Revive Our Hearts Podcast

God’s Truth Counters the Lies

Episode Resources

Visit the Lies Young Women Believe blog.

Leslie Basham: Dannah Gresh says every young woman needs to fight lies . . .

Dannah Gresh:

"I’m supposed to be depressed."
"I’m supposed to be afraid."
"I’m supposed to feel like nobody likes me."
"I'm supposed to feel if people really knew who I was, they would reject me."
"I'm supposed to feel like a hypocrite."

Leslie: . . . with the truth of God’s Word.

Dannah: When God starts to rescue you, the lies that had become deeply ingrained into my life as a teenager, God began to untangle one by one.

Teen: "If anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of Lies Young Women Believe, for Monday, February 5, 2018.  

We hear such a swirl of voices around us all the time. How do you know which messages are trustworthy? How do you know which messages are false?

We’re going to focus on that question here on Revive Our Hearts. On February 19, Nancy will re-release her classic book, Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free. Also on February 19, she’ll begin a teaching series here on Revive Our Hearts about the lies we’re tempted to believe.

This week we are focusing on how the swirl of competing messages is affecting young women. Tomorrow, Nancy and her co-author Dannah Gresh are releasing the updated version of their book Lies Young Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free.

They’ll help young women and their moms recognize lies and cling to the truth all this week here on Revive Our Hearts. Today, we’ll get an overview. Why is it so important to avoid listening to lies? How can we know we’re building our lives on the truth? To start, Nancy talks about why it’s so important to love the truth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: It’s the truth that gives our lives foundation and a basis for living.

It’s the truth, Jesus said, that sets you free. Jesus is the truth, so a lie is anything that pulls us away from the truth, that derails us, that deceives us. Lies by their very nature are deceptive.

Go back to the early chapters of the book of Genesis; you see that God makes the woman for the man and He brings them together and sets them in this beautiful, perfect environment. Then you enter chapter three, and all of the sudden there’s this huge, cataclysmic disruption.

The serpent enters the scene, and what does he do? He pulls the woman away from the truth. Then she has a choice of going with the truth as God has given it or going with something that counters the truth.

She believes the lie, bites into the fruit, thinks this is going to make her happy and successful and that she’ll be like God . . . and then she finds she’s got a mouthful of worms.

What a picture that is of the human race and life ever since! I just know for myself, when I let my mind or my emotions go places that aren’t consistent with God’s Word, I end up with a mouthful of worms.

Dannah: Let’s talk about lies about guys . . . 

Leslie: This is Dannah Gresh, co-author of Lies Young Women Believe.  She’ll also be speaking this September at True Woman '18.

Dannah has led the teen track at multiple True Woman Conferences.

Dannah: I didn’t begin to see the lies in my life until God began to rescue me with the truth. As I got some distance from the destruction of those lies . . . Nancy talks about the Garden.

If Christ is life, if He is truth, He says, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.”  You see that in the Garden before the Fall . . . and then you see consequence. So when you’re mired in the consequences, absent of the truth of Jesus, you just think it’s normal. “I’m supposed to be depressed. I’m supposed to be afraid. I’m supposed to feel like nobody likes me. I supposed to feel like if people really knew who I was they would reject me. I supposed to feel like a hypocrite.”

Then when God starts to rescue you, which happened for me when I was probably between the ages of twenty and twenty-six, the lies that had become deeply ingrained in my life as a teenager, God began to untangle them one by one.

My mom and my husband described it as if I had become to know Christ for the first time. It was like a rebirth of my life.

One of the biggest lies for me was: If people knew my sin, if they knew my past, they would think I was a hypocrite. They would reject me. That was such the antithesis of truth, because Christ’s rescue in my life is what has equipped me to serve Him.

Leslie: We’ll hear more of Dannah’s story in a few minutes. She’s been talking about some of the lies that affected her as a young woman. Those lies don’t just come from the broader world. Sometimes we tell ourselves lies too. Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Nancy: Emotions are very, very powerful. You’ve got the whole culture screaming at you in all kinds of advertising and entertainment. And your parents are many times products of believing lies. You are being bombarded with so-called friends, with media, with entertainment, and teachers . . .

Dannah: . . . let us not forget hormones!

Nancy: They’re screaming at you! I often say, "Perception is half of reality." We tend to think that if you feel it’s true, therefore it is true. 

Dannah: It says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every contention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

I want to ask you this question: Do you take your thoughts captive, or are they taking you captive?

You know how you can just lay there at night and think all the negative thoughts: Nobody likes me. Nobody wants to be my friend. I'm all alone. I don't have anyone to sit with tomorrow.

These can overwhelm you at night.

Or you look into the mirror and you don't notice the good things about your face, but you notice every tiny flaw. That's you thoughts taking you captive.

