Don't Listen to the Lies – CMN Women
Don’t Listen to the Lies
By Catie Naranjo
I know women get a bad rap for talking too much, and, in all honesty, I have not helped curb this stereotype. If anything, I embody it. Growing up, my parents would literally be falling asleep in their bed as I continued to verbally process my day. While I’ve always been a talker, I am not usually told that I listen too much (okay, I’m pretty sure no one has ever said that to me).
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of listening too long and too intently to the wrong things.
You see, when we are stepping out to plant a church and praying desperately that someone will sign up and show up, we are in a very vulnerable spot. It’s like we’ve invited the whole city to our birthday party and have no idea who is going to come or how they will like it. And boy can it feel like our identity and self-worth hangs in the balance – every single week.
Nothing has challenged my identity more than church planting: I may know my calling and understand my priorities, but what is it that defines me? What if I don’t feel successful as a church planter? What if my kids or my relationships aren’t doing well? Does that mean I’m a failure as a pastor? As a Christian? As me?
None of us are alone in these insecurities. However, right when we are most uncertain, you better believe that the enemy is laying out a menu list of lies that we can be tempted to believe. Here’s a quick list of some of them:
“I don’t belong here. I’m a fraud with no business church planting.”
“I have to prove myself and be good enough to earn this.”
“I’ve messed up too badly for God to use me.”
“No one really likes me or cares about me.”
“I’m all alone.”
“I’m not smart enough to do this.”
“This is just too hard. I’m not strong enough.”
“What I’m doing doesn’t matter.”
“I’m a failure.”
“God is disappointed and annoyed with me.”
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you? I know they do for me. However, it’s time to expose them for what they are – clever lies designed to trap and discourage you. Ultimately, if left unchecked, they will drive a wedge between you and God.
I wish there was a fast, easy way to dismiss these lies, but often they are rooted deep in our emotions and past experiences. But don’t be discouraged! The Bible tells us that we have authority over every thought that is contrary to His truth. While capturing these lies and overlaying them with the Word of God daily - even hourly - is hard work, it is so worth it! And remember, recognizing the lies strips them of their power. Now we just need to replace them with His truth!
For me – this is what I’ve come up with to keep me grounded and inoculated from those dangerous lies:
I am loved, and more than that… (Rom. 8:37-39)
I am reconciled with God and forgiven of my sins. (Rom. 5:11)
And because of that, I am at peace with God (Rom. 5:1-2)
And even considered a child of God. (John 1:12-13)
I’m a child who is also a delight to God, (Ps. 147:11)
So much so that God’s Spirit lives in me (1 Cor. 3:16)
And I am entrusted with purpose. (2 Cor. 5:19-20)
On top of that, I am helped by God, (Heb. 4:16)
I am gifted wisdom from God, and (James 1:5)
I am victorious through Christ! (1 Cor. 15:57-58)
So, regardless of the insecurities you are battling, I’m praying that you will reject the lies of the enemy. Let’s listen well and long to the right things this week – the truth of how incredible Christ is in you!
Catie Naranjo and her husband, Jeremy, planted Summit Church in Anthem, AZ, in 2015. They have two amazing kids, a grumpy cat, and are honored to be called by God to build His church.