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Clayton King was born in 1972 to a 15-year-old mother
and adopted into a loving family in the Upstate.
Clayton was saved and sensed a call to ministry at 14 and began speaking
in churches, youth groups, and local prisons as a teenager.
He’s been in ministry for 30 years.
He now spends his time traveling, preaching and speaking in churches,
conferences and leadership events, as well as running Crossroads/Clayton King Ministries,
which is the non-profit organization he founded in 1995.
His ministry offers summer camps, student conferences, leadership and coaching networks,
and a daily radio ministry in partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
As part of the Teaching Team at New Spring Church, Clayton contributes
to their creativity process in finding the best ways to teach people about Jesus.
Clayton is married to Sharie, and together they enjoy working, writing,
and speaking together. He is the father of two teenage sons, Jacob and Joseph.
He loves good books, black coffee, four-wheelers
and anything that gets him outside in the woods.
Clayton is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Café
and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday”.
His Café exclusive “7 Lies We Believe” can be found below . .
BUT FIRST . . the Café thought you just might want to know
how an Encouragement Leader like Clayton King
has been encouraged recently in his own faith.
In his own words …
I recently caught Pastor Rich Villodas’ quote, “Pastors are not CEO’s, churches are not corporations, members of the community are not investors. We are shepherds, we are a new family, we are a community of servants.” This has been on my mind a lot lately. After 31 years in ministry, I’ve never seen the Spirit shaking the church like He has been recently. I’m trying to pay attention and invite Him to shake me, too. Wake me up, convict me, change me, remind me, inspire me, teach me. Let this statement sink in…reflect on it. Marinate in it.
Who here was misled …
as a child or young adult to believe a lie that, when it comes down to it, had little logic or evidence backing it up?
Here are a few of my favorites:
If you drink coffee, it’ll stunt your growth.
If you swallow your gum, it’ll stay inside of you for years (Don’t worry, that piece of Hubba Bubba you ingested at youth group is long gone by now).
You have to wait an hour after you eat to swim, or you’ll get a cramp!
He knows if you’ve been bad or good… So be good for goodness sake (Man, was Santa a good deterrent from misbehaving!).
Or how about the anxiety-inducing lie that if you’re ever a minute late to your college class, a ruthless professor will lock you out, leading to shame, failure, and the demise of your college career.
What was the effect of those lies?
Hopefully you caught on eventually, growing out of your fear that a rogue watermelon seed would turn your belly into a garden patch.
Or realized your years of patronizing Starbucks had no effect on your stature.
You overcame the myths, freed by the realization that they had no actual bearing on your life.
But those lies undoubtedly affected your actions, as long as you believed they were true.
That’s what our beliefs do. They shape our mindset and determine our actions.
What about bigger lies, the ones seeded deeply in our souls?
The ones that cause crippling fear and impact our choices, habits, and lifestyle?
Or the most dangerous lies, the ones we don’t even realize we believe?
That habit you can’t kick, the temptation you fall for every time, and those feelings of unworthiness that you just can’t shake, are all rooted in lies from the enemy.
At the heart of all of our distance from God, broken relationships, instability, and unhealthy choices, are bedrock lies.
And friends, I’m here to tell you with 100% unshakeable certainty that you can break the cycle and find unfettered freedom in Christ.
The first step is spotting the lie.
Lie #1 God is angry at me, and that anger is the root of all the pain in my life.
This is one of the most devastating lies we believe, affecting how we view our circumstances, ourselves, and the God who, truth be told, loves us deeply and wants to mend all our hurt and disappointment.
A.W. Tozer, one of the greatest theologians in American history said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
So often we base our understanding of God on our fathers (the earthly, human ones). If you had a loving, supportive, godly parent, that could have positively shaped your view of your heavenly Father.
However, if your father was cruel, unforgiving, abusive, or absent from your life, you could be looking at God through an inaccurate lens.
Let these next words permeate your soul:
God is not angry at you. God does not hate you.
In fact, the Bible tells us that God loves us so much he sent his one and only Son as a sacrifice, not to condemn us, but to rescue us.
That’s the real God, the God who lovingly pursues us in the midst of our pain.
And we fight the lie by looking to the source.
Forget the image of a cruel and detached God lightyears away with little regard for your heart, and replace it with Jesus – love in the flesh- who came to this earth and gave his life in pursuit of your heart.
