We’ve been in a teaching series at Phoenix Community, with all three of our church campuses coordinating our sermon messages. Called “The Vault”, we have been examining the lies people come to believe about themselves, how we lock those away deep in the “vault” of our hearts. The first week, Greg addressed the lie of worthlessness, the false belief that “I am a cosmic accident, my life is without meaning, and I have nothing to offer the world of any real, lasting value. We countered that with truth from God’s Word, the Bible, that states, among other things, “I praise You, O God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Last week, the one I preached at our Phoenix Buford campus was on hopelessness, the false belief that “My circumstances will not change or improve, except for the worse, and there is nothing I can do about it.” We countered that falsehood with the truth that in Christ, “we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God…and hope does not disappoint us.” (Romans 5:2-7). Today Wes spoke on the lie of powerlessness, the lie that “There is nothing in me that I can do to change my life and/or circumstances, and I will be overwhelmed and overcome by them.” He countered that with God’s truth from the life of Israelite King Jehoshephat, who when faced with seemingly impossible foes, cried out to God, “We are powerless against this vast multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12). God answered through one of His prophets, “Do not fear or be dismayed…for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (v.15) In coming weeks, we’ll address the lies of fear of exposure, fear of failure, fear of abandonment. God has an answer for each.
As we’ve been working our way through this series, each one of us teaching pastors have had to examine ourselves, try to see if there are still any lies locked away in our “vaults” that need to be dragged out and replaced. After some introspection and prayer, God revealed to me that I often do what I do to impress others. Whether its in my preaching/teaching, in my writing, in my motorcycling, etc., I often seek to impress people, to get them to think more highly of me. I’m not real sure how that was locked away in my heart all these years, as I came from a loving, encouraging family and friends environment. Being of a slightly smaller stature than many, I guess I got picked on a lot as a young person, so I locked away the lie that I had to puff my chest out, be impressive, excel at endeavors so people would respect and appreciate me more. I desire to please Christ in my life, to positively touch folk’s lives with the love of God, and to enjoy the life He has given me, but now I want to make sure I live and act and serve “to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:10)
So many people are hiding some lie in their “vault”, that no amount of therapy or ritual can dislodge. We must recognize and acknowledge the lies we have believed. We need the Spirit of God to plant the Word of God in our hearts, which is the real truth about ourselves. “For I know the plans I have for you,” say the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you; plans to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Plant that in your vault.