For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do good things he planned for us long ago.Ephesians 2:10
By definition a lie is an untrue statement; something said in order to mislead or deceive. It seems so simple when you read it in black and white…you take what is true and you distort it. You would think something so simple would be so easy to identify and avoid. Yet, in reality, lies wreak havoc in most of our lives. I’m not talking about the lies that are told to get you out of trouble or to manipulate a situation in your favor…that’s a different issue for a different day. I am talking about the lies that try to rob us of our very identity. The above passage from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is truth, in fact, it is a core truth for every person who is a follower of Jesus Christ. We are God’s masterpiece created anew in Christ Jesus to do the good works God planned for us to do.
Show of hands…How many of you woke up this morning with a smile on your face declaring, “I am God’s masterpiece!”? How many of you have made it to this point in the day still grinning that “I am God’s masterpiece” smile? If that’s you, you can probably stop reading…this blog might not be for you. But if you woke up this morning noticing some new gray hairs and felt old, or saw a few extra pounds on the scale and felt a little (or ALOT) less awesome about yourself, or had a blow out fight with your kid as they left for school and you are now certain you will be the reason they will spend thousands of dollars in therapy one day, or maybe your boss called you an underperformer or treated you like you added no value to the team, or your significant other made you feel invisible rather than important, or maybe you just feel like you have been knocked down and just cannot catch a break…then you might what to keep reading.
One thing I have learned very clearly in my journey with Jesus is that we have an enemy who wants to deceive us with lies. His desire is to mislead out of truly believing that we are God’s masterpiece…as if there was no way possible that God was thinking about YOU when His truth was penned. Oh no, that truth is just for all the other Jesus lovers…you know, the ones with the social media perfect lives, the ones who look like they have it all together and figured out. My friends, that IS the lie; it is a distortion of God’s truth when we begin to believe that even though we love Jesus, His truth couldn’t really apply to us. Whether it is because of our past, or our current circumstances, our backgrounds, the things that we have done, or a multitude of other reasons, somewhere along the way we believed we were unworthy of God’s truth and promises. These are the lies the enemy whispers over and over again…”God didn’t really mean someone like you!”, “Who do you think you are?”, “If God really meant you then why doesn’t your life look different, why haven’t your circumstances changed?” These, my friends, are just a few of the lies the enemy spews at us to distort the very identity Jesus has given us as sons and daughters of the Most High God; beautifully and wonderfully made, His masterpiece, created in His image to do the good works He planned for us to do. Simply because He loves us.
The enemy’s attacks on your life are not about who you have been in the past, they’re about who you will be in the future.Lisa Bevere
Somebody needed to hear that truth tonight. The enemy uses tactics like guilt and shame over our past NOT because our past matters to God…it doesn’t!! Jesus washed all that clean with His shed blood on the cross. But that is the LIE!! The enemy has some of you believing that God is still holding your past against you. Want to know why he does that? Because as long as he can deceive YOU into holding onto your past, a past that God already let go of, you will NEVER live in the fullness of being God’s masterpiece. Listen, God isn’t scared of your past getting out, in fact He welcomes it. His life transforming power is illuminated when people know exactly what Jesus saved us from. This is our testimony!! In our mess God reached down and washed us clean; in our weakness God’s strength transformed us and took us from a hot mess to a masterpiece. But if the enemy can lie us into silence we will never do the good works that God planned for us to do. This robs us of our identity…it robs us of everything good and perfect thing God has for us. This is the enemy’s goal; to paralyze us with his lies. Because we are only a threat to him when we actually live in the truth that we are God’s masterpiece.
Distortion: the act of twisting or altering something out of its true, natural, original state.Merriam Webster Dictionary
God’s word is very clear…So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17) In Jesus we are a new creation, born again, sons and daughters of the Most High God, His masterpiece. Believing anything and living according to anything other than that truth is a DISTORTION of the new identity that Jesus died to give us. The beauty of this new identity is that embraces every age, every size, every race, every background…every sinner is welcome at the table of God’s forgiveness…every sin has the ability to be washed clean by the blood of Jesus…EVERY SINGLE ONE!!! When we live in the freedom of this truth, the first thing on all of our minds when we wake up will be “Today is the day the Lord has made so I will honor Him well by walking in the fullness of being His masterpiece!”
But here is the deal…this blog was birthed out of the spiritual battles I am witnessing all around me; people I love being attacked. Beaten up by their past, gasping for air in their current circumstances, believing the lies of this age that our identity, value and worth is found in “likes” and “shares” and how awesome the social comment feeds say we are, riddled with anxiety, anger, pride, and fear. The enemy is trying so hard to distort the truth of we are in Christ so that he can render us ineffective for God’s kingdom. And full transparency…I myself was attacked over the weekend. In a moment of a hurting person’s insensitive dialogue about my daughter death’s the enemy whisper a lie into my head that went after my very calling. He said “this is why you should never share Francesca’s story, because people feel they have the right to talk to about her and they don’t.” And with that one lie the enemy tried to distort who I am in Christ and who God has called me to be as a preacher. Because when God called me into ministry the one thing He clearly told me was that I would share Francesca’s story, often. The enemy tried so hard to snatch that away. The good news…truth ALWAYS overcomes lies…ALWAYS!!!!! Almost as quickly as the lie entered my head, it left…because I know truth well enough to see the lie for what it was. This is why living sourced by the Holy Spirit and saturated in God’s Word is so important. No lie whispered will ever take root if you combat it with truth. Lies only have the power we give them. How do we empower the lie? By not knowing truth well enough to silence them.
In the end I want you to know that my writing tonight comes out of the prayer on my heart for the reader who is living in the distortion. Maybe the seed of a lie has been planted or maybe you have full blown garden of distortion growing in your mind; tonight I pray that you would replace any and all lies with the truth. You are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do the good things God has planned for you. Be strengthened in the Lord and be empowered by His Holy Spirit. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Never forget you fight from victory not for it. You are already more than conquerors in Christ Jesus who strengthens you! No weapon formed against you will ever prosper and no distortion can take root in your mind when you fight it off with truth.
With much love,