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November 4, 2009

The Power of a Lie

I've been thinking about something I heard Andy Stanley say in a leadership podcast the other day. Lies gain power in our mind when we believe them or allow them to remain as we dwell on the possibilities. When our focus is not centered on Christ we can easily accept subtle deceptions and counterfeits that come our way. This usually starts with our focus shifting. We usually don't even notice when we turn from a Christ centered focus because our relationship with Jesus is often not the center of our life. If we serve God out of duty or obligation or religious habit, or whatever, we will find our focus shifting all the time. In other words we are tossed to and fro and we are unstable in all our ways. Sometimes its just stress or difficult circumstances we are facing that turn our focus. Whatever the reason, when we take our eyes off Jesus we are vulnerable.

The enemy know how to plant subtle lies in our heart and mind. At first they often seem like a good idea or the answer to prayer or the long awaited solution to some good thing we have been hoping for. We would quickly follow those lies if it not for that inner witness of the Holy Spirit. We don't like to admit it when we feel a check in our spirit. Often we don't even recognize it because we have ignored it so much in favor of our own self voice.

Too many times we open ourself to the lie in spite of the warning we feel. We keep it in the front of our mind thinking about it and trying to find a way to get around the warning. Deep down we want to accept the lie because it calms our fears or gives us an easier path to take. This whole time we are giving ourself to the lie and allowing it to gain power. We begin rationalizing and come up with as many good reasons as needed to give ourselves permission to give in and make the decision. We bring others into the decision as we explain our rational and paint it in a favorable light. When they agree, the lie gains more of a hold on our mind. If they rightly disagree, they take some power away from the lie.

Soon the lie has enough power to overcome our reserves. As we act on it and make the decision, the lie gains more strength. Even after we realize it was a mistake, we still stick to our rational because we have never been released from the power of that lie and we are too prideful to admit we were wrong (another lie of the enemy to enslave us). When we finally admit it's a lie, we can move on and find the right way.

One way to prevent such lies from taking root is to surround yourself with Christ centered friends who are committed to not let you fall. Its their job to be vigilant and lovingly expose those lies when they see them. Most importantly we need to ask the Holy Spirit for help, we need to beat our mind into subjection and make it come under the discipline of the Holy Spirit's watchful eye. Never ignore His voice, but obey it immediately. Don't give the circumstances and the pressures of life an opportunity to intrude on that voice. Don't allow natural logic and reasoning to disrupt the spiritual work taking place. Walking by faith and not be sight demands this kind of wholehearted commitment.

Allow the voice of the Holy Spirit to gain strength and power in your life not the lies of the enemy.