Saturday, November 17, 2012

Satan's Three Lies

This fall, I had the opportunity to participation in a program through my church called Redemption Group. Redemption Group is an 8 week intensive program that is comparable to what some might call "group therapy" (minus the baloney about "turning inward to find your true self"). The program consists of a weekend intensive, followed by 8 weeks of teaching and group discussion time once a week, accompanied by a book called - you guessed it - Redemption.

I had all sorts of expectations about what the experience might or might not be like. The one thing I was certain of going into the group was that I only had a marginal amount of "work" to do on my life, and so I planned to just sit out the ride and help the other people in the group work on their lives.

And glory be to God, I could not have been more wrong.

Giving it Grace: God had a lot planned for me, but He had to show me a lot first - about my past, how I viewed my past, and how I view myself (and God) now because of the first two. It got worse before it got better, but I'm really thankful I stuck it out. In the end, I can't imagine having not gone through it!

After a particularly hard week, I basically "gave up" on God. I went to group bitter, and decided that God and I were not talking, and I was just going to show up so that I wouldn't get in trouble. I defiantly decided that in my stand-off with God, I was going to block out all thoughts about myself and Him, and only focus on what the other women had to share. Shame on me for not listening better to them all along. Yet, in my defiance, God was still faithful. I was listening to the other women talk, it became clear to me that us Christian women (and probably most men) spend more of our time falling prey to the same three lies from Satan:

  • Lie #1: That God cannot both be good AND sovereign. Satan tells us that God is good, but not totally in control...or that God is totally in control, but not always good. He uses that lie to get us to doubt God, when the only thing we can do to bring God joy is to TRUST Him. The truth is, God is both sovereign and good. What often distorts truth is that we have our own ideas of what "good" is.
  • Lie #2: Some/any justification of feeling prideful:  I learned early on that pride is the mother of all sins, giving birth to little mini-sins like control, anxiety, fear, absence of prayer, having idols, idleness laziness, etc...the list goes on and on. What's really sneaky is that Satan makes his lies sound like our very own thoughts, so it's hard to know that it's even him lying to us! The truth is, God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
  • Lie #3: That somehow, for some reason, you are "different" than the others. I group "feeling alone" into this, because the assumption there is that everyone else has someone, but you are different in that you are alone. The main way I saw this lie play out in the group was the idea that "my sin is different because I have a reason or justification for it, so thus I am different than you and I don't need to repent." This lie, in my opinion, builds off the other two. A compound lie, if you will...Satan gets bored with just one lie apparently, and thus builds them on top of each other. The truth is, our past may explain us but it doesn't define us; God defines us.
This is an incredibly short reflection on the whole experience, but I wanted to share the three lies that became so clear to me. I keep seeing them manifest in my own life so clearly now that they've been pointed out to me. If you have any interest in reading the book, I got a  lot out of it and the discussion it promoted between Kyle and I. Check it out here (and don't be alarmed by the startling cover!)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing :) I think it's great you keep working on yourself and your relationship to God. I definitely have a pretty severe anxiety component in my life and so need to look into this book I think.