Or, "Everybody else has a boyfriend, but you never will." That's your thoughts taking you captive.

Fear, anxiety, stress, shame, self-loathing . . . that's your thoughts taking you captive.

God does not want your thoughts to take you captive, He wants you to take them captive. You are in control of your thoughts, if you want to be.

Leslie: Dannah Gresh says that recognizing and countering lies goes beyond just knowing the right facts.

Dannah: When you’re hiding in the Garden in fig leaves, it is impossible to believe anything other than, “If God finds me, I will be ruined. If my parents really find where I’m at right now, I will be ruined. If the people closest in my life see what I’ve just done, everything will come to an end.”

That’s all you can believe right then and there. That’s why you have to be retrained. It’s a process. It’s not something you can do on your own.

God ran after Adam and Eve when they were believing those lies in the aftermath of the first lie. He ran after them, and that’s what we need to do with young women and women today. We need to run after them with God’s truth.

Nancy: It’s also the Spirit of God that turns on the light in our lives. I grew up in a Christian home, in a Christian school, and Bible-preaching churches, very saturated in truth , for which I am incredibly and eternally grateful; but there is a huge difference between apprehending truth intellectually . . .

You can know in your head what is true, but if your emotions, your hormones, your culture, your feelings, you don’t grab hold of what you know intellectually until the Spirit of God and the grace of God make it real to you.

That’s what we’re trying to do. What I have to do in my own life is to get to Jesus, because truth is not just a set of principles. It’s not a set of dogmas. It’s not a creed.

It is that, but it’s more than that—before that is Christ. As Christ becomes my life, then the truth becomes real to me, and I can, with my heart, lay hold of truth, countering my emotions.

I think so many of our young people are rejecting truth because all they’ve seen is the dogma, but they haven’t encountered Christ; and, sadly, perhaps they haven’t known many adults that they look at and say, “This person really knows Christ in a way that makes me want to trust Him.”

Leslie: Jesus once told some hypocrites the true source of lies.

You are of your father the devil . . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).

Leslie: So it’s not surprising when our quest for the truth results in greater attacks from the Enemy. Here’s Dannah Gresh.

Dannah: Oftentimes when we’re most on track to find truth [Satan] will speak those lies most loudly to us because he sees that we are en route to freedom, he sees that we are enroute to victory.

That's when it gets really ugly. Maybe you are getting into truth, you are starting to read your Bible.

 One memory I have as a college young woman, believing that I didn't have value because I didn't have the skin of Cindy Crawford. I'm not even sure if Cindy Crawford even has clear skin. But I remember as a young woman thinking, It’s not just that I’m not beautiful. I don’t have value. I can’t contribute anything to the world because I don’t look like Cindy Crawford.

Well, what I began to do in college is realize that God doesn’t want a measly five minutes a day for me to download a to-do list to Him. He wants me to be a friend with Him.

He wants me to open the Word and say, “God, how do You want me to live today? Who am I? What is my purpose in Psych class at Cedarville University? What am I doing here?”

As I began to spend ten and twenty and thirty minutes and then an hour with the Lord, I don’t know when it happened, but I started looking in the mirror.

Nancy: Which you had avoided.

Dannah: I hadn’t looked in the mirror since I was probably in sixth grade.

I so hated what God had created for those junior high and senior high years that I couldn’t look in the mirror. But as I began to daily encounter the truth in God’s Word, suddenly I was looking in the mirror.

And I wasn’t going, “Wow, what a babe!” But I wasn’t going, “Wow, what a worm! You’re just disgusting. You have no value.”

The truth was transforming every area of my mind, those that I was consciously bringing before God and those that I didn’t really even know needed to be addressed.

Teen:

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zeph. 3:17). 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Nancy: I think it’s important to realize that Satan has an agenda. He’s intentional.

Actually, I don’t really think we’re the object of his efforts. He hates God.

He’s a rebel. He knows he’s doomed, but he’s going to go down fighting God. He hates God. So what does he do? He’s goes after the apple of God’s eye: humans. He knows that if he can bring down those who are created in the image of God, those that God loves, then he has dealt a blow at God.

The fact is: God has not left us on our own to have to deal with him, to do combat with him. We are in a battle. We have to realize that. We have to be aware, alert to his wiles and his schemes, his deception. We need to put on the truth. But ultimately God is the one contending with him.

It helps me a lot in my own battles to remind myself that this is not a losing battle—that Christ in me is victorious, and Christ in this world ultimately will be victorious over every lie, every form of deception. Satan cannot win, and he has no ground unless I give it to him in my life and fuel his deception.

Leslie: According to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, we don’t often think (and most of our teen daughters don’t think) about how our sin actually makes us allies with Satan and his ways.

