Healing the Heart, Part 2: Lies

Posted: May 03, 2024

This is the second of a three-part series on healing the heart. In part one we looked at bringing down the walls and barriers that block our healing. Now we move into the heart.

With nearly every man and woman I’ve worked with, regardless of their education, experience, or ministry position, including pastors, when we’ve had the time to look at their heart (and they’re willing to go there), a package of lies is exposed that has been hidden for years. On average, somewhere between eight and a dozen lies are brought to the light.

Growing up, every young boy and girl internalizes a set of beliefs about themselves, God, and others. Some of those beliefs are formed at the home, mainly by the way Mom or Dad treated them. Did their parents treat them with respect growing up? Was there yelling and screaming? Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse? Neglect or abandonment? Spiritual abuse? Did they experience rejection? Did they hear “I love you” and receive appropriate affection often from Mom and Dad? Were they verbally built up?

Then there are circumstances outside of the home. Was the boy or girl teased or bullied at school? Were they rejected anywhere, including at church? Was there any kind of abuse, including by a family member or a trusted leader, such as one at church?

Our enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy watches for an opening. There is no such thing as a home that is a safe haven from spiritual warfare. The enemy can sneak into the family home as easily as he does into a church. He knows how to plant lies into a boy or girl’s mind and massage those thoughts into their core until a stronghold is formed. Abusive family, friends, or churches make it easy for him.

Years later, well into adulthood, if those lies have been left untouched they will continue to drive the person. Ongoing struggles with depression, anger, pride, self-absorption, doubt, and sins and addictions are signals that there is a place in the heart that needs healing.

Satan took Adam, Eve, and all their descendants down with this:

“But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4

Two sentences. That’s all it took to corrupt the entire human race with sin and send many to hell. He still fights with lies today, with devastating effectiveness.

The following is a list of lies I often see in those who come to us for help. Most are unaware of what has been trojan-horsed in their heart.

* I can’t be loved as I am.
* There is something wrong with me, a fatal flaw.
* I am rejected.
* I am abandoned.
* I am on my own.
* I must do something to earn love.
* I can’t measure up.
* God will not protect me, so I must protect myself.
* I must be perfect.
* I must not expose my heart to others.
* God is cruel, or abusive.
* God is like my parents.
* God is too busy for me.
* God doesn’t love me.
* Porn/sex/masturbation (or another love-counterfeit) is love, or comfort.

This is how it goes down. A child’s heart is wounded. Maybe one of their parents wasn’t there for them emotionally, they rarely heard “I love you,” there was turmoil in the family, or they were abused some way. The child will internalize a message from these events, and always remember the spiritual battle. Then a chain of lies is built in the heart that can look like the following:

“Since Mom/Dad don’t accept me as I am, I can’t be loved as I am. I need to do something to earn love. I must be perfect. But since I can’t be perfect, receiving love is hopeless. God doesn’t love me. Since He doesn’t love me, I’m on my own. Therefore, I have to find love another way…  pornography, masturbation, sex, overeating, drugs/alcohol, ministry, family, the approval of others, work, doctrine/knowledge, will be my love, affection, and comfort; my source of life.”

Sexual abuse is rape of the soul. Physical and emotional abuse take a wrecking ball to the emotions and heart of a young one. Those who have been abused, especially sexually, might have a lie set that looks like this: “I am shamed, soiled, rejected. I am worthless, good only for being used by others. I deserve to be treated like trash. If anyone knows what I really am like they will reject me. I dare not, will not, expose my heart to another person. Thus, intimacy and love are impossible for me. Since love is impossible for me, I must find love with a counterfeit.”

The child isn’t aware of the agreements he’s made with these lies, but they are there, growing, metastasizing. This is a setup for bondage to sin.

What do you think happens when a man or woman who’s in bondage to lies goes to church on Sunday morning while carrying such emotional turmoil and struggling with sin while seeing all those happy faces that look like they have it all together? Perhaps they crank up their involvement in ministry, turn into a Scripture-quoting Pharisee, or they just fake it like everyone else. Maybe being in church scrapes their wounds and they feel like a hypocrite, a failure. Or they fall deeper into the hole of discouragement, confusion, and their false coping mechanisms.

