It was so incredibly shocking to me when I first realised just how self-deceived I was. The emotional curse I inherited is not just common in me or my family, but within many people and families spread across the globe…. The lying curse. There is something sinister whispering lies to us, using our own voice, our own logic, our own feelings. Hiding deception within the very layers of our understanding of honesty!
The lying curse has been around as long as the human race. It began in the Garden of Paradise when Eve first believed the lie that our Heavenly Father could not be trusted. Her heart knew God was faithful, but her own voice said “How can I know for sure?” Her heart knew she was blessed in paradise with her Man and her Creator as companions, but her logic said “What if there is more that I am missing?”, and her heart knew she should not listen to the lies, but her emotions said “You deserve more!”
When emotions are so powerful, when desires are uncontrollable, our awareness of the lies we tell ourselves becomes woven into the opaque structures of our fallen humanity. YES WE BELIEVE OUR OWN LIES!
We become increasingly focused on our own self-preservation at the expense of others!
The saddest, scariest part about our humanity is that even when we are staring these lies right in the face, our automatic programming to self-defend clouds our willingness to see. No matter how long I have been aware of this curse, no matter how long I have written this blog or tried to share it’s truths, I am unable to reveal awareness of this curse to others.
“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still” – Benjamin Franklin
You see the only reason I know of this curse and all its toxicity, is because I wanted to know. Before then no one could have convinced me that I was lying to myself, I would have been stubborn and indignant in my own logic that their accusations were unfounded. I would have been offended and defensive.
However something shifted in my heart in my 20’s, something that shattered the false sense of innocence I had been seeing in the mirror up until then. I SAW MYSELF and I was HORRIFIED! I determined myself to do anything to break this curse, and so I began a long intensive journey of self-discovery, using God’s word as my new mirror. I was adamant that I would no longer believe another lie…. Ha who was I kidding! Once I began to pick away at the surface of lies I realised the true depth of them. In that awareness I am levelled at the foot of the cross, in a place where I am dependant on Grace more than BREATH!
It takes a very specific kind of experience to shock us into this kind of awareness, and the circumstances are different for each of us. It requires a place where our heart becomes exposed, where we see our life in the truth of its dysfunction, and how far removed it is from the purpose and blessed life God intended us to have. When we truly believe the promises in the Word, and that God wants ONLY GOOD for us. That He wants to lavish us in blessings! And finally we recognise that the role we have played is not as innocent as we have always believed.
That place becomes a dying experience of sorts, where we have come to the very end of our own strength, to the end of our self-reliance, to the end of our excuses, and ultimately the end of faith in ourselves and our abilities. When we say “I can’t keep living like this anymore. I am sick of the same toxic patterns repeating themselves over and over again! I can not take another step in this same direction!” Not just “something must change’, but rather “everything must change, especially ME! and I have no idea where to start!”
This concept of reaching the end of yourself I have written on before here, which explains the tipping point between self-reliance & self-deception, and COMPLETE SURRENDER!
Surrendering to truth and surrendering to the Almighty is where your true self can begin! It is the sharp turn around a blind corner, with no foresight to cushion the fear, and yet you make that turn because you have tried every other turn and didn’t like where it led. All of a sudden humility becomes an honour, and will-power becomes a farce. That is where miraculous transformations occur!
Everything in the world will try to prevent that turn, and everything inside us will deny it’s necessity, but we deserve to see the truth, for the TRUTH WILL SET US FREE!
I have held two completely opposing views of Love throughout my life. In my youth one version took the lead role, to put it bluntly this version was selfish and unstable. In my adult years my Dad introduced me to the other version, the selfless, unwavering Love of God. It took a great deal of effort, self-awareness, and many prayers to undo some of the automatic thinking patterns that my misguided version of Love had established inside my heart, and in my behaviour. Even after 17 years of walking closely with God, straining in pursuit of Christ-likeness, I still battle over which version of love will show up. I am astounded when I unconsciously perform acts of unselfish love, because I recognise it is really Christ working in me, changing me. And yet I am still aware and filled with regret over the times my selfish love rears its ugly head.
This battle between the two versions of love, is as old as time itself, and the biggest misconception of love has been applied to the character of God, God who not only is the very source of all pure love, but who in fact IS LOVE. I feel an enormous amount of urgency to restore the reputation of God, and overturn our understanding of Love, love without coercion or expectation, the freedom and peace true love brings, as opposed to the selfish version the enemies of God have flooded throughout the world. These enemies deny the very existence of love, replacing it with obsession, possession, lust and self-satisfaction, in complete apostasy to the self-sacrificial heart of Christ. Christ came to show us what God’s love looks like, for we unconsciously accepted the falsehood that the enemy was spilling across the earth.
