Amy recently wrote a blog post about her many encounters with skip lorries. As so often happens for prophets, the things that go on in their lives reflect what God is doing with people around her and further afield. Her experiences tied in with me hearing some teaching about seeking God about lies in our lives. So often events as small as an off-hand comment someone makes or as big as a large trauma can make us agree with and accept a lie about ourselves, and if they are not exposed and contradicted with truth, then they become part of who we are. We can build whole systems of behaviour and reactions around them.
It can be so easy to let this rubbish into our lives, and to hold on to things we should have let go – and that’s when we require a skip lorry to come and block the road for a while as we get sorted out. But actually, how much better would it be if we could keep the clutter to a minimum and keep seeking the Lord as to the things we have let in?
So, while feeling ok about myself and not particularly worried about anything, I thought I would dare to take up the challenge. I found a few minutes to myself (which can be tricky these days!) and said to God, ‘Lord, what lie have I built my life upon?’ To my surprise, some words came pretty quickly into my head.
The lie: that I am slow-witted.
I don’t know for certain when this came in, because I’m pretty sure it hasn’t always been there. I don’t remember feeling that way about myself at school or university. But now I feel it – when I’m surrounded by witty and clever people I feel as though I have nothing to contribute. This may surprise people I know personally, and partly it is introversion and not wanting to find babysitters all the time, but there is definitely part of me that shies away from social interactions.
When that lie popped into my head, I was absolutely floored by how insidious it is. I wouldn’t say these feelings are strong or overwhelming – more just a background niggle, but I have allowed them to permeate nearly every aspect of my life.
The lie that I am slow-witted leads on to further lies:
- I am not funny and witty in social settings
- I can’t argue my point and convince people
- People aren’t interested in what I have to say
- I am not clever enough to teach people
- I can’t make decisions on controversial topics because I can’t think things through philosophically or find the truth by searching scripture
I wrote lots more than this down in my journal, and then it became clear why God wanted to expose this lie in me right now – as I begin to look forward to a ministry where he wants me to teach and bring insights from him.
Exposing the lie (and acknowledging it to be a lie) is often the biggest part of the battle. So what do I do now?
1) I repent for accepting the lie in my life as truth (I break agreement with it)
2) I choose not to allow it to rule any longer (I break partnership with it)
3) I declare the truth instead – finding scripture to emphasise it
4) I choose the opposite of the lie
Here’s the prayer I wrote in my journal:
Father, I am sorry for believing the lie that I am slow-witted. I choose not to partner with it any more and break agreement with it. I declare that you created my mind and it is good. I do not need to know anything other than Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and you have called me to speak, teach and lead the broken to you to find freedom and healing. I choose to let you speak through me. I choose to stop rejecting my mind and to allow you in.
This is not just a one-off prayer, but it will be a process for me – every time I am required to interact socially or speak and teach in any way. But if I keep declaring and praying the opposite, then the truth will take root and grow, so I can be more effective for Jesus and the Kingdom.
Will you take up the challenge? Ask the Holy Spirit: “What lie have I allowed to permeate my life?”