3 Lies People Believe
The first words of Satan recorded in scripture are pretty telling.
"Did God really say?”…(Gen. 3:1)
"If you are the Son of God"...(Matt. 4:3)
In the earliest chapters of the Pentateuch and the earliest chapters of the gospels, the evil one is portrayed as one who challenges the word of God. In Genesis 3 he questions the boundaries God set, as well as God's motives for setting them. In Matthew 4 Satan challenges the identity truth prophetically declared concerning Jesus (Matt. 3:17). At the beginning of both the OT and the NT, Satan is seen as an enemy of God who seeks control and his primary tactic is deception.
Satan accomplishes his agenda by speaking falsehood. He exercises control through deception. He is the Father of Lies (Jn. 8:44).
Thankfully, what worked for Satan in the garden with Adam and Eve didn't work with Jesus in the wilderness. And as those who have died to the first Adam and have been born-again into the second Adam (Jesus), it doesn't have to work with you!
3 Core Lies People Believe
Sometime ago a friend of mine recommended Soul Care, by Dr. Rob Reimer. Dr. Reimer is a Pastor and Seminary Professor who has an extensive background in ministering deliverance and inner-healing (what he calls Soul Care) and training others to do the same. As someone a few decades deep into similar ministry, I was eager to jump-in and learn from Reimer's paradigm for Soul Care. I was not disappointed.
One of the gold nuggets I came away with was a section on the (3) core lies humans believe about their personal value and identity. Reimer argues that in a fallen world everyone has been assaulted by the same dark voice that visited Adam & Eve in the garden and Jesus in the wilderness; he also proposes that each person has vulnerabilities to at least (3) core lies: the performance lie; the people-pleasing lie and the lie of control. Give these a look and ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify any place you may be living under the influence of a lie.
1. The Performance Lie. Your value is dependent on your performance.
Christians who live under the performance lie live tethered not to the love of Christ but to their own sense of personal accomplishment. In their minds they know they are loved by God, but when they under-perform in the things that matter to them, their joy-level says otherwise. An example would be the way they approach Sunday morning worship. When they feel they've lived a victorious week, hit their devotional times, and faithfully resisted temptation, they freely enter corporate worship with an expectation to meet with God. However, the weeks that they've missed the mark as a good christian and stumbled their way through the month, they enter worship with little expectation of God's presence and maybe even an unspoken belief that they need to somehow live right for a few weeks/months before they can enjoy God's presence again.
The performance lie subtly causes you to trust in your own work rather than the finished work of Christ. It tells you that the final word about your value is spoken by your own accomplishments rather than the cross and the empty tomb.
2. The People-Pleasing Lie. Your value is dependent on whether certain people love or like you.
Christians who live under the people-pleasing lie live tied to the likes, comments and opinions of man rather than God. While they genuinely believe they've been chosen by God as royal heirs, their sense of worth is still tied up in the approval and acceptance of others. While some require everyone's approval, others only need the approval of a select few. They have a tireless drive for acceptance and little capacity for criticism without being defensive, shutting down or striving to keep everyone happy. They are marionette puppet-worshippers whose lives are aiming for the glory of God but whose strings too easily pulled by the praise of man.
The people-pleasing lie yokes you to the spirit of fear and the tyranny of human opinion. In a culture that is increasingly militant in its secular moralism, this lie can lead to compromise and even shipwreck your faith. The people-pleasing lie tells you that the final word about your worth is spoken by the approval of man rather than your election and adoption in Christ.
3. The Lie of Control. Your value is dependent on whether you are in control.
Christians who live under the lie of control often apply a lot of energy seeking to control others or the specific outcomes they care about. While they may outwardly say they want a life of faith under the Spirit's lordship, they have a pattern of taking charge, often at the expense of someone else's autonomy or contribution to a team. Like immature quarterbacks who make calls on the field instead of heeding the voice of their coach, leaders who live under this lie tend to micro-manage others instead of following wisdom and empowering people in a vision; they make the error of delegating responsibility/tasks without also appropriately sharing authority. It always results in the diminishment of morale and creativity in the team.
The lie of control is often symptomatic of a spirit of fear. You take control because you fear the outcome when you're not part of the equation. At its core, fear is pride. It's an inflated view of self and a deflated view of God. The lie of control tells you that you are more consequential to the vision than the God who wrote it!
Reflection, Repentance & Renewal
Which of these lies has most afflicted you? What unhealthy behaviors has that lie influenced in your life? These are the types of questions you can take into prayer and a time of repentance and renewal.
"You can never rise above your self-awareness. That's why the first step needs to be identifying the lies that shape you."
Dr. Rob Reimer
The good news is that your value and identity are rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ, not your own performance, human acceptance or ability to control outcomes. There is freedom, healing and transformation when you let the God who designed you be the God who defines you!
"Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19-20a).
Get Rooted in your Identity in Christ
Since 2009 Adam has trained and mobilized over 40 international evangelism teams and has equipped thousands in the areas of identity, hearing God and evangelism via seminars around the world. Adam has preached the gospel in city campaigns, universities, high schools and bamboo huts in remote villages, all with supernatural effect. Communicating with humor and fresh biblical insight, Adam is a unique prophetic evangelist who equips everyday Jesus-followers to live authentic, New Testament Christianity, discovering their highest joy in the Great Commandment and their unique assignment in the Great Commission.
Adam is author of New Identity: 30 Days of Prayer for Spiritual Transformation and producer of multiple e-courses and the Jesus Movement Now Podcast. He and his wife, Jenny, have four children and reside in Franklin, TN.
Adam is ordained through Messenger Fellowship, and is a member of the Luis Palau Association Global Network of Evangelists.