Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Truth and Consequences of Lies Women Believe, Part 4

Leslie Basham: Deceptive messages may sound harmless at first, but if we're in the habit of listening to lies it will have serious consequences. Welcome to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, October 25.

Do you recognize lies when you hear them? We hear messages all day long. Most sound good on the surface, but are we really hearing the truth. Today we're going to join Nancy Leigh DeMoss as she teaches in front of a small group of women about the way to distinguish truth from error.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Most of us don't wake up in the morning and say, "I think I'm going to end up in bondage today". And we don't wake up and say, "I think I'm going to believe a lie today". These things happen much more subtly and much more gradually in most cases than just something that dramatic. When we end up in bondage, it's usually because we've been following a progression. It didn't start out as a bondage when we have a food addiction, or a moral issue that we struggle with, or a temper problem--as one woman shared with me recently, who's really battling with anger issues. It may be a matter of worry or fear or anxiety or overspending. Any of these areas of bondage, we didn't start out in those areas of bondage. It didn't happen overnight. It happened as a result of a progression.

We're considering how the truth can set us free and how Satan uses deception to put us in bondage. And I want us today to consider the progression, the steps that lead us into bondage. It starts so simply. And I want to suggest that the beginning place (that ends us up in bondage) is when we start by listening to a lie. Eve's first mistake was not eating the fruit. Her first mistake was listening to the serpent, listening to someone who was giving her advice that was contrary to the Word of God. And that's where we make our first mistake, isn't it? We listen to; we receive input and counsel into our lives that is not true. It's deceptive. The problem is that Satan doesn't usually come to us in the form of a serpent as he did to Eve.

By the way, that makes me think this is why--most of us as women don't like snakes. I do think it probably goes back to that first experience that a woman had with a snake. But, when Satan comes to us, he comes in much more subtle forms. If he would come as they have him pictured in some of the historic paintings of Satan, we would be alert; and we would say that we know to stay away from him. The problem is that he comes disguised as a New York Times bestseller or as a popular magazine article, as a movie, in a TV show, as a top ten hit song. He comes disguised through the counsel that you'll hear on a lot of popular talk shows, and through some talk-show hosts. Sometimes he can come even in the form of an evening news anchor.

We're hearing things that seem so right, seem rational, seem to make sense. But it's Satan's counsel disguised in ways that we are more prone to swallow. In fact, he can come in other ways. Sometimes he comes through the counsel of a relative or a friend. I was talking this week with a woman who is contemplating divorcing her husband and she said her parents are the ones who are kind of encouraging her in this direction. They want to take care of her financially, but they would feel better about doing that if she weren't married to this man. So she said, "I don't really think this is what I should do," (divorcing her husband). But she's getting counsel from well-meaning friends and relatives.

I said, "I can understand how your parents might feel that way naturally. They've got a protective instinct. But they're giving you counsel that is contrary to the Word of God". And that's how we get deceived. That deception of Satan may come in the form of sincere counsel that comes from a friend. It may come through a therapist or a counselor or even a Christian author or preacher or counselor. You say, "Not a Christian author! Certainly I wouldn't be deceived. Can't I know that if I walk into a Christian bookstore that what I pick up there is going to be the truth?" Oh, that it were true, and much of what you will find in a Christian bookstore is truth; but everything we read, everything we hear needs to be filtered through the Word of God.

I was speaking recently at a conference, and a woman came up to me at the end of the first session. And she said, "You made this point, but you didn't give us the reference for it. And I'm committed to search out everything I hear from the Word of God. Can you tell me where that is in the Bible?"

Now, at the moment, I wasn't sure of the exact reference, and I said, "I'll have to go find it. We'll give it to you by tomorrow."

But I'm thankful for women like that who say, "I'm not just going to buy into what any Christian speaker says to me." You can go to women's conferences today and hear counsel that is not according to truth. Everything you hear, you need to weigh according to the Word of God. When you hear these lies, remember that there is no such thing as a harmless lie. There is no insignificant type of deception.

Not too long ago I saw the end of a Hallmark movie. Now so many of those are so beautiful. But I was really distressed to see the way that this particular story concluded--as a woman who was in a difficult life situation, with a difficult marriage--(when the wife) ended up dumping her husband and marrying instead someone who'd been a kind, compassionate part of her life through this whole ordeal. The problem is that when I tell it to you that way, it sounds terrible that she would do this. But I bet some of you saw that same movie, and did you find yourself feeling compassion toward this woman and the choices she was making? It seemed so sad that she should have to stay married to this man who had been so unfair and unjust to her. And your heart kind of goes out...you find your heart going out to a woman in distress here, and (you find yourself) thinking, How nice that she can have a man who will really take care of her.

