Rethinking Your Life | Week 7: Five Lies of Relationships


What we think, matters. What we think determines what we feel and what we do. We shape our thoughts and then our thoughts shape us.

We want to learn to think like Jesus.

Rejecting lies, believing the truth, walking in truth and thinking things that are true. There’s nothing more powerful than the truth. You’re greatest friend in life is the truth. God is truth.

“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”  – C.S. Lewis

There may not be a place this applies more than in relationships. When we step outside of what God’s Word, God’s truth has for relationships, we’re left very unhappy.

“They knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God…”  Romans 1:21 NLT

Worship just wasn’t that they wouldn’t come to church and sing songs, it’s talking about His worth. His worthship. When you place his worth above your own, you see him as God.

Instead of saying, “I don’t know if I agree, I don’t know if I believe that…” The question of God’s worth is, “Do you think God has the right to say what’s right and wrong?” If you don’t think he has the right to say what’s right and wrong, you’re the god. This generation in Romans 1 wouldn’t put God above them, they wouldn’t worship him.

“…or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools… As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie.”  Romans 1:21-25 NLT

The truth be known, we’re just going to dispel some lies and show you some truth. All we can do is combat what the devil tries to do in our lives. The devil has no power over you, He simply suggests something to you that is not true. He can’t make you do anything, but he can suggest it, he can tempt you.

When God suggests a thought, that’s called inspiration. When the enemy suggests a thought, that’s called temptation.

And if we believe his lies, they end up in our minds, our hearts and our relationships. Today, we’re going to talk about relationships and how this happens in relationships. The thesis statement for today’s post is this:

In order for relationships to work, let the One who designed them define them.

Five Lies

The Creator gets to say what the creation does. He knows best, He created you. God created marriage, family and sex. He knows how it works best. Today we’re going to walk through the issue of sexuality in our moral standard. This is a tough one that might put you on edge. The world is not afraid to talk about it, however.

Sometimes we the message from God is, “Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t do that. Thou shalt not. Sex is dirty, ugly and bad.”

Everything about it is thou shalt not. When the truth about it is, there are scores of verses that say, “thou shalt… do…” And it’s wonderful.

In fact, let’s go to the first place where everything was perfectly the way we wanted it. God created man and woman and put them in the garden of Eden. The word Eden means pleasure and delight. It was a delightful place, a place with no shame and a place where everything that the human body and relationship could enjoy was being enjoyed. All until the lies of the devil entered.

We’ll look at Genesis 3, you can see these lies throughout scripture, the progression here is so clear. Let’s look at five lies today.

The enemy came in the form of a serpent.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with  her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”  Genesis 3:1-7 NIV

They wanted to hide. Shame and hiding is where a lot of people are. By-the-way, the next few verses are beautiful as they run out of the presence of God, and God goes chasing after them. God calls out, “Where are you?”

Today what’s going to happen in this message is there will be parts of the message where you feel shame and hiding, but you’ll hear God’s voice calling out, “Where are you? I’m still here.”

God still loves you and is pursuing you today. So don’t checkout early. God’s not running from you, he’s running toward you.

In Geneses 3 there were five lies to expose. They actually happen in steps. The first feeds the second, the second feeds the third, the third to the fourth, to the fifth. Where it ends is incredibly dangerous. It’s where some of us are today.

Step 1: The devil gets us to question God’s Word

Lie: God’s Word isn’t totally true.

The first bait we take whenever we fall into a struggle with our sin is God’s word is not God’s word. Usually we feel this most when God’s word has something in there we don’t agree with or a family member doesn’t agree with.

Because, there are things in God’s word that challenge and confront all of us. It constantly calls us to places we are not. There’s a dilemma every time that happens.

Do I move God’s word to fit how I want to be? Or do I move me to fit what God’s word says?

If you’re in this place where can’t buy into that or agree with thatIt’s supposed to be that way. God’s word confronts us. It moves us to a higher level of godliness. If you let God call you up and transform you, if you’ll move yourself up to that place, to the standard of God, your life will be better in the long run.

There’s a place in the New Testament where Paul, who was an apostle, was planting churches. He’s being inspired by the Holy Spirit to write letters to these churches, they make up much of the New Testament. He was writing to a church in Thessalonica and Paul was celebrating Christians for believing God’s word.