Learning of God’s love revolutionised my life, and I pray my words don’t fall on deaf ears as I hope to shine some light on the battle between deceptive versions and the incomparable version of true love, God’s love.
Love yearns for deep truthful connection, with no equivocation, no hidden secrets, no self-serving agenda. It waits patiently for the chords of love to grow in secure freedom, with loyal untainted unwavering hope. The love that Yeshua imparted to the world took nothing but gave everything. It held nothing back for itself, almost as if love was worthless without loving us perfectly and completely.
Human nature convinces us that we are loving when we feel the desire to connect with others, and yet we have little concept of gaining nothing from it. We push for it because in some way we expect it to satisfy us. We make promises founded on our fragile willingness to hope, then at the first sign that our expectations won’t be met, our promises disintegrate into dust. God’s love keeps its promises because it has no alternative. This is founded in the fact that His promises are based on His character and not on our ability to deserve them, to earn them, or even request them in hope. We only need accept them, trust them, believe in them.
So what about that flood of misguided love that has misrepresented the character of God? What about all those scary threats in the Bible that religious institutions have been using as a means to coerce the world into crouching into a position of slavery and fear under the hypercritical God we’ve all heard about?
The warnings of Hell or Destruction are not threats of punishment. They are a sign post, severely cautioning us as to the unavoidable results of a life separate from God’s love. For He can not protect us from the hellish suffering we are reaping upon ourselves by keeping our hearts and souls hidden from His grace-filled love.
If our souls are energy and energy never dies, but only changes form, then what else is to be concluded but an eternal existence for our souls? What kind of eternal existence our souls obtain is completely up to us. And because True Love doesn’t coerce, God gave us a choice. He gave us the freedom to choose His loving protection and freedom from slavery to sin, or to continue on believing the deceptions. Deceptions which taint our understanding of love and keep us trapped within the selfish empty character of our human nature. A nature that causes us to act in ways that have negative consequences, consequences we then blame God for even after professing that we don’t believe in Him.
The world system sees might, muscle and domination as powerful, and yet the power of God’s love restores what the worlds ‘power’ has destroyed.
God uses the world stage as a template of what eternity will look like without being connected to God’s love. This place is a temporary speck in time compared to the infinite permanent Love of God. His ‘wrath’ is a perfect response to His perfect assessment of who we become when selfishness taints the love He created us to need. His response shows His intense concern for our souls. In His omnipotent wisdom He knows that our desires and self-indulgent hearts are not only taking us away from His love and Blessings, but leading us into the toxic wasteland of Satanic slavery and encouraging others to join us, our children included.
God’s wrath against sin doesn’t come from hatred or impatience or cruelty, as it would from our tainted versions of love. It comes from an all knowing concern for us and our impending existence without the abundant gifts, the eternal freedom and peace that only His love can give. Our belief in His love transforms us, making us able to truly love as Christ loved.
God’s love is made available to us and through us, a free gift offered, wrapped with drops of blood shed to prove its authenticity. The most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves is to look upward, let His love change us and set us free, so that we can reciprocate and share that Love with our own overturned love, no longer tainted.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)
Our minds are extremely powerful, capable of incredible feats of deep thinking, absorbing knowledge and understanding, and making innovative discoveries. Yet for many of us with a creative mind, which is so often accompanied with manic thought patterns laced with insecurity, our minds may at times begin to feel like an enemy that we cannot always trust to have our best interests at heart. This concept lies at the heart of Inner Angels and Enemies.
During our journey in faith we become aware of God’s ever present and watchful eye upon us. Even if we somehow managed to avoid and drown it out previously, we soon find ourselves very aware of its constancy as we pursue righteousness and Christ likeness.
I realised recently that my regular overthinking patterns are severely impacted by the pursuit of righteousness and the undoubtable fact that God’s eye never leaves me, plus my constant awareness of Him and ALL that He is. Which is wonderful when considering His abundant Love, Protection and Provision. Yet when concerning the wicked hidden intentions of our hearts, our pride and our selfishness, knowing that God is always watching can become something to shy away from, leading to self-condemnation and excess guilt.
Inner Enemies are always trying to convince us of God’s apparent tyranny. Using our vulnerability under God’s watchful eye, to emphasize our flaws and failings, in an aim to use our shame to motivate us to HIDE from God’s sight. This scheme goes back to the beginning of mankind when Adam and Eve first tried to HIDE from God in the Garden of Eden.
“They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”… (Genesis 3: 8-10)
Thinking on this we see that they hid themselves because they were ashamed. Yet God is well aware of our hidden flaws, and the things we are ashamed of, there is no hiding no matter how much we try. We can only distance ourselves from Him at our end, by closing our hearts off to Him and by trying to ignore His presence, leaving us separated from His covenant protection, and provision. Is that really what we want?