We ask people to fill out a questionnaire when they come to us for counseling. One of the questions is “Please describe your family of origin.” When I get “My parents were perfect/had no faults” (I kid you not) or they ignore that question, I know it has triggered their defensive system. Somewhere along the line, they got hurt by someone they loved or respected.

Each lie has the power to cripple the relationships with God or others. I see “I’m on my own” or “I’m abandoned” often. Regardless of whether one knows God’s promise that “I will never leave or forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5), if “I’m on my own” is buried in the heart, they will continue to act out the lie, regardless of their Bible knowledge or the church they attend. They’ll be prone to being flesh-driven rather than Holy Spirit-powered.

Satan has used the “God is cruel” lie to drive many away from God for centuries. The book of Job is one example of how our enemy uses suffering and trials to seduce people into the lie that God doesn’t care when hard times hit. There are no promises of a suffering free, breezy Christian life. Pain and sorrow are guaranteed.

“After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
Acts 14:21-22

God’s character is rock solid; knowing Him and His character from personal experience, not just about Him, is critical. (Psalm 103 is a great starting point to get to know His character). We get to know Him by time in His word, hours in prayer that include listening and silence, learning to hear His voice and walk with Him, and obedience. There are many who know the Bible yet haven’t a clue what walking with Him is about, often because they haven’t stepped outside of their comfort zone and into the challenging, sometimes terrifying adventure of a life of faith that chooses to trust Him no matter what happens.

What is so dangerous about lies in the heart is that they bleed over into the relationship with God and others. “I’m on my own” spawns “God has abandoned me” which breeds “God doesn’t love me.” Those lies can thwart marriages, families, churches, and other relationships… “My spouse doesn’t love me, I’m on my own in my family… my kids don’t love me… I can’t find acceptance in the church.”

The truth must get to the core of the heart. Until the chain of lies has been exposed and their power broken, those wounds will continue to fester, thwarting the child of God’s relationships and increasing his or her chances of struggling with sin and being seduced by the pull of love-counterfeits.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23

So here’s what we do to break the chain.

Ask the Lord to reveal every lie you’ve bought into. Perhaps reading the list of lies above has already brought several to the surface. Then, pray the following for each lie the Lord revealed to you:

“Lord, I have believed the lie that (name the lie here). I confess this lie as sin. In Jesus name, I renounce this lie and break every agreement associated with it.  Lord, please take back all ground I’ve given the enemy in this area, fill my heart with the truth, and bring healing.”

If you’ve made a vow that needs to be broken, as we looked at in part 1, you can take care of it by praying in the same way.

We confess the lie as sin because to believe and agree with a lie is to say that Satan is right and God is wrong. This confession of sin takes it to the cross where we receive the power of His forgiveness and cleansing. Renouncing and breaking the agreements with the enemy removes the ground he had in the heart in that area.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

To bring a lie to the light is to expose a deep wound that has been carried for years; we have heart surgery and experience healing while engaging in spiritual warfare and breaking the enemy’s grip on our heart.

Many are in tears when I walk them through this process. Most are emotionally exhausted afterward. Heart surgery to that depth is draining, but in a good way because there is release and relief. After they pray and break the power of each lie, I follow up and ask Jesus to cleanse them with His precious blood, heal, and set the truth in their heart.

Then I give them an assignment of spending time alone with the Lord later and asking Him to give them a Bible verse to replace each lie that was broken. I call these verses their “New Life Anchors” because they are replacing the parts of the foundation of their life that were faulty—the lies—with the rock solid, life-giving building blocks of God’s truth.

The truth is powerful and life-changing when it touches the core of the heart.

If you pray through the process of breaking lies, I encourage you to share with another believer and ask them to pray for your complete healing, as James 5:16 shows.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
James 5:16

If you would like our help walking through this process, please contact us. Sometimes we need others to help us see our blind spots.

Next week we continue with part 3.