Let’s be a church that says, regardless of what happens in culture and society, we’re going to follow God.

“We also thank God continually because, when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but actually as it is, the Word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV

God’s word works. But it only works when you accept it and believe it. You’re never going to know that until you accept it. If it confronts you, it’s supposed to.

“If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself.” -Timothy Keller

Follow God wholeheartedly. Believe wholeheartedly, even though there are times when God’s word confronts us. That doesn’t cut against it being the word of God. That’s even more proof that this is not man made. This is not of me. I did not make it. It is making me.

If we buy into this first lie that God’s word isn’t totally true, then here’s the next thing that happens:

Step 2: The devil scoffs at the negative consequences of sin

Lie: That choice won’t hurt anything.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”  Proverbs 14:12 NIV

This is why no one has to convince you of this. Life will do it for you. All of us have a tendency to go our own way. We’re all like sheep who go our own way. We’re prone to wander. It’s because we believed a lie.

The one who defined sexuality — God created it. God knows all about it. The one who created it, created it for good, and he also created the parameters.

It’s like building a fire. You can’t build one anywhere, it’s gotta be in a fire pit or a fireplace. It’s got to be in the right environment. Nothing damages your emotions more than sexual sin. God made you to be a sexual being. He made you a woman or he made you a man. God says that’s good. He made men to be men and women to be women. In the right environment, the sexual relationship between the two, it’s awesome.

Fire is an essential. But if you let it out of the fire place, it’s your worst day. It’ll destroy everything you own.

We’ve seen the destruction of wildfires in California and Australia and different areas. That’s not the only fire going on. There is a wild fire going through our culture, our families, our government, our churches. Because we have forgotten…

Passions need parameters

God wants to spare you this pain. Passions can be enjoyed to the fullest, if you’ll follow the one who designed it, define it.

One man, one woman in a covenant relationship called marriage. One man, one woman in marriage. That’s the fireplace. That’s the parameter. There are a lot of things outside that parameter the enemy says are fine. There are a lot of things outside that parameter our world says are fine.

God says, you’re going to get burned. Then it feeds into this next step. If you buy the lie that it won’t hurt anything, it goes to this next step where the enemy says, the reason God doesn’t want you to do it is because God’s actually bad.

Step 3: The devil accuses God of evil intent

Lie: Righteousness is boring. Sin is fun.

Now, sin is fun for a season. The Bible says there are immediate gratifications, that’s why we do it. But it’s a lie and it turns to dark places. It’s called the fleeting pleasures of sin.

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Psalm 16:11 NKJV

When you follow God’s prescription you can experience marital intimacy that mankind cannot create. No drug can create. God has the best way.

The most loving thing God does is call us out of our sin.

He’s protecting, guiding and loving. If we buy into the lie that God isn’t doing what’s best through his word, we’ll begin to fall for step four.

Step 4: The devil advertises sin as beneficial

Lie: Your life will be better with you leading it.

We begin to buy into the idea that feelings can be trusted. You can’t trust feelings. We don’t follow feelings, we follow faith. We follow convictions. Feelings lie. Choices lead, feelings will follow. Start with having a life that’s surrendered to the Lord. A life that says, I don’t even belong to me. I belong to God. I’m going to follow his way even when I don’t feel it.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV

When you make choices to not watch certain things, not listen to certain things, not go certain places, not do certain things, you’ll think you’re making a sacrifice. But as time goes on, you’ll see, it wasn’t a sacrifice.

Giving up something now for something better later isn’t a sacrifice. It’s an investment.

We do this in school. We do the hard work, but later we see it wasn’t a sacrifice. It was beneficial. We do this with money. Take part of your paycheck out to put it in savings or mutual funds, later you see it wasn’t a sacrifice, it was an investment.

We do that in other areas, why not relationships? Giving up something now for something later, it’s not a sacrifice. It’s an investment in your life.

Here’s the fifth step, when they actually believed that sin was beneficial the devil than flips the script

Step 5: The devil uses sin to create shame that destroys our future relationships

Lie: It’s too late. Run and hide.

This is where he wants you. Some of you feel this shame right now. You think God is disgusted with you. That He’s over here in His holy house waiting for you to get your act together. That’s not what He did. He actually went out looking for you.

Lighting up shadows. It’s not too late and you don’t need to run and hide. Look to him for help.