Lie #2 I am alone and unloved
This is a tricky lie because it’s often rooted in some element of truth, a circumstance in life that we can’t control.
And it’s a lie nestled in the deepest of human fears.
When my parents’ health declined, I was consumed with nightmare-triggering, heart racing anxiety, wondering how on earth I would cope in the wake of their passing.
At that time, I sought help from a counselor, and the process we walked through unearthed the fears at the root of my despair: that I would be left alone and never again know the love that I so desperately craved as a human being.
Maybe you face the same fear with a different face:
Forever a bridesmaid or groomsman, you’ve resigned to believe you will never enjoy a relationship, marriage, or a family of your own.
You’ve been hurt by so many past relationships, you wonder what you keep doing wrong and accept that your relationships are just broken records destined to play out exactly the same way.
You feel unseen, like you aren’t really a valuable player at work, church, or in your family.
I could go on and on, but the fears at the heart of each of those scenarios remain the same: loneliness and lovelessness.
Here’s the truth: You are loved beyond measure by the One who created you, regardless of your past, performance, or perception of yourself.
As human beings, we hunger for love and approval.
Whose approval are you hungering for?
If it’s God’s, you can rest assured knowing you have it wholeheartedly, thanks to his unfathomable grace.
So reach into the deepest, loneliest corners of your heart and bring your fears to light, the light found in Scripture.
When you start to confront each of your insecurities with the truth in God’s Word, you starve them.
And when you starve the lies, you overcome them.
Lie #3 My circumstances are hopeless and there is no way out
This lie is subtle.
It sneaks in, infiltrates your thoughts, and pulls you deeper into accepting it as reality without you even realizing it.
This lie is hopeless.
It tells you that you’ll never break free of whatever you’re struggling with, whether it’s sin, sickness, heartbreak, or fear of the future. It bullies you into believing change is impossible.
This lie is lethal.
Devoid of hope, you accept the current version of yourself and close yourself off to the abundant life God has intended for you.
If we don’t stop those small, irrational thoughts that creep into our minds, they will eventually crash in on us like an avalanche of hopelessness.
So how do you overcome when you are drowning in a sea of despondency?
You overcome this lie by clinging fiercely to the One whose power to intervene is infinite.
When we reach out to God in the midst of the chaos, pray fervently, proclaim his truth over the lies, rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, and bring our struggles into the open, God graciously transforms us.
Hold on tightly to him and don’t let go.
Lie #4 Good people don’t suffer (or they shouldn’t)
How do you define a good person?
On the one hand, we all fall short of the glory of God, meaning none of us are good in and of ourselves.
In another sense, as we see in Romans 3, if we have faith in Jesus Christ, righteousness is given to us.
By his grace, we are new creations in Christ upon our confession of sin, salvation, and repentance; he is now the good in us.
In that sense, there are good people, and they do suffer.
Maybe you are a Christian and have suffered unimaginable pain in your life.
At the very least, I’m sure you can think of someone in your life who has faithfully pursued Jesus through heartbreaking circumstances.
The next logical question you might ask is why.
Why does a loving God allow his children to suffer loss, sickness, and despair?
Take hold of these truths, and they will transform your perspective on suffering:
We live in a broken world, and that brokenness is the source of our pain, not God.
God is not maleficent. He does not set the stage for pointless suffering.
God renews us in our suffering and provides grace to sustain us.
God changes us through our times of suffering, deepening our faith and transforming our self-reliance into dependence on him.
God’s love and kindness are never revealed more clearly than in our times of distress.
God changes other people through our suffering. You never know who is watching as you fight your battles and drawing near to God as a result of your faithfulness.
Keep fighting! Your pain has a purpose.
Let your suffering be a ministry, and allow God to gently change you through your circumstances.
Lie #5 Sex isn’t really a big deal
The lie that sex isn’t a big deal is rooted in a fear we’re all familiar with: FOMO, and it’s one of the most damaging lies the enemy is selling you.
The fear of missing out (on love, intimacy, and being wanted) fuels the lie, and it is contradictory to everything the Bible has to say about sex.
In reality, sex is so much more than indulging your appetite for pleasure, and the risks of sex without boundaries extend beyond pregnancy and STDs.
