"You're Lying to Me"

“You’re Lying to Me”

When a young minister named T. D. Jakes walked into his not so great house, he said to the house “You’re lying to me!” He knew that house and the other “realities” of that season did not define him because they did not line up with what God had promised. 

I can relate with T.D. Jakes. I remember in the early 1990s when I realized I was being lied to by my circumstances and feelings. These were some of the sources of those lies:

  1. My old car was lying to me 
  2. My small salary and bank account were lying to me
  3. My credit card balance was lying to me
  4. My decreasing hair line was lying to me (ha ha)
  5. My church size was lying to me
  6. My lack of influence was lying to me 
  7. My house was lying to me
  8. My feeling that I was less than other leaders was lying to me
  9. My feeling that there was something uniquely wrong with me was lying to me

I did not realize it for a while, but eventually I understood this: I was living in a lie. My circumstances were sending me a deceptive message about my identity and my future. 

Here are some important truths to embrace as we consider these things:

  • We do not deny the facts of our experiences, but we are not to get our beliefs (renew our minds) from them – If we do, then we will perpetuate our past experiences.
  • Something may seem hard for us, but we are not to put our faith in how challenging it is, or declare over it that it is hard. For instance, if I believe math is hard for me, then that belief will work against my extra effort, tutoring, or whatever else I am trying to do to improve. If we feel weak in a certain area, a main strategy to experience strength in that area is to believe and say we are strong, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’” (Joel 3:10). Maybe add a line here that’s the opposite of your example. 
  • We don’t deny the bones are very dry, but we do not conclude dryness is their identity (Ezekiel 37) – Great influencers focus on the potential of people and places rather than dwelling on their current condition. 
  • We are not to get our identity from what we have done but from what we are created to do – We do not wait for an apple tree to have apples before we call it an apple tree. 
  • We recognize what we believe is more important than what we do – Yes, we should pursue wisdom, training, mentorship, counseling, education, accountability, goal setting, integrity, and diligence, but these without good beliefs will ultimately be ineffective. 

The nature of faith is to believe something higher than what we are feeling and experiencing. It does not allow the seeming dead areas of our lives to define us or our future. Remember, our Father is “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17). As we confront our “dead things” with God’s promises, we will silence the lies that are trying to speak to us. 

So what is lying to you today? Is it your house, your job, your health, your appearance, your family situation, your ministry, your emotional state, your bank account, or something else? Why don’t you do like T.D. Jakes and say out loud, “You are lying to me! The truth is that I am blessed, highly favored, and incredibly loved. I have unlimited potential, a great purpose in life, and grace and power to overcome every obstacle I face. The truth truly makes me free!”

For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

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