I was prompted to ponder this in more detail recently when I read this scripture.
“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love” (Psalms 33:18)
When we read that word FEAR we immediately begin to conjure up images in our heads of being afraid, scared, perhaps of someone unfair, selfish and even evil. This is The Enemy once again suggesting that God is an intimidating bully of some description. Yet that word Fear has interpretations meaning to “Cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe, and to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe” This fear is the automatic response of our heart when we are deeply rooted in respect and admiration for God’s omnipotence. Just as any respectful child has high esteem looking up to those in a loving but firm position of authority over them, such as a parent, a guardian, a mentor, or coach. Therefore, we can have this same awed fealty when we return God’s gaze with our own.
Then we read about ‘those who hope in God’s unfailing love’. Those who have spent enough time in true relationship with the Almighty will have plenty of evidence of His goodness to find hope in His unfailing Love. The Holy Spirit who has been growing within us, guides us to depend on the truth of God’s Love, which God’s very nature and power are established in. It is only our Inner Enemies that hold up our shame and guilt as reasons to doubt the truth of His love.
But what about all those flaws that we are ashamed of? Doesn’t He want us to improve our character towards righteousness?
ABSOLUTELY! It is the most important task He has assigned each of us in the entire universe!
But righteousness only truly happens in us when we press into HIM. He offers us a way through His loving grace to develop a character like Christ. Under His watchful eye He purges our deepest hidden wickedness and replaces it with His very own spirit, He removes our shame and replaces it with freedom. When we constantly reciprocate His gaze by keeping our eyes focused on Him miracles within us begin to happen!
If we had valid reasons to HIDE from Him this whole system would fail!
Isn’t it about time we asked ourselves which entity has the most to gain from the consensus that God is someone to hide from?
The Enemy of God’s whole purpose in existence is to dethrone God and take his place, not just in the Kingdoms of the Universe but most importantly inside each of us. If God is not seated in the highest position of our hearts then the Enemy is, usually in the form of one of his worldly distractions. There is no 3rd option!
What better way to dethrone God than to undermine God’s unfailing love and righteousness, by giving us suggestions of God’s tyranny and reasons to hide our hearts from Him? These are lies in a devious attempt to keep us imprisoned in our own selfish prideful flesh so we may not seek to discover the abundant growth that comes from an intimate relationship with the Awesome Almighty Creator of the Universe who just wants to be close to us!
After everything God and I have been through together, He has unfailingly convinced me that He operates in this system of Love & Grace, reassuring me that there is NO need to HIDE from Him! My spirit grows in trusting Him each time I fall at His feet and He uses my failings and flaws to humble my heart and then uses me to glorify Him!! Amen!!
Therefore I am so utterly grateful for His ever watchful eye. :’) Aren’t you?
Let us not then hide in shame from the God who watches over us, let us reciprocate his loving gaze with our own and keep our eyes and hearts focused on Him. You will never regret it!
When I was a young adult I made all my decisions based on what I felt was right. I trusted my feelings above all else. I truly believed that I was upstanding, that I was honourable, that I was right. Aren’t we all so good at self-delusion?
In my mid twenties I welcomed my Dad back into my life, and he introduced me to God and His word with new perspective. I began to see how the words on the pages cut through the lies the enemy had been using to hide my intentions from me. Lies that encouraged me to compare myself to others so I could deem myself to be better, smarter, kinder, more organised, more loving, more righteous than those around me. Easy enough when I compared myself to those who appeared to be lacking in areas I was adept in. A labyrinth of lies stood between the intentions of my heart and my conscious thoughts. Each secret pathway was filled with excuses, with comparisons, with emotions. I was completely unaware of the truth in my heart.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9
I had yet to learn how to investigate the heart of the girl in the mirror, without the rose coloured glasses Inner Enemies had placed over my eyes.
The word of God did just as the scriptures said it would. It cut through to the bone and exposed my hidden intentions that I had been completely oblivious to.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”. Hebrews 4:12
Seeing the truth about my wicked heart was a turning point in my life. I was shocked into self-awareness, ripped from the false sense of security the labyrinth of deceptions had given. I saw a heart that was self-seeking, dishonest, and emotionally manipulative. Yet the hardest blow came when I saw that not only were my emotions manipulating those around me, those I ‘loved’, they had also been manipulating me!
In my youth I had a gift of twisting my own lies into the most believable display, I was very good at convincing others of my mis-truths, sometimes I was so persuasive I began to believe my own lies. Once I felt the conviction of how clearly I had been deluded and how easily I had fooled myself, I began to distrust my feelings, rather than allowing them to make all my decisions, I gave in and let the word of God do it’s healing work in me. I began instead to despise deception and I developed a love and pursuit of truth, as a result God has used the sharp edge of the sword to cut away each segment of that labyrinth of lies. I came to understand that this is how God uses our sin, plus His word and His grace, to sew His laws into our hearts.