“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”  Psalm 34:5 NLT

This is how our God responds to you. When you mess up, God receives you still. You’re never going to get help until you’re honest.

There are three possible responses to this message today.

1. Defensiveness

Some will say, I was made this way, I can be who I want to be. God gives you the choice to respond that way. That’s thinking like the Devil.

When the devil fell, you can read it in Isaiah 14, this worshiping angel fell from heaven because he made three I will statements.

I will… I will… I will…

When you get into the “I Wills”, you’re going to fall.

Instead, think like Jesus. He didn’t say, “I Will.” He said, “Your Will.” The night before Jesus went to the cross, He didn’t want to go. He didn’t not want nails in his hands.

“…not my will, but yours be done.”  Luke 22:42 NIV

2. Remorse

Meaning, you agree, but you’re reading this ten years too late. You’re too far in and already made the mistakes.

You’re not too far. That remorse and condemnation is of the enemy.

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  Romans 8:1-2 NIV

When you come under God’s word, all these verses get to be true of you too. The verses you don’t like call you out because they’re true, but all these wonderful things get to be true of you too.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV

3. Repentance

You choose to see this the way God does, believe the same as God, and now turn around and let him lead you out of that life of sin.

Repentance is a moment of pain. Being unrepentant is a lifetime of pain.

Check Back

Briefly check back on your discussion from the last week, “Defeating Discouragement.” How has 1 Corinthians chapter four and those points encouraged you over the last week?

Reminder of the points 1) Never forget God’s mercy. 2) Reject dishonesty. 3) Remember it’s not about me. 4) Use my pain to encourage others. 5) Take time for renewal. 6) Stay focused on what will last forever.

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Big Idea

In order for them to work, we need to let the One who designed them define them.

In Genesis 3:1-7, we see five consecutive lies that the enemy uses to ultimately trap us in shame from our past. He begins with questioning God’s Word, manipulating us to believe that the Word isn’t totally true. But the truth is that while God’s Word may confront us, it’s meant to bring us closer to God’s best for our lives.

Next, Satan scoffs at the consequences associated with our sin, leading us to believe that sinful choices won’t hurt anything. But while passions are great, they need parameters.

Then Satan accuses God of evil intent, making righteousness seem boring and sin fun. In reality, the most loving thing God does is call us out of our sin.

Fourth, the devil advertises sin as beneficial and tries to convince us that life will be better if we are in control. This keeps us from believing the truth that giving up something now for something better later isn’t a sacrifice, but an investment.

Last, the devil uses sin to create shame in an effort to destroy our future relationships. But the truth is that if we turn to God for forgiveness, we can live the rest of our lives free from the pain of our past.

Discussion & Application

  1. When considering the five lies the enemy uses to distort God’s plan for our relationships, which do you feel you wrestle with the most?
  2. The lies the enemy uses are meant to produce shame in our lives instead of freedom. Where have you seen evidence of this in your past or present relationships?
  3. Do you find that it’s sometimes easier to defend living life making your own choices, than surrendering to God’s will?

Prayer Focus

Ask how you can pray for and support one another this week.

Father, thank You for Your grace that meets us where we are. You have shown us in Your Word that Your plan is the source of joy and fulfillment in our relationships. Allow us to see where we have believed the enemy’s lies, and help us to walk in repentance.

Next Steps

Take time to consider the lies the enemy uses to distract us from God’s truth and how they may be impacting your life. Don’t forget to consider Celebrate Recovery.

More Than Conquerors :: Conquering Temptation

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In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  Romans 8:37 NIV

God wants us to live as MORE than conquerors. Today’s post is on Conquering Temptation. There are times when we end up doing things we don’t want to do. We want to do what’s right, but end up doing what’s wrong.

We all have persistent temptations that cause us to stumble over and over. Maybe it’s anger you can’t control or fear that sends you into a panic. Maybe your temptation is resentment you can’t let go or lust and sexual thoughts. It could be greed, envy, gossip or gluttony. What persistent habits are messing up your life?

“I don’t understand myself. For I really want to do what’s right but I don’t do it. Instead I do the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15 NLT

There has to be a way to break your bad habits, because the guy who wrote Romans 7:15 is the same guy who wrote Romans 8:37. So how do you get from Romans 7 to Romans 8. Here are seven ways to conquer your temptation.