Nancy: That’s exactly what Adam and Eve did. They fulfilled Satan’s purpose.

God is the supreme, sovereign ruler of all the universe. He had declared Himself to be that, and they said, in essence, “We’re taking our side against You with this serpent.”

And that’s what we do. It’s not that we’re consciously thinking, Oh, Satan, I love you, or I worship you.

Most of the people I hang around with are not Satan worshipers knowingly. But when I choose, for example, the pathway of bitterness instead of the pathway of forgiveness—even if it is only in my mind. I'm not being vindictive, but I'm nursing those bitter feeling. When I do, I am siding with Satan against God, and I’m fueling his deception in my life.

What happens is ultimately, as we think in our hearts, so will we be; what we think about, what we dwell on, we start to believe. What we believe ultimately comes out in the way that we live. When I act based on things that are not true, ultimately I’m putting myself into bondage. Then we end up with these addictions, these habits, these patterns, these structures in our lives and in our relationships, some of them going back to when we were very young.

Then we start to feel helpless and hopeless and trapped. I think that’s where a lot of Christian women live most of their Christian lives, just feeling trapped.

That’s where we want to go back and say, “Okay, where did this start? What was the genesis of this? What are the sinful patterns, the unbiblical or unholy behaviors? Where do they come from? What was I choosing to believe that wasn’t true, and how did I build a construct in my life that’s based on deception rather than truth?”

That's hard work; that's effort. I think sometimes we'd rather wallow in our bondage than have to go through it.

Dannah: Yeah, that seems much easier.

Didn’t you say, Nancy, at one point in working on this book for teen girls, when you were getting letters from the adult women that had read Lies Women Believe, that their genesis often went back to their teen years?

Nancy: Absolutely, or younger. Sometimes it was things people had said to them or choices they had made; but now here they are thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years of age and older, saying, “I’ve built my whole life on this system, this way of thinking, that had its roots back when I was a younger woman.”

What they were saying was, “We wish we had known these things sooner.” The other thing they said was, “Now, how can we help our daughters and our granddaughters not buy into these lies?”

Dannah, you are the one who gets the privilege of speaking to teens regularly. I don't get to do that very often. But when I do, as I get older, I say, "These are some of the things I wish I had understood when I was your age. These are some of the things the women I know wish someone had told them when they were your age.”

I know when we’re young, we think we know it, and we think we have reality, and it’s harder to listen. The heart of wisdom says, “What can I learn from someone who’s been down the road further than I have been?”

I want to say, “Look, you do not have to go down this pathway that you’ve seen adults go down. Your life can be different if you will make the hard choices now to reject the lies and embrace the truth.”

Dannah: I know my genesis was when I was about fifteen, because until that point, I loved the Lord so much that I was going to be a missionary, I was going to be a Christian school teacher. I had all these ambitions to serve Christ. Yet I started to believe a lie—one of the ones we address in the book—that I had to have a boyfriend.

Then when that relationship started to get out of control, I started to believe, “I can control him. Nothing bad will happen, because I will be pure on my wedding day. I am a godly young woman. I am a missionary for Child Evangelism. I can control this.”

When I couldn’t control it, and I’d bit into that fruit like Eve did, I found myself in the aftermath, hiding with the fig leaves and saying, “I resign from being a summer missionary. I resign from being a Sunday school teacher. I will never be able to serve God again.”

I remember distinctly waking up every morning as a teenager and as a college student thinking, Wow, what a beautiful day! The birds are singing . . . wait a minute. Something’s not right. Oh, yeah. That. I bit the fruit. I’m ruined.

I remember waking up like that, not for five months, not for a year, but for almost eleven years. I was twenty-six when God rescued me with the truth that His forgiveness was big enough for my sin. But all that while I was cooperating with Satan. I was dwelling on my past, on my sin, and being shackled in bondage to a life sitting in the back row.

Do you know how many lives, Nancy, I missed ministering to? I believe there was probably a season where I needed to be restored, but I don’t think it was eleven years. And for these women who are listening right now and it's been twenty years, it's been thirty years, and they still haven't started to believe the truth of God's forgiveness.

Nancy: And you took that into your marriage.

Dannah: I took it into my marriage.

Nancy: So it wasn’t just the original lie, but it’s lies built on lies built on lies.

Dannah: Oh, he just gets you! It’s like rubber bands twisted all around your heart, and you have to untangle those lies one by one by one to get back to a good place where God can use you again.

Teens:

If anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).

As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove [MY] transgressions from [ME] (Ps. 103:12).

Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious (1 Peter 3:4).

Leslie: Dannah says releasing your heart from lies isn’t a solo project.

Dannah: You need somebody else to help you with that. It’s not something you can do in isolation.

