The hardest battle for many people is fought inside our hearts. Lies that we believe about ourselves become self fulfilling prophecies. For example, if I believe “I am not worthy to be loved,” my behaviour and choices based on this lie could cause people to keep a distance from me which would reinforce the lie that I am not worthy to be loved.
Many different situations can cause us to believe lies about ourselves. It could be emotional abuse that we have received or it could be a brief moment we have experienced which we interpreted a certain way. For example, when I was 6 years old, my dad had to work in the US and my mom was left at home with me and my 1 year old sister. My mom said to me, “I can’t take care of you because you can feed yourself, but your sister cannot.” I am sure she meant it just for that moment when I might have been bugging her for something, but I internalized this deeply and this caused me to become very independent and gave up my role as daughter and child in my family - instead becoming a responsible caregiver for my sister. When I later received Christ, I had to relearn what it meant to be a daughter and how to entrust myself to God to parent me.
How do we replace lies with truth? The first part of the battle is to identify the lie. These can be so deeply embedded in how we perceive the world and ourselves that we don’t even see it for the lie that it is. Ask God to give you ears to hear and identify truth vs. lies that are governing your life. I was shocked when one day I realized that there was an army sergeant living inside my head trying to tell me what I should be doing everyday. It was so hard for me to be still and relax. I could not believe I had inherent value that was not tied to my achievement. One of my mentors said to me, “Lily, you have to try hard not to try so hard.” Well, that was really hard! I am so grateful I finally I realized the voice inside my heart that drove me to performance was not from God and I began to get to know God more and more and how He saw me.
After we have identified the lie, we must take it captive every time it surfaces and command it to leave with the authority that has been granted us by Jesus. Upon casting out the lie, we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us replace it with the truth. For me the truth was that God loved me, just as I am. When the skies opened up after Jesus’ baptism and God said “This is my son, in whom I am pleased,” Jesus had not yet started his ministry. God was pleased because Jesus is his son, not because of all the things he had yet to do.
We are broken and wounded people who need Jesus to come and heal us from the lies that cause us to hurt ourselves and those around us. We cannot heal ourselves with our willpower. But Jesus, the healer can heal us with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We practiced this exercise of replacing lies with truth with the single moms who attended our Single Moms Mother’s Day Banquet. Many of these women do not have a relationship with Christ - but I prayed the Holy Spirit would speak because I know God wants to heal these women. I was deeply touched when I saw three of the words that were heard that day. Majestic. Strong. Brave. What beautiful truths that we pray would take over the lies that have hurt these women.
If you would like to pray about this with someone, I am happy to meet for a prayer appointment with you. May God replace the lies in our hearts, that we may hear the truth that will set us free.