Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Truth and Consequences of Lies Women Believe, Part 5

Leslie Basham: Sinful habits are hard to break, but even if you've been in bondage for years, there is hope. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

You may have heard the saying "Sow a thought, reap an action." Well, today, Nancy Leigh DeMoss will tell us how to sow the Word of God into our lives in order to reap a life of freedom. Let's join Nancy as she speaks to a small group of women.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Not too long ago, I was at a picnic and a young wife (a friend of mine) came up to me. I hadn't seen her in a while; and she said, "Nancy, I just have to tell you that God has set me free!" She said, "I had given up hope that it could ever be possible, but God has set me completely free from years of bondage." She began to tell me about the particular area of bondage in her life, and I'm going to tell you a little bit more about her story in a few moments. But when we think about this matter of bondage, I'm reminded that there's a progression that leads to bondage.

We've been looking at that progression and we've seen that every area of bondage in our life begins with a lie. We listen to the lie; we dwell on it. We believe the lie, sooner or later we act on what we believe; and when we begin acting on lies, we ultimately set patterns, strongholds, areas of bondage in place in our lives. In this session, I want us to focus on the steps to freedom. We've seen the progression that leads to bondage. The progression that leads us to freedom is really just the opposite. Instead of listening to lies, we have to commit ourselves to listen to the truth--to have a constant intake of the truth into our minds and our hearts, to feed our minds with the truth.

You've heard people who are really into health matters say, "You are what you eat." Well, you are in your mind--what you feed into your mind. And those of us who are taking a steady intake or diet of the world's ways of thinking into our minds--through the things we read, the things we watch, the things we listen to, the kinds of friends we hang around with...we're going to be led into deception. But we can choose to put into our lives input that is the truth.

Now, where do we get the truth? Well, for starters, with the Word of God. And this is why it's so important that you and I have a steady, constant diet of the Word of God in our lives. I thank the Lord for this book that I'm holding in my hand. And in recent years...I've been reading the Bible for many years...but in recent years I've made it a point to get what I call "mega-doses" of the Word into my system. I've seen areas of my life that need to be changed, that need to be renewed, areas of my life where there have been sinful bondages, things that are true about me that I don't want to be true, areas I want to be changed. And I've realized that it's the Word of God, it's the truth of God's Word that will set me free in these areas. So I try to start each day by getting input from the Word of God into my mind, listening to the truth.

But I not only want to get the actual, literal Word into my mind. I want to make sure that the other things I'm reading and watching and listening to are things that will confirm the truth of God's Word in my mind.

In Philippians 4, Paul tells us that we are supposed to spend our time thinking about things that are right, things that are true, things that are noble and pure and lovely and admirable. He says, "If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

Now, that's one of the reasons that I don't spend a lot of time watching or reading the news. I've been told (and it has seemed to prove true) that if something happens that you need to know about, you will hear about it! But you know, you can have a great disaster happen in the world; and you get one of these newscasts that just broadcasts the news over and over again. And you can play these things over and over and over in your mind, not getting just the facts--but getting everybody's spin on these facts. And you can end up filling your mind with a lot of negative thinking. I don't want to fill my mind, my heart, with the evil that's going on in this world. Now, I want to know just enough that I can have compassion, that I know how to pray. But I want to be filling my mind, my thoughts with things that are pure and lovely and good and beautiful and trustworthy.

As we listen to the truth, and as we meditate on it, God is going to cause faith to spring up in our hearts. We will come to believe the truth that we meditate on. And that's why I go back and rehearse in my mind over and over again the things that I know are true about God and His ways because that's what feeds faith in my heart. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And we've said that whatever we believe, ultimately is what we're going to act on. I want to act on things that are true. I want to obey the Word of God. So if I'm filling my mind, my heart, with the truth, then I'm going to believe the truth and I'm going to act--based on the truth that I know. That's what's going to help me obey God.

Especially when I come to a difficult situation where it's a test to obey God, where it's emotionally or relationally costly or difficult to obey God. That's when I see the value of years of having laid a foundation of listening to the truth, filling my mind with it, meditating on it. You know, if I get up in the middle of the night in my house; and it's pitch black dark, I can find my way (in a power outage or whatever). I can find my way around my house because I've walked through my house so many times in the light that I know where things are. And in the dark, I'm not likely to trip. But I've spent a lot of time on the road in hotel rooms. And if the lights are out in a hotel room in the middle of the night--it's pitch black dark--and I get up and walk around, I could really hurt myself because I'm not accustomed to what that room looks like in the light.

