In our newsletter, we promised to address 17 freeing truths here on the site. Check back in the archives to read the first 10 truths along with the honest comments girls have left about the power of those truths in their lives. This week, we are going to address seven more important truths relating to issues like sin, authority, and the church. These truths are the antidote to many specific lies we encountered during our research for the book.
As always, we would love to hear how these truths specifically impact you. Have you struggled with one of these areas? What have been the consequences of believing these lies or embracing truth in your life? Have you seen a pattern of believing these lies among your friends? Be sure to leave us a comment to let us know what you think.
Truth #1: Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God will enable you to do anything He commands you to do.
Have you ever felt like God was asking you to do something that seemed impossible? I sure have. Several years ago, I felt like God was calling me to quit my job as a teacher to begin a ministry focused on helping girls embrace their beauty. I didn’t know how we were going to make it financially without my teaching salary and I didn’t know the first thing about how to launch a ministry. The task in front of me seemed impossible, but God was so faithful to provide everything I needed to carry out His call. There have been many other times in life where I felt like God was asking me to do something impossible, but he has proven that he is able to equip me for the work every time.
Some of you may be facing the same struggle. If you will be graduating soon from high school or college, you may be face to face with a calling that seems scary. Or you may face this struggle at some other point in life. But, Scripture gives us hope that we can do anything Christ asks of us because he provides all that we need.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 promises “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” Philippians 4:13 boldly proclaims “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
There is nothing that God will call you to do that is impossible. Are you facing a challenge right now that seems insurmountable? Is the Enemy lying to you by making you think you are defeated before you even start to tackle a task? Do you find hope in the truth that you can do all things with the strength that God has to offer?
Truth #2: My choices today will impact my future.
Some of you may believe the lie that you aren’t equipped to handle the future God has called you to. But when I traveled the country talking to girls for this book, I found that far more of you believe a different lie about your futures. Many of the girls I visited with failed to see a connection between the choices they make today and their futures. The truth is, that our choices do have consequences that can be long lasting.
Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
It can be difficult to imagine exactly how our choices will impact our lives in the future, but these verses encourage us not to be deceived into thinking that our choices don’t matter. What are you sowing today?
Truth #3: Personal holiness is more important that immediate happiness.
Are you ever tempted to sacrifice holiness for immediate fulfillment? Me too. There are many times during the Christian walk when immediate satisfaction seems more impressive than the sacrifice necessary to pursue holiness. This is true when a friend offers us the answers to the algebra homework we forgot to do. It is true when giving in to lust seems more satisfying than continuing to pursue purity. It is true when sleep, or friends, or time spent vegging in front of the television pulls us away from pursuing intimacy with God through prayer and time in the Word. But the truth from Scripture is that the pursuit of personal holiness is far more important and valuable than the temporary happiness gained by sacrificing holiness.
Titus 2:11-14 says this. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
There are many kernels of truth in these verses. First, we are reminded that God is able to teach us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions. We don’t have to resist the allure of immediate gratification on our own. God is able to teach us the discipline necessary to choose holiness instead. In verse 13 we are reminded of our hope. We can say no to temptation today because we have hope of a great reward through Christ in the future. Finally, we should be eager to do what is good. Why? Because of Christ’s great sacrifice for us. He is our inspiration to pursue what is holy instead of what is immediate.
Truth #4: I need the Church.
When I was 15 a well-meaning pastor who thought I was snuggling to closely with my boyfriend in the fellowship hall asked me to leave his church and never return. That encounter left me feeling judged and wounded. When I talked to girls across the country during the research phase of this book many shared similar painful encounters with church leaders or members. In fact, more than half of the girls I interviewed agreed with the statement “churches judge more than they love.”
Because the church is made up of imperfect people, it certainly contains flaws. As a result, we may feel like giving up on the church. But the truth is that we need the church. It is a foundational element of our growth and support as believers.
1 Corinthians 12:20-21,25 says this. “As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. “
This description of the church as a body shows us that all parts of the church are necessary. Just as our bodies cannot function as well without hands, or feet our Christian lives don’t function as well without the church. And not only do we need the church, but the church needs us. We have a role to play within the church that is significant. When we give in to the temptation to give up on the church our role within the body goes unfulfilled.
Hebrews 10:25 spells it out clearly. “Let is not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Truth #5: God is more concerned about changing me and glorifying Himself than about solving my problems.
Whew! This is a biggie. Do you ever feel consumed by a desire for God to “fix” your life? Does your prayer life sometimes sound more like a list of wants than a conversation between you and your Savior?
God is certainly able to handle any problem or situation we are facing. But, the truth is that he is more concerned with our sanctification than he is in making sure our lives are problem free.
Titus 2:14 says, [Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
Is this a painful truth? Do you find it hard to trust that your purification is more important than your happiness?
Truth #6: It’s not about me; it’s about Him.
Our culture is obsessed with the concept of “me.” We are encouraged to do what we want, to grab what we can for ourselves and to do whatever it takes to get to the top. But the Word often contradicts conventional wisdom. The truth is that God is the creator and sustainer of all things. A me-centered universe is just an illusion. Christ is the true center of all that is and all that will ever be.
I was visiting recently with a girl I used to mentor when she was in high school. She is now a beautiful college student and she recently returned from a mission trip to the Philippines. She told me that the trip changed her life because it taught her that it’s not all about her. This is a profound and difficult lesson to learn.
Romans 11:36 reminds us “ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”
John the Baptist realized this truth. John 3:26 says, “They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
John wasn’t concerned by the attention Jesus was receiving. He knew what my friend learned in the Philippines—that it was never really about him anyway.
“To this John replied, ‘A man can revive only what is given him form heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater, I must become less.” ( John 3:27-30)
Truth #7: The greatest freedom I can experience is found by submitting to God-ordained authority.
I saved the most difficult truth for last. Authority is not a topic that most of us like to discuss. But, I have found that it is a key area where your generation is being lied to. Many of you expressed that you feel that submitting to an authority, including your parents, your teachers and your youth pastors, steals your freedom.
Titus 3:1 says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”
Do you find it difficult to submit to authority? Does submission bring you freedom or cause you to feel restrained? This is a hot topic and we’ll address it more in-depth here on the blog soon, but I’d love to get the conversation started and hear your thoughts on the topic of submission to authority.
Are there specific areas of struggle or bondage in your life that can be addressed by one of these five truths? Has seeing these truths helped you to expose an area of your life where you’ve been believing lies? We’d love to hear from you. We hope that you will write about your experiences so that others can gain encouragement and strength.