What you believe affects your relationships with everyone around you. But did you know it also affects your relationship with God? A major step in your spiritual growth is to discern the lies racing through your thoughts, taking them captive, and replacing them with God’s truth.
There are some pretty popular lies Christians believe that continues generation after generation. The problem with allowing these lies to remain unchecked is that what we think we believe. What we believe, we speak. What we speak, others believe…and the lies continue. It truly is a battlefield in the mind!
Taking captive and replacing your thoughts isn’t easy because there is always something going on inside our minds. If you’re like me, this becomes especially evident when you try to go to sleep and your mind seems to suddenly wake up.
The Lies We Believe
For far too long I was oblivious to the lies of the enemy. I thought I couldn’t help my thoughts. They were a product of everything going on around me that my mind was subconsciously absorbing. To add insult to injury, I thought that because of the spontaneous gathering of information in my mind, my thoughts didn’t really matter.
As I grew in my walk, Holy Spirit decided my thoughts had run free long enough and it was time to begin taking them captive. During this learning process, he began to open my ears and make me aware of the many popular lies we Christians were believing.
Ungodly Thinking And God’s Truth That Sets You Free
1. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover. I have been in church for years and have heard and read it all.
I promise you even if you have read the Bible cover to cover, there will be many new things Holy spirit WILL show you if you will allow him to. As you grow spiritually, he is able to reveal more through his Word (John 16:13) but you will never uncover all that God has in his Word.
If your reading of the Bible and relationship with Christ feel stagnant, your spiritual growth probably is too. Ask Holy Spirit for a refreshing. Ask him to make it new and exciting again. As you do what you need to do to draw closer to God he will draw closer to you. It really is that simple.
2. I have to be perfect to go to church or be used by God.
Wrong again. God says we are made perfect in him, not in ourselves (Hebrews 10:14). As far as the church is concerned, please don’t confuse a man-made church with Jesus Christ himself. The church is where you can go to learn about Christ and be around like-minded believers. Christ is who you go to for forgiveness of sin and salvation of your soul.
God can and does use those the world considers unqualified, unworthy, and unlikely (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). God actually has a purpose and a plan for every single person on the face of this earth (Psalm 57:2). He may choose to use you in what we think of as “small ways” or “big ways” but if you are willing, he will use you to fulfill the purpose you were created for. “Your purpose” on earth is like prayer…there is no such thing as small or big. To God, they are all equally important.
In the meantime, seek him above all else. Worship him and read his Word so often that you learn to recognize his voice. When he decides the time is right, he will use you.
3. God can be so unfeeling and cruel.
No, he really can’t be. He is love and all that is good, right, and pure. He does correct and discipline us but never harshly or undeserved (Psalm 103:13). God doesn’t allow his emotions to control his actions. If he did, we would all be gone.
Do you know why you feel things so deeply? Because God feels things deeply and we are created in his image (Genesis 1:27). The difference is we let our emotions rule over us and dictate everything we do. God WILL NOT do that. God is not cruel in the slightest. If he was, he would give us what we deserve (Psalm 103:10). Instead, he sent his only son to die for us so that we can be made right and join him in heaven. That is love (1 John 4:8).
4. If I had more faith I would be healed.
Not necessarily. We don’t know much about God’s timing, why, or how he chooses to heal. I do know that we can cut short our healing with the words we speak. I also know that we feel like 3 months (or 6 months or a year or…) is long enough to wait for a healing. If it doesn’t happen in our predetermined time-frame we blame ourselves and doubt our healer. But to our God, who has been forever and will be forever, that amount of time is but a blink of an eye (Revelation 21:6). Maybe that is why patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit?
Think of this in a different way for just a moment. When you were younger, say in high school, you felt like your senior year took forever! But looking back at that time in your life, you realize just how quickly that time flew by. It’s all a matter of perspective.
As far as faith and healing, nobody can really answer that for you but God. Through my years of health battles, I know that sometimes God heals right away and sometimes, to bring him glory, he does not (John 9, John 11:4). Sometimes our physical healing is more of a slow and steady progress just like our spiritual growth. We don’t get to demand and snap our fingers for a healing. Healing is by the grace of God and the will of God (Matthew 6:10).
But faith is always the starting point. If you don’t have faith you will NOT be healed. But as for when or how or why…we do not know until Father wants us to know (Hebrews 11:1, Romans 10:17).
