I am an idealist. Actually the most ideal of all the idealist. I remember as a child hearing about crimes on the local news and thinking…those people don’t mean to do those things deep down inside. I couldn’t shake the feeling that all those people making bad choices were a result of wounds and lies that had them bound. I know this is not the popular opinion, but I don’t see a bunch of bad people, I see a bunch of hurt wounded people bound by lies. Lies they believe about themselves, others and God.
When we believe lies, we empower the liar. That’s why taking our thoughts captive is so vital. All lies start small, like a brick. When the lie is empowered by us, these bricks start to form walls and if we are not careful we have can create a fortress in our minds. This fortress, a city where the lies live can create a false reality for us to live in. Thoughts are a powerful force and can rope our emotions on board fairly easily. So now you can have your thoughts and emotions all lined up, believing a lie. The lie feels so real, so normal. Your whole being is used to believing these lies so it becomes your reality. How many people are living in a false reality they have created for themselves based on lies.
Let’s take a look at an example. I am a failure. That one is easy enough to believe. To adopt as our identity. Just because you fail at something doesn’t mean your a failure. Everyone fails at something at some point in their lives. That’s how we learn and make adjustments. Maybe someone told you that you were a failure. Instead of rejecting that idea, you let it sink in and started pondering all the times you have failed. Now you are letting this lie take root in your mind. Then you start thinking, why even start a project because you will fail. This lie starts to built a wall. every time you assume you are a failure you add bricks to the fortress. Soon it becomes normal, feels right. Your emotions start to line up with your thoughts and now you feel like a failure. If this process isn’t stopped you will begin to make a false reality out of being a failure, adopting it as who you are, a failure.
Think of the impact of this one lie, that wasn’t stopped in its tracks. All the future decisions that you passed on because you thought you weren’t good enough, jobs you didn’t apply for, people you didn’t talk to. Lies rob us of our destiny and we need to arrest them the second they come to our minds. Before they have a chance to become bricks that built walls.
I want to propose the idea that you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are not your identity. What if you had the ability to step back from your mind and look at your thoughts, like you look at the tv. Observe the thoughts. You would see many thoughts flying through your head. Thoughts from the Holy Spirit, your thoughts and the enemy’s thoughts. Instead of living out each thought, claiming each thought, what if you could watch them go by and decide what ones you wanted to keep.
So how do you recognize which thoughts are yours? God’s? The enemy’s? Revealing the enemy’s thoughts to start with is going to be the easiest. John 10:10 tells us he comes to kill steal and destroy so any thought that is destructive would be from him. I’m not good enough, I’m not powerful, I’m ugly, nobody likes me, I am poor, I’m unwanted, and many more. Some lies may even come from a false church doctrine or belief and is harder to recognize. I still hear beliefs floating around like, God hates sinners, God’s love is conditional, God only wants to heal certain people. These lies are built within a religious structure and can appear to be truth. It’s not possible to list off every lie, just look for thoughts that steal your passion, cause shame, promote fear, are unloving to others or yourself.
Recognizing the lies is not enough, they need to be replaced with truth. If your having trouble hearing the voice of the Lord, scripture is a great place to begin looking for truth. What does God have to say about you? John 10:10 tells us that the Lord wants us to have life abundantly! His voice brings life, power, encouragement, love, confidence, freedom. You may hear Him say He is pleased with you, He loves you.
If you have been believing a lie, the truth may not feel real to you yet. Try writing God’s promises on note cards and placing them around your house. Practice saying them out loud daily. Say it until it feels true. Declaring truth is so important. Meditate on promises from God’s word. Speak it, read it, feel it.