As a kid, I loved children's church! When I say church, I mean we had “church!” We had a full-blown service with worship, offering, specials, and preaching all done by us kids. I can still remember my first sermon. I preached on Noah’s Ark and memorized the story word for word from a children’s Bible my mom purchased for me. This children’s church was completely democratic and every year we voted on a treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president. I was a great treasurer! I counted those coins like it was nobody’s business! What I really wanted to do was be the president! I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want to be the president? It never happened, but at least I was in charge of collecting the offering!
Why am I going down memory lane that historically has caused me so much disappointment? It’s because, to grow, we must be able to recognize the tactics the enemy (the devil) has used on us in the past so that we can recognize how he will use them again in the future, and how he is using them NOW! Guess what? The enemy doesn’t change his tactics. He uses the same tactics that he has always used to derail us from achieving God’s purpose. ALL his tactics deal with deception. We must remain vigilant and aware. The Bible says “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT). He wants you to believe things that aren’t true and he wants you to believe those lies for the rest of your life! He will create a theme of lies to use throughout your life to paralyze you with fear, insecurity, and doubt. I call it a life theme.
The life theme the enemy has used in my life has been second best, a backup plan, the understudy. Why is it important that I’ve been able to identify that? Well, it helps me understand the perspective in which I view every situation that occurs in my life and where the hurt and offense may be stemming from. If my colleague gets the promotion I thought I deserved, it’s ok to be disappointed, but when the offense, hurt, and bitterness start to creep in, we must recognize that we are viewing that particular event with the lenses of our life theme.
Not only does your life theme affect how we view isolated incidences in our lives, but it can affect how we behave. What has the feeling of “second best” drove me to do? It drove me to try to be the best in everything I do. I pushed myself to persevere when I should have just stopped. It drove me to get so much education that as far as qualifications, I should never be second best. It drives me to work harder, study harder, and strive for perfection. It causes me to lose all rational thought because I'm hyper-focused on being the best. Yes, I used present tense because I still do this and I have to acknowledge that I’m doing it and redirect the behavior. When I’m not chosen, the enemy whispers in my ear, “They don’t want you because you’re not good enough, you’re second best, you’re just the understudy.” (Side note: God is teaching me that being second, is a calling with a specific plan and purpose to help build ministries, teams, and people. The enemy had totally corrupted my thinking on that. But, that is another post for another day!)
The purpose of life themes is to instill limiting beliefs. You might tell yourself you’re too fat, you’re ugly, you’re not creative, you’re not smart enough, you’re not called, you have no purpose, and all the other lies the enemy will use to stop you in your tracks!
Have you ever listened to the same radio station so long that you keep hearing the same song over and over and over again? Annoying, right? After a while, you can’t take it anymore and you start flipping through the stations to listen to anything that is different from what you were listening to. So when the enemy’s life theme for your life keeps playing over and over again, CHANGE THE STATION!!!!!
Stop letting that theme keep playing in your head! Be aware of your thinking and redirect! When that theme starts playing in your head, remember what God says about you. God already created a life theme for you before you were in the womb of your mother. You see, God’s theme says you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are loved, you are forgiven, you are worthy, and most importantly you are His! That is the life theme that should be playing in your head and your heart, over and over again!
Recognize when you are viewing life’s circumstances and situations, through the lenses of your life theme. When something happens in your life, it’s easy to dream up scenarios from a biased viewpoint. Look at every situation through God’s eyes and that means with eyes of love, grace, and mercy.
It’s time to break the cycle of lies you’ve been believing and it is done by filling ourselves with God’s Word. He is with you. He will give you strength. The Holy Spirit will lead you to all truth. All you have to do is ask! Take some time to reflect and journal about the questions below. Look up the verses and let God speak to you!
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GROWTH THROUGH SELF-REFLECTION
What are some lies the enemy has whispered in your ear throughout your life?
What is the life theme the enemy wants you to believe?
What are some limiting beliefs that you are holding on to?
Has this life theme affected the way you have perceived certain situations in your life?
Has your life theme affected your behavior and decisions?
What does God say about you?
1 John 3:1
1 Peter 5:8
2 Corinthians 5:17