We carry lies around in our pockets like heavy stones. They weigh and slow us down, keep us from running the race set before us. In order to wildly follow Him we are called to toss these lies to the ground, leaving them behind. But first we must confront them.
One truth that has recently settled into my heart is that Christ followers are very forthright in admitting weakness, discussing lies that make up the fabric of our belief system, admitting brokenness and recognizing just how powerless we are, in fact we are a bit obsessed with our messy lives. Of course hypocrisy, blatant mask wearing, victimhood and pride run rampant in Christian circles, but nonetheless we are aware of a system of lies embedded into our nature, shaping the way we see ourselves, others, the world and God.
In the absence of light, darkness becomes truth. Our world is full of darkness.
Jesus offers revelation, peeling back the calcified layers of falsities that bind us in thinking all sorts of distorted things about ourselves. Overcoming an old, faulty belief system takes discipline, diligence and the grace of a powerful God.
Do not conform to the patterns of this word, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
I love this verse. I love that Paul leaves it open ended, illustrating that renewing the mind isn’t a one time thing. It’s a constant preaching of truth to self in order to avoid traps of the world and the glitzy, sexy lies therein.
What I know is that letting lies go takes an armada of His people speaking life into my heart when my do it myself renewing, go it alone mentality fail.
Jesus is a communal God, an incarnate God who cuts away the fruitless branches, who chases after lost sheep, who calms the waters, speaks love to the Samaritan (other) woman, who forgives freely, who begs for mercy for those who crucified Him and takes the pain and sin of man into His body, that we may be united with the Father in love.
He is a God of relationship, beckoning us into community in order to use the collective body to renew the individual and collective mind.
We need a tribe to remind us of the truth when the lies He is freeing us from cling like cobwebs to our hearts. Freedom is always hard won.
I have a friend I lean into when this letting go burns, tears and shreds the tender spots of my heart. God has gifted me many friends to call upon when the grind gets so hard, slow and gritty (you know who you are) and each speaks truth into the darkness I carry. This one particular friend though, she and I have a raw and rugged discourse occurring almost daily, both of us struggling against an archaic framework of beliefs instilled in us by a world that is ruthless in its need to control, distort and separate. She sees me and tells me who I am when the lie that I am not good enough, not woman enough, not wife enough, not mother enough, not friend enough, daughter enough, or Christian enough flood my perception. She pours into my heart and tells the darkness to get away; when her Holy Spirit inspired words seep into the dry, parched places of my heart, my mind is renewed.
The goodness of my Gospel living friend makes me cry, not only because she is faithful but because she sees the good in me when I forget who I belong to, Jesus uses her for His glory in my life. She sends me Scripture and encouragement when He knows I need it most.
The becoming is brutal. Change is war. God, the Great Surgeon, takes His scalpel and carefully cuts away branches that bear no fruit, incises into memories, choices, mistakes and sin and sheds His light into the dark, that we may have abundant life. Though He is gentle and His promises never forsaken, the pain is almost unmanageable as He re-writes the story.
My friend and I love the song Hard Love by Needtobreathe, which if you listen to Christian radio I am sure you are familiar. The song sums up perfectly what living Gospel love is: the casting off of lies and burning away of old self in order to stand in the new creation.
Trading punches with the heart of darkness
Going to blows with your fear incarnate
Never gone until it’s stripped away
A part of you has gotta die today
Following Jesus feels like this. Jesus changes us but the metamorphosis is a battle:
Hold on tight a little longer
What don’t kill ya, makes ya stronger
Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love
You can’t change without a fallout
It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down
Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love
When we close in on Jesus, asking Him to speak His truth into our lives, when we pray for change and surrender to His will, His love and His law, the fallout can feel monstrous.
Relationships die. People you thought loved you abandon and flee. Circles in which you once easily existed suddenly hurl flaming arrows, desperate for you to buy back into the shape that made you palatable, likable, made you of the world. Part of that framework exists to convince you that loving Jesus is joyless, restricting and dull, that His love is intolerant and exclusive. However, for those of us who have tasted the sweetness of surrender, the promise of life and salvation, the love and acceptance of Jesus is overwhelmingly glorious. Even while trading punches with the darkness we have this joy and promise in us that draws us out, pulls us in and calls us chosen.
Seek Him and you will find Him.
Find your people who will tell you truth and don’t be afraid of the mess. He doesn’t leave us as orphans, He holds us up, encases us in love and Spirit, putting what was once chaos into perfect order.
There is no sweeter truth.
Looking to be freed from the lies you have identified yourself? Phase I kicks off this FALL!
What if you’re not really the way you’ve come to see yourself? As you travel the first phase of The Ultimate Journey, you’ll unpack the lies that have held you back, tripped you up, and even derailed you at times. Phase I is a safe harbor where you’ll unload excess cargo and baggage that have weighed you down for years. As you do this, you’ll be freed up to chart a new course that will lead you into an incredible love relationship with your Creator. This class is a personal journey where you will process through your life. Each group includes 3 participants and 2 facilitators, creating a safe, intimate environment to do the work of restoration and healing. Due to the personal nature of this class, attendance is mandatory for all sessions, and we encourage thoughtful consideration whether this is the right time to go through this process.
10 weeks – Groups kick off in August & September!