“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
There are two parts to a lie. The first part we tell and the second part we believe. Both parts feed off each other, creating a downward spiral by covering up and then living out. Today God exposed more lies I have made a part of my identity.
In high school, I began to practice the first part of a lie: Telling it to others. I was not intentionally lying; it was merely done to cover up. I refused to live in my brother’s shadow, therefore I created my own inward rebellion. I realized although I was the school’s poster boy publicly, I was covering up my personal life through lies, resulting in hypocrisy. The motives behind my actions were not filled with integrity. See, I’ve never smoked anything, I had my first drink at twenty-two, and I lost my virginity at twenty-five. I am not trying to boast in these things, because honestly they mean nothing to me now. I am only emphasizing that although my actions may have seemed good, my motives were deceiving.
Wolves in sheep clothing means they have the appearance of a sheep yet have no desire to live in that community. Their intention may seem genuine, but ultimately misleading. Even worse are those who think they are doing God’s work yet their hearts are far from it. This is what Matthew says in chapter 7 verses 21-23;
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The scary part is that God says, “Many will say…”. It is absolutely possible to use the name of Christ to do miraculous things, because all authority is under His name. Yet, it is also absolutely possible to have a heart so far away from God that He doesn’t even know this self proclaimed servant. In the same way it is possible to be the poster boy of a high school, yet have intentions not grounded in His truth.
Gratefully, God got a hold my heart and shook some things up in my life. I remember in college God opening my eyes to this self seeking, deceitful, prideful, and sinful lifestyle I had been living. In conversation with a friend, God showed me how she was a victim of careless, self-satisfying men like myself. It shattered my heart and brought me to my knees and my face to the ground. I repented and turned from those things but I still struggle regularly. God has brought so much freedom in my life and I have been able to apologize and reconcile some relationships. But the enemy did not stop there.
Upon graduating college, he stepped his game up. After all, he is described as “the father of lies” in John 8:44. Instead of having me tell lies, he began to feed them to me and I started to believe them. My hands tremble at the thought that I accepted his deceitful voice. The number one lie he repeated in my head constantly was “You are okay, you’re good. You don’t need to tell them and you don’t need them.” I left college with such a strong community that was open, transparent, encouraging, and truly a place where iron sharpens iron. Upon moving to Los Angeles that community was stripped away. Instead of intentionally building a new community, the enemy told me “You are good, you don’t need them… You already have your guys in Chicago no need to find new ones here.” Even with all the education in the world; if I cannot discern God’s voice from the enemy’s voice and learn to rebuke the devil, he will make himself comfortable in my home.
Here is the worst part. Not only did I believe that lie… I began to live it out, i.e.: judging others, putting up walls and creating secrecy where community should have been. The the downward spiral began. In order to live those lies that I truly believed; I had to continue lying to keep it going. Sin is never just a slippery slide downhill, it’s a cliff that will cause death upon the explosive impact. I still managed to teach the word, invest in others, disciple, see miracles done through me and to me, but I was so consumed in a lie that I would watch myself cause more damage and hurt to those close to me.
The truth is, four years of isolation and a lack of a confrontational and loving community resulted in doing things I said I would never do. I crossed the standard God had for me sexually, I started to open the door to going out and drinking beyond my limits. Believing the lie “you are okay, don’t worry about it.” made me a female attention seeking individual, and I was used by the father of lies to create hurt. I would tell others to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing not even aware I was being used as one myself.
Please hear the cry of my pain. If you for one second accept and believe the lie the enemy is feeding you today, he will be sure that not just you but those around you be devoured and destroyed by his deception.
There has been only one way out of all this mess. It has been at the feet of Jesus. It is ultimately and genuinely humbling oneself and surrendering all to God. Giving up all of our desires, good ones and bad ones. It is finding our identity in Him. It is by reading and clinging on to his truth. There is only one way to redemption, there is only one way to healing, there is only one way to freedom and that is Jesus Christ. He already paved the way and He waits with open arms. He loves beyond what we can comprehend, without any record of right or wrong doings. There has been only one place I find peace in the disclosing of all my flaws. It is in His presence.
Do not wait for tomorrow. I plea with you, seek God today. He’s been knocking at your door for years, open it no matter how ugly and messy it is inside. He wants to reside in the home of your heart and help you clean it up not judge you. He is helping me remove baggage and waste in mine. He wants to convert this home from a dark abandoned warehouse into a palace for His kingdom.