God intends to make our lives into something beautiful and vibrant- full of life and joy that comes from living with Him, with purpose, in community. The quickest way to take that beautiful life He is building in us and trash it into something faded and jaded, barren and cold is believing these two lies:
God, deep down, is not really good.
You, deep down, are really bad.
The first lie is the worst lie. It began in the garden with Eve and her enemy. He wove a tail….
this God she was following and trusting, was not in fact, worthy of trust. He did not want good for her. He was not telling the truth. She could make a better life living outside God’s boundaries and He knew it! He could not possibly be good if He was withholding something she thought was good.
Did you ever notice how after Eve believed the lie and eats the fruit, the enemy leaves her. After God banishes them from the garden we don’t find him speaking with her again. You know why? His job was done. Once you believe the worst lie, the rest of life unravels pretty easily.
The second lie sounds like this….
sure, everybody is a sinner, but you are worse than them. You are especially bad, uniquely flawed. At the core of you, there is something unloveable and less worthy than others. You are different than other people. You will never get it right or measure up like other people do. God may love you because He has to, but he does not like you.
Shame. That’s what we call the lie of the enemy about our identity. And once we believe it we spiral further. If God is not good we can’t live life with Him and if we are truly bad, we have to hide from others, so now we are alone. Oh we may spend time around people and in church, but we are not with people or God. In isolation we cannot get our needs met. Without a secure relationship with God we will chase every empty promise to find meaning for our lives and security for tomorrow. There is no need for our enemy to throw much else at us- those two lies alone give us plenty of ammunition to sabatoge ourselves.
Do you want some good news? We don’t have to fall for the lies! The Bible is full of evidence that God is good and we have unshakable worth to Him. Scripture points to the goodness of God and how deeply he loves us all throughout but perhaps the best evidence comes from remembering Jesus’s death. Only a truly good God would take the place of his creation in the death they had earned, would substitute himself for us. And the fact that he willingly died for us establishes our worth. How do you know what something is worth? It’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay. Jesus paid for us with his very life- he considered us worth dying for!
Next to God’s word, the weapon we need to fight lies is Community. In isolation we are vulnerable and easily fooled. We become so used to hearing lies we don’t even notice them. But with each other we have other voices to speak into us, to remind us of truth, to battle the lies with us. The enemy always wants us alone because he knows we are stronger and clearer and healthier when we are in relationships. Through His word and His people God gives us everything we need to fight our enemy- and be beautiful reflections of who He is- abundant love and joy and life, overflowing into others.