5. Reaping and sowing, tithing and offerings are just fancy, empty words of a preacher who wants your money.
Both principles mentioned are actually biblical principles that apply to more than money. Everything in God’s kingdom revolves around sowing and reaping, even tithing and offerings (Galatians 6:7).
God doesn’t want your money, he wants you. Money is man-made and may control our lives but it doesn’t control God in the slightest. He doesn’t need money to function and doesn’t think about money as we do. God says he refines us like gold and silver. He doesn’t say he refines us to seek after gold and silver (Zechariah 13:9).
If the person you’re concerned about chooses to do something unbiblical with God’s finances, God will surely deal with them just as he dealt with the priests in the Old Testament and the married couple in the New Testament (Acts 5:1-4). But keep in mind, if that were to happen that would be their sin, not yours so it is not for you to concern yourself with (John 21:21).
Your job is to obey. If God tells you to give, give. If he tells you not to give, do not do it no matter what anyone says, regardless of their authority (Acts 5:29).
6. All this crazy talk about spiritual warfare is silly. It’s not an invisible thing that is tormenting me. It is my spouse (or kids or boss or neighbor) driving me crazy!
Wrong. Their body might be the vehicle the enemy chooses to use but 2 Corinthians 10:4 and Ephesians 6 tells us that our fight isn’t against flesh and blood (humans) but against rulers and principalities. The rulers and principalities spoken of here do not function in our physical world but the spiritual world. Just because you can’t see it happening doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist (Hebrews 11:1). And it exists whether you choose to believe it or not.
Instead of fighting with your spouse (or whomever) over silly things, go to battle and fight the enemy with prayer.
7. The Devil wears a cape, has horns, and carries a pitchfork.
If only that were true then he would be easily recognized and we could avoid many of his attacks. But I am positive you will not find any such thing in the Bible. What it actually says is that Satan was beautiful, highly intelligent, a high ranking angel of God who fell because he desired in his heart to rule over all, even God Almighty. (Ezekiel 28:1-19).
If you were to see the devil, he would be everything you find desirable. He would appear kind and genuine and take whatever form he knew would appeal to you such as coming to you as a loved one who has died. Lucifer is a deceiver and a manipulator. He is not a cartoon character and should never to be taken lightly.
I’ve no clue where the pitchfork came from but it doesn’t matter because Satan doesn’t have one.
8. God hates everyone who hasn’t asked Jesus to be Lord of their life. He looks forward to sending them all to hell.
That is so very, very wrong. Father God loves everyone. There is not a single person he does not take notice of, saved or unsaved. He began to think about each person even before he created them. He desires that NONE should perish and be separated from him. He wants EVERYONE to have everlasting life with him (2 Peter 3:9).
God doesn’t separate anyone from him because he hates them (Romans 8:38-39). You send yourself to hell by rejecting Jesus Christ. Satan doesn’t poke and prod you with a giant pitchfork to keep you there either. Your rejection of Jesus Christ holds you there for all of eternity.
9. It’s just a little white lie. Nobody is really hurt so no harm was done. Besides, who cares?
God does. A lie is a lie whether you consider it a little lie or a big whopper of a lie (Leviticus 19:11, Proverbs 12:22). To God, they are all the same. All lies hurt because of their deceptive nature. To be blunt, they are like a slap in the face to Jesus who died for all our sins — even what you call a white lie. When you sin it puts a separation between you and God and he doesn’t want that. Ever. You might not see anything happen in the physical world as a result of your lie but the spiritual world is always active based on what we say and do.
10. I’m a Christian now so my life will be easier and problem free.
Wouldn’t that be nice if it were true? But it is actually quite the opposite (John 16:33). When you make Christ the Lord of your life and begin to live your life for him, the enemy takes notice. You will enter into spiritual warfare whether you want to or not. Lucifer will bring problem after problem your way simply to wear you down and make you question God and his Word. And God will allow it to help your faith grow in him (James 1:2-4).
You will go through seasons (notice, not days but seasons) that you are under attack and problems seem to come at you relentlessly from every direction. But God doesn’t want you to get consumed with these problems. He wants you to be like Job and keep your attention and faith focused on him, not the enemy or our circumstances (Hebrews 12:2).
You Must Renew Your Mind
If your desire is to grow as a Christian and stop being controlled by your thoughts, you must begin to recognize the lies of the enemy. You must begin to renew your mind and get into God’s Word. Don’t just read it; study it, pray it, talk to Holy Spirit about it. Give yourself the grace to make mistakes but regularly evaluate and discern your thoughts so that you can experience all the blessings God has for you!