1.  Determine your pattern of temptation.

Everyone has unique patterns in their lives. You have a unique fingerprint, unique thumbprint, unique eye print, unique voice print and even your heart beats in a unique pattern. Your physical patterns are unique. Your emotional and spiritual patterns are unique as well. We all have temptations, but they come at us in different ways.

There are some things you will never be tempted to do and things that seriously tempt us to the point that we fail. You need to know your pattern of temptation, because the devil knows it. If you don’t know what trips you up, you’re going into a battle with a blindfold on.

The immoral person does not care about the path of life.  She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t even realize where it leads.”  Proverbs 5:6 NLT

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.”  Lamentations 3:40 MSG

Identify the patterns that tempt you so you can avoid those situations and conquer your temptation. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to pin-point the patterns around your temptation. 

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2.  Plan to avoid it.

Once you know your temptation triggers, you can set some boundaries to stay away from those situations. 

Plan carefully what you do. Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don’t go one step off the right way.”  Proverbs 4:26-27 GN

Too many of us spend time planning how we can get away with sin, rather than spend time planning how we can avoid sin. The goal is not to see how close you can get to temptation and resist it. The goal is how far away from temptation can you get?

Plan your day ahead of time. Quit falling for the same old traps and anticipate the new ones. Put a porn filter on your computer and on your phone. Don’t walk down the liquor aisle in the grocery store. Prepare a shopping list and only buy what’s on the list. If you’re going to stop falling for the same old temptations, you have to have a plan to avoid them.

3.  Protect the condition of your heart.

Above all else, guard your heart, For it effects everything you do.”  Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Take a look at this little heart exam. Here are ten different areas of your life to assess yourself on.

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  • 30 – 40 = Good Shape
  • 20 – 30 = Be Careful!
  • 10 – 20 = Extreme Danger!
  • 0 – 10 = Crisis!

If you scored between 0 and 10, you need to call a counselor immediately. You need professional help right away. Don’t put it off any longer. The longer you stay at a lower level the more vulnerable you become. Make that call and go to the appointment.

Do not give the devil a foothold.”  Ephesians 4:27 NIV

The devil doesn’t try to take over your whole life all at once. He starts by getting one little area. Satan is not going to be satisfied with only one small area of your life.

Jealousy can give Satan a foothold in your life. Greed, fear, resentment, lust, anger, boredom or gluttony can be footholds. When you mix several of these heart conditions together they’re very potent. If you’re tired, frustrated, hurt and lonely, that sets you up for temptation. The more of those things that get in your life the more vulnerable you become.

4. Pray for God’s help.

Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you.”  Matthew 26:41 NLT

Call to Me when trouble comes; I will save you.”  Psalm 50:15 GN

Pray or temptation will over power you. When trouble comes, immediately call out to God. It can be a one word prayer: Help! And when you do, God answers.

If there is a turning point in this process, this is it. When you fall into temptation and sin, God says to confess your sin and He is faithful and just to forgive your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. It doesn’t matter how many times you sin, if you confess it God will forgive it. Every time. God doesn’t want you to stop there. God doesn’t want you to spend your life falling into sin and confessing it.

God wants you to move on so you can stop confessing your sin and instead, conquer your temptation.

This is a tremendous benefit of being a believer. Unbelievers don’t have that benefit. They have to live with the guilt of their sin. It’s important for you as a believer to move beyond confession, because while God forgives your sins, you still suffer the wounds and bear the scars. The pattern of falling into sin, confessing it and being forgiven, is a far more brutal way to live than conquering your temptation.

When you get to the point that you no longer wait till after you have sinned to cry out to God, but you cry out to God before you sin, you are at a turning point.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”  Romans 8:26 NLT

We think God wants us to learn to stand on our own two feet and be stronger. No, God wants us to fall on our knees and call on Him even when we don’t know what pray.

5.  Point your attention elsewhere

Change the direction of your thoughts and refocus on something else. 

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5 NIV 

Temptation always starts with a thought in your mind. Whatever captures your attention captures you. The more you think about something the stronger the hold it gets on you.

Temptation starts with attention, something tempting grabs your mind. Next, it moves to arousal, your emotions kick in when you think about that temptation. That leads to action, you do what you don’t want to do…again.

The secret is to catch it at the attention stage and divert your attention. Divert your attention to something else, specifically to Christ.

