Six Words That Can Make ALL The Difference
I don’t talk about the devil much. I hate to give him too much press or too much credit.
But some days, there’s no way around it. He’s got to be called out for who he is: liar, liar, pants on fire.
Today is one of those days.
Today is a day when I might be tempted to believe the wrong stories about me. You too?
Yeah, it happens from time to time, to all of us. It doesn’t matter how many initials you have behind your name, or how big your office is, or whether you’re a life-long Christian, or if you just met the Lord for the first time yesterday afternoon. It doesn’t matter if you wear yoga pants or three-piece suits or your pajamas all day long. If we are in Christ, the devil is prowling around us.
And it gets even worse than that. Because the devil doesn’t just prowl around to mess with you, harass you or tease you. He wants to devour you.
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The main way he tries to devour you is by attacking the most precious thing about you: your identity in Christ. I’ve been under that kind of attack a lot lately.
My main job — aside from parenting — is ministry. So I constantly hear the lie that I am worthless when it comes to communicating a message. Lately, every time I sit at this computer, it feels like I’m entering a boxing ring. So frustrating!
The punches come in the form of soul-pulverizing messages that I’m not smart enough or capable enough to write books and blog posts and keynote addresses for you. When that happens, I have learned to call a friend, the kind of friend who will speak the truth into the darkiest dark parts of my heart. We all need friends like that — the kind of straight-talking friend you can get honest with, the kind of friend who won’t let you believe your own false narratives.
I used to start those phone conversations like this: “Hey friend, Can we talk? I’m feeling like I’m not (_____) enough today.”
But then, one day, I was on the phone with my friend Deidra. And she asked me two questions that changed things for me: “What’s the lie that the devil is telling you? What’s the lie that you are believing about yourself?”
That completely changed how I framed my not-enoughs. I had immediately assumed that the negativity I heard directed at me was the truth. Deidra, however, immediately assumed it was a lie.
After talking with Deidra, I took a step further than merely identifying my feelings — “I’m feeling like I’m not enough today.” And I began to see my not-enoughs as actual lies that I was believing about myself.
So the other day, I got to feeling out of sorts about a few things and I began to walk down that bumpy road of intense self loathing, which can actually feel aggressively violent. But instead of telling someone how I was feeling, I reminded myself what the devil was saying.
These are the six words that can make all the difference today: “The lie I am believing is …”
Friend, you feel it, don’t you? You feel the brush of a lion prowling around you. He wants to attack your identity and tell you that you’re a loser. He wants to convince you that you don’t have what it takes. He wants you to forget that you already have everything you need to carry out your work in this world.
But the devil is a liar (John 8:44).
Start here: Ignore all the voices that say crappy things to you. And then, ask yourself two questions: “What’s the lie that the devil is telling me? What’s the lie that I am believing about myself?”
Because when we realize we’re listening to actual lies, we are one step closer to being the person we were made to be. We are taking the first step in carrying out the small and big acts of obedience that change things — possibly for all eternity.
You got this. Because God’s got you. And that’s the TRUTH.
Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!
Our featured writer this week is Julia Dale. I was challenged by her words here: As a mom, I have to stop and ask myself “Am I leaving a legacy of worship?” And, if the answer is “Yes,” the more telling question might be “Of what?” Find Julia here.
To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer
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Wow. My heart needed this today. The lie I am believing today(or at least until I let it go this morning) is that I am foolish to think I could publish a book and I should be embarrassed to have ever thought so.
Hey I’ve heard that lie too, spoken over myself. And now look — I’m two books in. You can do this, Lisanne! You were MADE for this! Go friend go!
Whenever we fall for those lies the devil uses to discourage us, we’re on a slippery slope. To stop and realize that they are, indeed, lies about who we are/what we can do, and turn to God for help, we can send the evil one packing!
Great post, Jennifer!
Thanks, Martha. xo
Jennifer I had a day like you describe just yesterday, particularly about the battle surrounding time to write my book. Life seems to be imploding sometimes, not just in my life but in the lives of my family. Then I remember standing in my kitchen thinking, ‘hey, that’s the stupid devil trying to discourage me. Well, tough luck. Jesus is for us. So there.” This is such a good post and so needed. Thank you.