The value of feeding your mind, of filling your mind and heart with the truth for a period of years is that as you've been walking in the light, then when you come to this situation where you have to obey God in a very difficult, costly way, you won't get tripped up. The things that you've known about the ways of God will come to bear on your life. The truth will be your foundation; and you'll find you'll be able to stand and to obey God, to act on the truth that you have come to believe. And what happens when we act on the truth? We end up in freedom. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). That's where we experience the peace, the joy, the blessing, the fullness, the fruitfulness that we long for in our lives. Freedom comes from embracing the truth, believing it and acting on it.

So, if we have these areas of sinful bondage in our lives, what should we do to move from bondage to freedom? Let me make three suggestions. First of all, identify the area or the areas of bondage and sinful behavior. What are the areas in your life where you're not free? What are those sin habits that you can't get victory over? Identify what they are. And then ask God to help you identify what are the lies that you've been believing that are at the root of that bondage or that sinful behavior.

My friend, I told you about, that I met at this picnic...I ran into her, and she was telling me that God had set her free. She went on to tell me that since she was thirteen years old, she had been in bondage to a particular moral habit. She thought when she got married that that would solve her problem, but it didn't. She said, "I wanted so badly to be free in this area of my life." She said, "I tried and I tried to get victory. I did everything I knew how to do." She did Bible study and prayer and asked people to hold her accountable. She said, "But I just kept failing." And she said, "Every time I would blow it, I'd confess my sin, I'd ask God's forgiveness; but deep in my heart," she said, "I knew I was going to fall again. I just couldn't stop."

Ultimately, she went to an older woman, a mature woman of God. And, by the way, that's a good thing to do, to find a woman who really knows the truth of God's Word. And she asked this woman to pray for her.

The woman said to her, "What are the lies that you've been believing that are at the root of this behavior?"

My friend, in telling me this story, said, "You know, when she said that to me, I said, 'I don't think I've been believing any lies.'" But then she said, "I went to the Lord. And I said, "Lord, would you show me if there's anything I've been believing that's not true?" She said, "As I asked God to open my eyes, He showed me two lies that I've been believing; and I didn't know I'd been believing." She said, "I didn't know they were lies." God opened her eyes to the truth. She said, "I repented of believing the lies; and in that moment," she said, "God set me free."

Here she was, some time later (I had not seen her for a while) rejoicing! She said, "Nancy, I am free. I am free. It's not an issue in my life any more. The truth has set me free."

And that leads me to the third point. Counter the lies with the truth. Identify what are the lies that are at the root of the bondage, and then replace the lies with the truth of God's Word that will set you free. This woman went on to tell me that as she began to walk in truth in this area of her life, that God was now opening up to her other areas where she had been deceived and never realized it. And she said, "Nancy! I'm getting victory in so many areas of my life, where I never thought I could be free."

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss offering hope to any woman that finds herself in bondage to a sinful behavior. Nancy will be back to close our time in prayer. You know, sometimes it's hard to recognize whether or not we're believing in lies. Nancy's written a book that can help us identify ways we might be deceived. It's called Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. It's available in our resource center, and it can be yours for a suggested donation of $17. When you call us you can also get a cassette copy of today's program. It's part of a series called "The Truth and Consequences of the Lies Women Believe." It's available for a suggested donation of $5. Our number is 1-800-569-5959.  You can also order on our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com.

Perhaps you have a story of how God delivered you from bondage. Why don't you write and tell us about it?  When you call or write for any reason, ask for the free Quiet Rest Wall Calendar. It features beautiful artwork and quotes from Nancy. You can get your free calendar by calling 1-800-569-5959.

Did you realize that some of the most dangerous lies we're tempted to believe have to do with the way we view God? Nancy will talk about that on Monday. Now, to close our time in prayer, here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Thank you, Father, for the power of the truth, the power of the truth to renew our minds, to sanctify our hearts, to transform our lives. And, oh God, would you teach us to counsel our hearts according to the truth of Your Word. And by Your truth, would you set us free. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

Leslie Basham: 

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

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