“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Jeremiah 31:33)
Facing up to the true wickedness of our own heart, which has so well worn a righteous mask, is one of the most self-damning experiences, and Inner Enemies love to overplay their hand. They will try to use this awareness to shroud us in guilt, guilt that is so hideous we become afraid to enter into God’s presence. Inner Enemies tell us that our sins are too appauling to forgive. However when we learn that God’s grace is far more abundant than our sin, if we recognise this trick and learn that so long as we confess our sin to God He is faithful and swift to forgive us. He will bring us into a new covenant where another level of Holy Spirit is given to us, to fight against the lies, against the guilt, so that God may do a miraculous work on our hearts. God can then fulfil His intentions to circumcise the hard and wicked outer case of our hearts, to reveal a soft place for His voice to be established, and malleable hearts that bend to His will. Then He can give us all the blessings a righteous heart deserves and more.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favour You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalms 5:12
“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17
“LORD, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;” Psalms 15:1-2
“Behold, I will lay your stones with colourful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.” Isaiah 54:11-14
When was the last time you felt torn, tested, tempted and deceived? Throughout my walk this has happened many times. Always before a huge breakthrough and a jump to a new level of faith, but at the time it is happening it is extremely tough going, dragging me to the edges of my sanity. My heart pulls one way, my flesh the other, my mind and my spirit also tug in opposite directions. It’s quite hard to focus and be effective when you feel split four ways. It can make you behave in ways that feel foreign and out of character. Scarily, cracks in focus easily lead to deception. My Dad used to say that being deceived was his biggest fear, and even though I too strive desperately for discernment, I recognise that hindsight exposes when deception has occurred. Thankfully Our Gracious Father above can turn our tests into our testimonies!
A faith walk is like walking along a join in the pavement, it’s a balancing act where missed footing doesn’t lead to an instant fall, in fact it can feel much the same as walking that fine line. If we forget to pay attention to each and every precise step, we may not even notice how far from the narrow path we have strayed.
Not only is having an effective faith walk a wobbly balancing act, fulfilling Godly purpose is a journey fraught with potholes. When a believer is determined to exercise their righteous gifts, venturing toward the goal God has placed in their destiny, they are certain to step into enemy territory. These determined ones are top priority foes for the enemy to tempt, to attack, to deceive. A common ruse the enemy uses is the counterfeit, often disguised in such a way as to appear Godly. Counterfeits come in many forms, false prophets, imitation faith, counterfeit gifts, and all are blatant impersonations of God, a subject I have written on previously in this post.
On a personal level, counterfeit gifts have been dancing circles around about me, on and off throughout my life. They attempt to drag my attention away from the true gifts which God placed in my spirit many years ago. New gifts are often exciting, bringing with them enthusiasm, inspiration, motivation, gratification. While gifts that are well worn often appear to have less of the glamour and more of the work. Hell bent on leading us away from our calling, the enemy can strut right up with a bright shiny new counterfeit ‘gift’ and convince us that it is a Godly one. The counterfeit appears so close to the genuine article that it takes some time before the truth becomes clear, the enemy can even mislead us within the very same nature of our genuine gift. Many times we can dive headfirst into the counterfeit because we believe wholeheartedly that God is the designer of it.
The scriptures warn us to be wary of falling for a counterfeit…
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
For me, deception is usually closely related to a manic episode, a humbling little quirk God obviously thought my personality could use. A manic episode is like being stuck to the side of a snowball rolling down an avalanche. Starting off small and manageable, perhaps a little bumpy, yet before you know it, it has grown bigger than you can cope with and find yourself hurtling toward the ground at a frightening pace, convinced of your ultimate destruction. It is easy to be misled when your thoughts have taken on a life and speed of their own.
This time of year is always somewhat manic, and discernment is particularly challenging around Christmas time when the enemy is in full force against believers who spread the true message of Christ and reject the Santa myth. Thankfully, true to form God’s word always gives guidance and weapons to wage war against these inner enemies.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”
I recognise that in order to ‘bring every thought into captivity’, I need to be willing to pause for thought in the midst of the chaos and listen out for God’s instructions which I need to submit to and obey. I need to slow down my thoughts, I need some quiet time, some mindfulness, some time focused on God’s abundant presence.
I pray fervently, Lord help us focus our thoughts, pulling them into captivity and obedience. Show us the counterfeits and deceptions so we may fulfill the purpose of our true gifts. In Yeshua’s Mighty Name. Amen!