Lies We’ve Believed | An AMH Blog Series
When was the last time you told yourself that you couldn’t do something? I did, just this afternoon. Our car broke down last weekend, and it’s still in the shop getting fixed. So our parents let us borrow their spare vehicle… an old rickety pick-up truck.
Now, I’m not the most confident driver in the world. So when I looked at that massive hunk of metal on wheels, I thought to myself, “I can’t even…”
“I can’t even drive that.”
“I can’t even get behind the wheel.”
“I CAN’T EVEN….”
The phrase has become a cute little quip in our lives, something I hear our generation say to describe something that is “too hard” to comprehend or “too challenging” for them. But those three little words are an insidious, sneaky little lie.
Since when did our CANS become CAN’TS? When did we become so defeated? When did we believe that we’ve already lost? When did we become a generation of people who can’t deal with the realities of life?
Maybe driving a pick-up truck isn’t that big of a deal. But too often I say that I can’t overcome the sin in my life. And that’s where the rubber really meets the road.
HATING SIN FOR WHAT IT IS
Sin is nothing new. We all struggle with sin (Romans 3:23). For a long time, I struggled with the same ones … shame, lust, gluttony, and jealousy topped the list.
Like most people, I was tempted to say, “Well that’s just the way it is.” But the apostle Paul didn’t excuse his sin or call it a personality trait. He didn’t just say, “I am who I am.” No. He called it a “thorn in his flesh” (2 Cor 12:7). He hated it. He didn’t try to get comfy. He got down to the nitty gritty and ruthlessly rung every bit out of his life that he possibly could.
When God reveals sin to you do you actually hate your sin? Or do you make excuses for yourself to continue in the action, coming up with reasons why it’s okay?
In the book Lies Young Women Believe, Gresh & Wolgemuth share the statistic that “Most drivers think it’s a bad idea to text and drive. The government agrees: every state in the continental United States, except for two, has a ban on texting while driving. In spite of the fact that nine people die every day from accidents caused by distractions such as texting while driving, over 30 percent of all drivers in the United States (not just teens) confess that they break this rule.”
It’s not enough to think texting and driving is bad. We keep texting because we love to do it. When we love the action, we dismiss the threat of consequence. But God HATES sin. Knowing that sin leads to death and consequence isn’t enough to stop. We have to HATE the action itself.
WE ARE SCARED OF OUR OWN SHADOWS
No matter how much I’ve hated the sin in my life, there are times that I’ve felt powerless against it. I’ve felt like I couldn’t even begin to deal with the endless cycle.
“I can’t stop sinning”… “I can’t stop having suicidal thoughts”… “I can’t stop feeling sorry for myself”… “I can’t stop being angry”…
But those are all lies. If you are a believer, you have the power of God at work in your life. And He has given you everything you need for life and godliness.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
God has already won the battle for us. We need to claim that resurrection power because it is His will and His way for us to overcome sin.
Sometimes, saying we can’t overcome sin is an excuse to avoid the hard work of sanctification and enjoy living in it a little longer. But more often than not, laziness isn’t the problem. We are scared. Scared of what lurks in the dark corners of our heart. Scared that if we dig too deep we will discover something about ourselves that we don’t like. Scared of being vulnerable. Scared of being found out. Scared of the shame of our own shadows.
The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!” – Proverbs 22:13
The devil is a roaring lion, and sin is waiting to devour us. We become the lazy sluggard who lets sin reign in the streets of our hearts. Rather than walking into the lion’s den courageously, we often avoid the fight because we are afraid. But God tells us to be courageous. Not to be afraid. Why? Because He is with us.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
HE CAN WHEN WE CAN’T
In the book Lies Young Women Believe, they remind us “When I feel like God is asking me to do something that’s impossible, through the power of His Holy Spirit, God will enable me to do anything He commands me to do.”
Overcoming sin doesn’t mean living a “perfect” life without any mistakes. It means living a life that is “perfectly” whole in Him.
Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
When we read the word “perfect,” we think it means flawless and without any mistake. But the original word in the Greek text is “teleios.” It means “whole, complete, nothing which belongs left out.” We think of perfection as a status we achieve, a destination we reach; but perfection, in this sense, means wholeness. It’s not a standard of measurement but a state of being. It’s how we live life in Christ. We are no longer broken down. We are whole in Him, able to live life fully. We are able to overcome. He makes our joy, our peace, and he makes us complete. There is nothing we need outside of Him.
“And in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:10
“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
You CAN stop gossiping. You CAN stop obsessing over your appearance. You CAN stop looking at porn. It takes courage to say “I CAN”… I CAN do all things through CHRIST who gives me strength.” Notice it doesn’t say we can do it by ourselves. It says through CHRIST.
Because He can when we can’t.
My prayer for you is this:
(1) That God would reveal to you the darkness in your life.
(2) And that you would have the courage to face the shadows.