We capture every thought and make it obey Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:5 NCV

You cannot control all your circumstances. You certainly cannot control the people in your life. But you can control what you choose to think about. You will never feel better about yourself by focusing on yourself. It’s when you divert your attention to God that things change. Learning new patterns of thinking is not easy and it does not come quickly, but by God’s strength it is possible.

6.  Pick an accountability partner.

The reason most people never conquer their temptations is they’re unwilling to pick an accountability partner. There are some temptations in life that you have to team tackle. You can’t break free on your own.

Two are better than one, because together…if one falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls…there’s no one to help him.”  Ecclesiastes 4:10-11 GN

Admit your faults to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”  James 5:16 LB

You don’t have to tell everybody, but you have to tell somebody. At least one other person. Everybody needs one friend like that. When you’re honest with one other person about your struggles, three amazing benefits take place in your life. 

It’s Liberating

The moment you share your secret sin with somebody else all of a sudden that guilt that’s got you by the jugular, is broken. It’s liberating. It sets you free. Hiding a hurt only intensifies it. 

It’s Empowering

God gives His power to us when we humble ourselves. He gives grace to the humble. If I can’t talk about it because it’s too painful or too embarrassing, it’s out of control. In fact, if you can’t talk about it, it’s controlling you. When you talk about a problem, that’s how you gain control of it.

It’s Endearing

When you’re honest with somebody about your weakness, it draws that person closer to you instead of pushing them away. We think people will like us if we pretend we’ve got it all together, but actually we gravitate toward people who are open about their faults. We gravitate toward people who are humble. Authenticity causes people to be closer to you not further away.

As a believer, we have two significant advantages. One, we have been saved by grace because we’ve put our trust in Christ. We all have the same sins as everybody else, but believers don’t walk around with a guilt complex because we can confess our sins and be forgiven. The second thing is your church family. This is where you can find other people who support and help you. 

The church is not a hotel for saints who dress up for a parade. It’s a hospital for sinners who want to conquer temptation.

7.  Persist in believing you can change.

You don’t have to stay the same. You may have dealt with this temptation for 15 or 20 years. But change is possible, you can conquer it. 

No temptation that comes your way is beyond what others have had to face.  All you need to remember is that God will never let you down. He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit. He’ll always be there to help you come through it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG

We are continually put in situations we can’t handle, we can’t help ourselves. That’s why we need to call out to God for help. That’s why we need Jesus Christ, because we don’t have enough power.

Declare this today:

I decide to move from repeatedly confessing my sins, to conquering my temptations.

“Call to me when trouble comes; I will save you.”  Psalm 50:15 GN

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcast or Google Play Music

Hear the Word + Application

1. Determine your pattern of temptation.

  • When am I most tempted? Which day(s) of the week and what time of day?
  • Where am I most tempted? At home or at work or somewhere else?
  • Who is with me when I’m most tempted? Am I alone or with friends or family
  • What temporary benefit do I get if I give in? What is the payoff?
  • How do I feel right before I’m tempted? Know your emotional triggers.

2. Plan to avoid it.

  • According to Proverbs 4:26–27, how are we to deal with evil?
  • In our spiritual battles, if we have no plan, we will certainly lose. What steps can you take to avoid the temptation that you face?
  • What back up plan can you have in case things don’t go as you expect?

3. Protect the condition of your heart

  • What does Proverbs 4:23 say we should guard above all else?
  • What is the condition of your heart right now?
  • What consistent steps will you commit to take for lasting change?

4. Pray for God’s help.

  • What does Matthew 26:41 say we should do?
  • What will happen if we ignore the command?
  • Can you think of and share any examples when God saved you from trouble after praying?

5. Point your attention elsewhere.

  • How can obedience to 2 Corinthians 10:5 help us break the attention, arousal, action pattern of sin?
  • A decision to serve in ministry is a practical choice to conquer evil with good. If you are currently active in ministry, share how this choice keeps your attention focused on God. If you are not yet involved in ministry, ask the group to pray for you to find a place to serve.

6. Pick an accountability partner.

  • What does James 5:16 say will happen if we admit our faults to each other and pray?
  • Once we do admit our faults, how do we feel?

7. Persist in believing you can change.

  • What does 1 Corinthians 10:13 say God will never let happen to us?
  • Why is it reassuring to know that others have faced the same temptations we do?
  • When you are pushed to your limit, how does this verse give you strength?

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