Jesus is for us, indeed! Way to press through, sister.
Thank you so much for identifying what the attack is and for not wanting to give the devil too much due. The lie I heard while standing in front of my class of students was, “You suck, you suck, you suck.” It was an enormously difficult time. I was just given a wonderful opportunity and the lie I’m hearing is that I won’t be able to write the words I need to write, but as you say, we have a big God who has defeated the devil. You know the old “greater is He that is in you motif.” You are very blessed to have a friend like Deidre. I’ve begun praying for one of those too. Thank you for your clear and thoughtful writing. These essays are soul filling. Sending a hug too for the difficulties and griefs and sending a big smile for the triumphs. Peace be with you.
The attack is real and last week was the perfect example. Everywhere I turned I heard a voice telling me all the things why I was not this or that. It got to the point I felt I was battling everywhere I turned. I needed to turn to truth but needed to hear it from friends who knew me and could ask the right questions. I love that it actually was my daughter in law who flat out asked me what the lie was that I was believing. She is very wise for 26 years old. Thank you for this timely message today.
I love this so much! One of the tools we use in Sozo Ministry is to not only identify the lie(s) -but to ask Jesus what Truth He wants to replace the lie with! (It’s always pretty amazingly great, by the way! He’s SO into us!) 😉 xoxo
I’m with Karrilee. I loved this post. It spoke straight to my heart. That darn enemy has been telling me these lies lately.
Wow, Jennifer. I have struggled with that kind of thing so much. Like within the past hour. I’m better at recognizing what is going on, than I used to be. But boy, oh boy, the attacks can be relentless. I just LOVE the two questions to ask ourselves. Thank you for sharing that!
Those six words give laser focus to my struggle with self-acceptance and believing all that God says about me. It all comes down to choosing to believe and make decisions based on lies.
Thanks for your words Jennifer. Just recently I read a book and the author talks about how the devil’s number one lie is to get us to think we are not enough. To doubt our self and our relationship with God. You have such words of wisdom here. The lie I am believing is . . . will radically change our thinking.
Yes, ma’am! That’s the ticket! God bless Deirdre for setting you straight. . . and you for being such an effective, much-needed voice in ministry that you are able to pass along this important truth!
P.S. Thank you for hosting us! I’m grateful to be linking up with you today. Blessings!
I am so excited for the twist in how one can look at the lies. I spend way too much time being upset or trying to prove it a lie. Love these two questions. “What’s the lie that the devil is telling you? What’s the lie that you are believing about yourself?”
When the stinkin-thinkin raises its ugly head I remind myself that Satan, the great liar and imitator, is just doing his job. Attempting to wreck our peace, our passion, and our purpose – that’s what he does. BUT GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN US than the one in the world (the lying devil). There are times the battle is great and then there’s time one boot to the beast is all it takes. BUT those wreckings? Are definitely a call to action and we must know how to fight. #girlswithswords
Calling out the devil is a great calling – and thanks for continuing to follow yours – of teaching, encouraging, and coming alongside in the trenches. I probably need this every day. Bless you on this sunny day of almost summer, Jennifer.
Good stuff, Jennifer! I’ve been battling this a lot too!
What an important shift in perspective! Recognize the lie instead of the feeling and you get to the root of the issue! Keep on keeping on girl! God’s got your back!
Truth is such a powerful weapon. I have to be super intentional about bringing those lies captive and slaying them with truth, rather than climbing into a bag of Oreos for a nice pity party. I’ve been been back in ministry for 2 weeks, after 3 years out recovering from 10 years in. Yeah, I know. The enemy has been prowling and whispering awful lies that have actually made me wonder who in the world I think I am. And then, I remember…I am His. So just back on up, satan!!
Jennifer- I love these six words and I’m going to start using them. The devil has been attacking here too. Telling me lies about my worth and the many failures of my past. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!
Thank you, I needed this today!
Thanks for hosting!