I had asked God to forgive me every day of my life for eleven years. It never got to my heart. It did when I had the courage to tell somebody else, “Look how sinful I am! Am I still forgiven?”

When you hear the voice of God through another human voice, then you start to believe the truth. You cannot do it in isolation. It takes the body of Christ.

Erin Davis: They began to pray that the Lord would reveal specific lies that I was believing, and I just broke.

Leslie: Erin Davis understands first-hand the importance of involving others in the fight for the truth. She’s now a wife, a mom, and the author of books like Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role. She also writes the blog “Lies Young Women Believe.” But before any of that, while she was still in high school, she knew Dannah Gresh.

Dannah: We were in the same church. She was one of the first girls I ever mentored.

Leslie: Throughout her teenage years, Erin suffered from frequent nighttime panic attacks.

Erin: Sometimes I would wake up and be unable to breathe. Sometimes I would just be so oppressed by fear . . .

Leslie: There were nightmares, too. She says they started when her parents divorced, when she was ten.

Erin: The theme of my nightmares was never ghosts or anything scary. It was abandonment. I would find myself alone and wake up just petrified by that.

Leslie: This paralyzing fear was so common in Erin’s life, that she thought of it as normal.

Erin: I just thought it was something that I was going to have to live with. My mom has nightmares, has had nightmares for years. My twin sister had nightmares and had had nightmares for years all based on our experience with abandonment.

So I just thought it was who I was and what I had to go through.

Leslie: She knew that the Lord should be able to help her with these nightmares, but wasn’t really believing the situation would ever change.

Erin: Well, I knew it was tied to my heart, and I knew Jesus at that point and knew that He certainly did not abandon. I knew that my parents’ divorce was not the experience that defined me. But I just didn’t really ever think I could have freedom from those nightmares.

Dannah: I think it’s important to say, too, that Erin was the one who everyone would look at and say, “She’s strong. She has it all together. She’s serving the Lord. She’s going to do great things for Him.” And yet this was plaguing her.

I felt a little bit as a mentor like, “God, I should be able to fix this.” But I couldn’t. Erin, you were in your twenties when God finally provided you with a collision of truth that stopped it all. 

Erin: I’d come out to Pennsylvania to visit Dannah. They were starting a Christian high school, and I wanted to be a part of that. Before I came, I experienced the worst nighttime panic attack I’d ever had in my life, just couldn’t breathe, couldn’t get over it, was really oppressed.

And so flippantly I mentioned it to Dannah that I’d had that experience. She said, “We need to pray about that. We need to pray for deliverance.” She called some friends of hers, and we prayed together. I just thought, You know, I’ve prayed about this before. I didn’t expect much to come of it.

They began to talk about my father and I thought, I am so over this. This happened so long ago. That is not what this is about. I don’t know why we’re talking about this. And then they began to pray that the Lord would reveal specific lies that I was believing.

And I just broke as the lies were identified. Things like, “Everybody leaves.” Things like,“There’s something about me that people eventually discover, and they will abandon me.” Things like, “There is something wrong with you.”

As each lie was identified, part of the hardness of my heart and part of my struggle began to fall off in chunks, because then they would pray that Jesus would reveal His truth to counteract that lie.

Scriptures just were brought to my mind and brought to their minds, and we would pray through each lie. And I was delivered. I went to sleep that night, and didn’t have a nightmare for the first time in years.

I sometimes still have them when I’m facing a time of great spiritual warfare, but know what it is and know how to pray through it.

Dannah: Erin’s story is so powerful because we didn’t mystically search for answers to those lies. It’s written down. It’s in the Word of God. We said to her, “Erin, you have to memorize Scripture. Instead of, “Everyone leaves me,” you’ve got to memorize the verse that says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Over the course of weeks she re-trained her mind with truth. I believe every woman listening out there can do that if there’s an area of bondage that’s popping up in her life.

Leslie: When young women recognize lies they’re being told and counter those lies with the truth, it has powerful implications for every part of their lives.

Erin Davis, Dannah Gresh and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth have been explaining that today.  Erin oversees the Lies Young Women Believe blog for Revive Our Hearts.

And tomorrow, Nancy and Dannah are re-releasing their book Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets them Free. Maybe you have a teenage daughter at home or another young woman in your life. Would you get a copy of this book and go through it with her? We’d like to send you one copy of this revised book as our thanks when you make a donation of any amount to support Revive Our Hearts.

So ask for Lies Young Women Believe when you call with your donation. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or give your gift by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com, and we’ll send your copy.

You can also order additional copies and the study guide. This would be a perfect study for a small group of young women.  For details call 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

It’s not going to come as any surprise that young women need to know the truth about relationships. Tomorrow, Nancy and Dannah will be back to talk about it. Please be back, for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you walk in complete freedom. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

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