Nov 13, 2013

lies // a testimony

 I just got back from community group and we discussed this past 
Sunday's teaching on the ninth commandment: Do not bear false witness.
See the sermon here.
I was working and could not hear the sermon, but have been listening to 
the podcast. I thought I would share a few thoughts that came up during 
our conversations in community group tonight that spoke out to my heart. 

Pastor Mark Driscoll defined bearing false witness or lying as two parts: 
1] saying what is untrue 
2] not saying all that is true 

A thought that God placed upon my heart tonight was more of a 
reminder and testimony of the affect of bearing true witness against
 the false witness in relation to the enemy's lies.
If we live in isolation from honest Christian community, we end up
only hearing the enemies lies. And after years of hearing only lies, guess what?
You become immune to the lies. You live in the lies . . . I lived in the lies.
I listened to the lies that I was unworthy, unloved, and never good enough.
And consequently, I lived out of these lies.
I worked to the bone in effort to earn love, worth, appreciation from
family, friends, coworkers . . .  and ultimately, God. 
I had to show them that I was worth their love. 
And when I failed, I was devastated and filled with anxiety, 
circling back to hearing those cruel lies of the enemy.
A vicious cycle that has lasted many years led me to isolate myself in my secret anxiety.
And even though I was surrounded by Christian community, 
I was not in a setting where I was questioned or called out on the lies I believed.
I did not feel safe to bare my heart because the biggest lie that
had ruled over me for so many years was : 
If anyone knew the real you, they would not love you. 
They would feel sorry for you or look at you different.
And this lie dominated my silence for many years.
I was surrounded by friends, family, and a wonderful church
and yet, I was so alone.

But God, a faithful and loving Father, did not leave me in the depths of 
loneliness and isolation. He provided a loving community group while I 
was living in Seattle and eventually through Mars Hill Church's Redemption Groups,
a Biblical counseling 8-week group. I felt safe and saw these people open up in raw
transparency. Through God's grace and the people in community group and redemption group,
God walked me through a road of redemption that I am still walking today.
God showed me how important it is to have community who know about the lies that 
I was hearing so that we could battle against the lies together with the Truth of the Word of God.
I had coffee, sushi, and walked around Green Lake while talking with different 
women from community group and they would stop me when I would say something
that is not based on the God's Truth. Other times I would stop myself and realize that
what I was saying wasn't true about myself or God's character.

Silence is the enemy's way of shutting us from the Truth.
The Trinitarian God is a God with a Voice. 
He spoke the world into existence.
He spoke the Ten Commandments to Moses.
He spoke life into the dead Lazurus.
He spoke health to the ill and lame.
He spoke calm over a raging sea.
So, guess what?
As we seek to image our Creator, He desires for us to speak within trusted community.
We are to lean on each other and reveal the lies we listen to.
We are to fight against the lies together using the Truth found in God.
This truth literally transformed my life. I saw that the enemy truly is a liar.
It's his native language.
He lied to me when I heard in my heart that no one would love me if I revealed my mess.
And what did I find when let it all out? 
Everything that the enemy was trying to steal from me! 

So now I am living in southern Washington and am still involved in a Mars Hill church down in Portland and have found a great community group who have also been such a huge blessing to me!
I was reminded tonight and ended up sharing this testimony with them so that they knew more about 
my story and God's faithfulness and goodness.
God is so good even though life may be full of messy circumstances.

 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak." John 16:13

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