 - "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe."
I will not submit to these lies, this yoke of slavery. I will run into the name of the Lord, my rock and my strong tower. I will run into the name of Jesus, who is truth and whose true words defeat the enemy and his lies, lifting me up from the pit of destruction.
"I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told."
John 8:36 - "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
I am free indeed! GOD IS GOOD!
[Bold emphasis throughout this post is mine.]