But I said to the person who was watching the end of this TV movie with me, "That is deception! We just deceived a whole nation of women and men into thinking that you're better off leaving your husband, breaking your vows and finding a second mate", when the truth is, by the way, that second marriages have a higher divorce rate than even first marriages. Nobody talked about the likely problems with stepparents, step in-laws, stepchildren. They didn't talk about the long term, likely consequences of this choice she was making. It was framed in such a positive way.

And the danger is--when we listen to these lies, when we take in this kind of input--remember that the source of every lie is Satan. He's behind this deception. When we dwell on the lies that we have listened to, ultimately, we're going to end up believing those lies. When we believe those lies, it's as if that seed that's been watered and fertilized now takes root and begins to grow up. We're going to develop this seed, to grow it up. And we do that as we listen to the lie, we dwell on it and then we believe it. And everything that you and I believe, sooner or later, we're going to act on.

Proverbs says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." What we think, what we believe is ultimately what we're going to be. Our behavior is based on what we believe. So many people have been misled by believing things that aren't true. I can remember, as a child...fortunately it was before I was old enough to get my driver's license...but I had this belief when I was a little girl, that when you came to a red light, it meant you couldn't go. It meant that the car wouldn't move. They said you can't go at a red light, so I thought that meant the car won't move. Now, fortunately, I learned the truth about that little matter before I was old enough to drive. But what we believe is ultimately what we're going to act on. And if we believe lies, ultimately we're going to disobey the Word of God. We're going to act based on that lie.

Some of us have come to believe that we can make it without consistent time in God's Word and prayer. Now, we wouldn't say we believe that, but that's what we really believe in our minds; and as a result that's the way we live. We go through day after day without getting our hearts tuned in the Word of God and in prayer. And ultimately, when we act on the lie, we're going to act on it again and again and again. And you know what happens? We wear a groove in our hearts. A stronghold, a pattern develops in our lives--that ultimately leads us into bondage. We end up in bondage. Every area of bondage in my life, every area of sinful behavior, every addictive habit, every stronghold in my life can be traced back to listening to a lie, dwelling on it, believing it and then acting on it.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss reminding us that listening to lies can have serious consequences. Nancy will return in just a minute; but first, let me tell you about the book she's written called Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. In it, Nancy confronts many of the deceptive messages that bombard us today. She also explains how Christ can rescue us from the bondage that comes from believing in lies. You can get the book from our resource center for a suggested donation of $17. Just call us at 1-800-569-5959. 

You can also order a cassette copy of today's broadcast. It's part of a series called "The Truth or Consequences of Lies Women Believe." And you can get a copy for a suggested donation of $5. Again, the number is 1-800-569-5959. And when you call, ask for the Quiet Moments Wall Calendar. It's a colorful twelve-month calendar filled with thoughtful sayings and quotes from Nancy's book, A Place of Quiet Rest. We'd love to give you a free copy when you call or write.  You can also find out more about our program and Nancy's books and tapes on our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com.

Today, Nancy talked about the bondage that comes from listening to lies. Tomorrow, we'll hear how truth leads us to freedom, step by step. Now, here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In the second chapter of Jonah, as Jonah is within the belly of that great fish, having run from God, he makes a very interesting comment. It's part of his prayer from the belly of that fish. And he says, "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy"(Jonah 2:8). What happens, he says, when we listen to, when we observe things that aren't true? We end up forsaking, forfeiting, the mercy that God wants to give to us to deal with the real life circumstances that we face as part of this fallen world. The truth will set us free. When we believe a lie and we act on it, ultimately we will end up in bondage; and only the truth of God's Word can set us free.

Father, would you reveal to us areas where we have listened to lies, where we've taken input into our hearts and our minds that is not true--things we're reading, listening to, watching, heeding and hearing that are not true. And would you help us to identify those areas of bondage; and what the lies are behind our sinful bondages so that we can repent of those lies, can turn to the truth and can be set free. I pray it for Jesus' sake, Amen.

Leslie Basham:

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

  

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