I’m leading a ladies’ Bible study right now called “The Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.” This is hands down one of my favorite studies because it opened my eyes big time to areas in my life I was allowing the enemy to deceive me, and it ended up transforming me spiritually. Even though it was hard to really look at myself in the mirror and truly examine my own heart, I grew so much through the study and still re-read the book every summer at the beach. Even now, I recognize when I catch myself starting to listen to or believe something that I know goes against God’s Word.
Here’s the deal. Satan uses lies to lead us into sin and bondage. Every sin can be traced back to a lie. He wants us there because he knows he can make us feel defeated, frustrated, overwhelmed, discouraged, insecure, ashamed, unworthy, etc., and then the Lord can’t use us. Anyone else felt that way? I know I have.
When I think of bondage that affects women, these are some areas I think of: addiction (alcohol, drugs, pills, shopping, FB, working out, food), lying, debt/shopping, eating disorders, guilt, past, need for approval, fear of rejection, unforgiveness (toward others or self)/bitterness), gossip, fear of failure/rejection, worry, self-pity, jealousy, depression. And NONE of us are above any of these things. We have to constantly guard our hearts because we are all once choice- believing one lie- away from getting into this.
Think back to the garden when the serpent deceived Eve to get her to eat from the tree…her ONE limitation! Read Genesis 3:1-24. That’s EXACTLY how the enemy is still working in our lives today. When I think about Eve & how she must have felt, I feel like I can relate. There have been so many times I have caught myself thinking “Did God REALLY say that?” or “Surely he can forgive me just this one time without any consequences. It wasn’t THAT bad and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
Satan knows where we are most vulnerable to being deceived, and that is where he will target his attack. A number of lies are particularly deceptive because they are “half-truths” rather than outright lies. The enemy knows most believers aren’t going to believe anything that goes directly against God, so he has to be more “cunning.” He specifically wants to attack our relationship with the Lord though and what we believe about God.
There is nothing more crucial than what we believe about God because what we believe about God is foundational to our whole belief system and determines the way we live. If we believe things about Him that aren’t true, we will eventually act on those lies and end up in bondage.
Most of us would never SAY that we believe these lies about God. In fact, we may not even realize that we are believing them (yet another attack from the enemy), but the truth is, our lives may reflect that we have fallen prey to believing them. Sometimes our heart is wicked & makes us “feel” things that aren’t true, and if we aren’t grounded in the Word & don’t have these things resolved in our minds, Satan may be attacking have found a little crack to sneak into our lives.
Lie #1: “God is not really good. If He were, He would…”
· “We know God is good, but deep in our hearts we may question His goodness to us personally. When turbulence, trials, disappointment, or pain come into our lives, Satan tempts us to question God’s goodness. Once we doubt God’s goodness, we feel justified in rejecting His will and making our own decisions about right and wrong.”
· God is good, and everything He does is good. (Psalm 31:19, 34:8, 100:5, 106:1, 119:68, 136:1, Ephesians 1:3-14)
· God never makes mistakes. (Isaiah 46:10, Romans 8:28-39)
Lie #2: “God doesn’t love me.”
· “We trust what we feel to be true, rather than what we know to be true. (We know we are supposed to believe God loves us, but often believe He loves everyone BUT us.) We look around at our relationships- a loveless marriage; rejection by an ex-mate; grown children who won’t call home or visit; approaching 40 and not a suitor in sight- and our feelings tell us “God doesn’t love me.” The truth is, God DOES love us regardless of whether we feel it or not, what we have done, where we come from, etc. He loves us with an infinite, incomprehensible, unconditional love because God IS love.”
· God’s love for me is infinite and unconditional. (John 15:13, Romans 5:8, 8:32, 38-39, Ephesians 3:14-19, 1 John 4:7-10)
· I don’t have to perform to earn God’s love or favor. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
· God ALWAYS has my best intentions at heart. (Psalm 21)
Lie #3 “God is not really enough.”
· “When we walk out of the church doors and into the world, do we really believe that Christ is all we need? As with the first 3 lies, we would never say this aloud; but our actions prove we believe otherwise. We don’t believe God is truly enough to solve all of our problems. Many of us are looking for other people and things to fill the empty places in our hearts- food, shopping, friends, hobbies, vacations, our job, our family.”
· God is enough. If I have Him, I have all I need. (Psalm 23:1, 73:23-26, Colossians 1:9-10)
Lie #4 “God’s ways are too restrictive.”
· “The Scriptures teach us God’s laws are for our good and protection. Obedience is a pathway to freedom. But Satan places in our minds that God’s laws are burdensome, unreasonable, and unfair, and we will be miserable if we obey them. (Ex: In the Garden, he caused Eve to focus on her ONE limitation…bondage to food).”
· God’s ways are best. (Deuteronomy 6:24-25, Joshua 1:8)
· God’s restrictions are always for my good. (James 1:19-27)
· Resisting or rebelling against God’s ways brings heartache and conflict. (Psalm 68:6, Proverbs 15:32-33)
Lie #5 “God should fix my problems.”
· “This lie is deceptive in 2 ways. 1) Makes us believe God is like a cosmic genie hired to serve us; and 2) Suggests our goal in life is to be free from all problems- to get rid of everything unpleasant or difficult because our lives should be problem free. This deceptive way of thinking explains why lots of Christians are bitter, angry, and frustrated with life.”
· “The truth is, life is hard. We live in a fallen world. We are going to have to deal with temptation, sin, disease, pain, and death. But the good news is God is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), and although He doesn’t wave a magic wand to make our problems disappear, He uses problems to shape and mold our lives the way He did with Jesus, who “learned obedience from what He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).”
· Life is hard. (Romans 8:21-22)
· God is more concerned about glorifying Himself and changing me than about solving all my problems. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
· God has an eternal purpose He is fulfilling in the midst of my problems. (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4)
· God wants to use my problems as part of His sanctifying process in my life. (Job 23:10)
· No matter what problems I face, God’s love is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Ask yourself these questions.
1. If I’m REAL with myself, which of these lies have I believed about God?
2. How has believing the lie came about in my actions/attitude/thoughts/behavior?
3. Which of the “Truths” and Scriptures stuck out to me that I need to focus on in my life right now?
Moving from Bondage to Freedom:
1. Identify the area(s) of bondage or sinful behavior.
2. Identify the lie(s) at the root of that bondage or behavior.
3. Replace the lie(s) with the Truth.
Start asking ourselves important questions with EVERYTHING (media choices, thoughts, etc.):
- ·What is the message here?
- Is it really true?
- Am I being deceived by a way of thinking that is contrary to the Truth?
Here is a link to the book: Lies Women Believe
I HIGHLY recommend it if you’re looking for some new reading material and/or a new study.
DeMoss, Nancy Leigh. Moody Publishers; Repreinted edition edition (April 2002).