When you have sex with someone, you are making a deep physical and spiritual connection with them.
Scripture supports this notion, and so does science.
Sex is addictive, and every sexual interaction you have alters your chemical makeup and affects your ability to connect intimately with others.
Bottom Line: It’s a big deal.
In a world permeated with hookup culture that leaves you empty, alone, and disappointed, God has a better plan, one that offers sexual intimacy in the boundaries of a loving, committed, and stable relationship.
When we start to understand sex the way God designed it, it transforms our whole perspective of how we treat our bodies and other people.
The other vicious lie associated with sex is the idea that your past sexual mistakes determine your future.
This lie digs deep into your past and attacks your self-worth relentlessly.
It tells you you’re dirty, you’re a failure, you’re too far gone, and that you’re ultimately going to be alone forever because it’s too late for you. (There’s that fear of perpetual loneliness again!)
Remember how earlier I said your goodness originates from Christ, not from your performance or past?
That truth pertains to your sexuality, too.
In Christ, we are not damaged goods but new creations.
I John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Overcome the lie that you are irredeemable by believing what God says rather than what the world says and living transformed by his grace.
Lie #6 Resisting Temptation Is Impossible
Whether you know it or not, you are living in a war zone.
And I hate to break it to you, but you are the subject of a targeted attack from a seriously adept assassin.
So am I.
Who, might you ask, is this seasoned killer on our heels?
And no matter how hard we try, we will never conquer temptation by our own power. It’s stronger, faster, smarter, and far more experienced than we are.
Sounds pretty bleak, right?
In order to combat and defeat temptation, you have to comprehend the stakes of the battle, and they’re incredibly high:
I’m talking hope and despair. Freedom and slavery. Victory and defeat. Life and death.
Because temptation is so strong and attuned to your exact weaknesses, it convinces you that it can’t be beaten.
And if it can’t be beaten, we are destined to repeat a cycle of sin, addiction, and regret.
If you’re feeling defeated at the moment, you’ve bought into the lie that temptation is impossible to defeat.
Lies condemn, defeat, and isolate us. The truth challenges us; it sets us free.
And God paints a crystal clear picture in Scripture of the truth regarding temptation:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
(I Cor. 10:13)
Victory is already yours, Christian, and it has been since the day Christ conquered death 2,000 years ago.
Live in that victory! Own it!
Wage war on temptation and fight like you’ve never fought before with the faith that what he’s promised is worth far more than the temporal satisfaction of giving in.
I promise it is.
So whether you’re tempted by Chick-fil-a, checking social media, or chasing after the things of the world, you can claim victory over temptation by starving your sin.
If the allure of waffle fries is too strong, keep on driving and don’t look back.
If you’re obsessing over your friends’ carefully curated lifestyles on Instagram, go off the grid for a while.
Struggling with watching porn or listening to music you know you shouldn’t? Block those sites; find a new playlist.
Replace those habits with prayer, more time in the Word, worshipping, and growing in community with other believers.
Temptation is smart. Be smarter!
Lie #7 Money will solve my problems
A pair of profound wordsmiths once penned, “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.”
Those wise wordsmiths were John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and the Beatles weren’t wrong.
(Can’t Buy Me Love is stuck in your head now, isn’t it? You’re welcome.)
So often, we pin our hopes and dreams on having more, believing more money and belongings will fill the void and eliminate the stress in our lives.
But it’s a lie, a counterfeit. Money disguises itself as a restorer of hope, a harbinger of blessings.
Money beckons to us, offering a false sense of stability, identity, and happiness.
In other words, it plays on our greatest fears and seeks to offer a fleeting physical solution to a spiritual problem.
And as fears so often operate, this one is layered atop an even deeper fear you might be blinded to, that we can’t trust God wholly to provide for us.
So am I telling you money is evil and you should live a life of poverty that steers clear of financial growth to demonstrate your trust in God? By no means.
Let’s take this opportunity to shatter one of the most commonly misconstrued passages in Scripture: Money is not the root of evil. The love of money is.
It isn’t wrong to be wealthy; in fact, the way we manage our finances and give back to the Lord, organizations, and individuals in need, can be an act of worship that points people to Christ and makes a difference.
Whether you have a little money or a lot, steward what God has given you wisely.
How? By tithing, budgeting, paying down debt, building your savings, and giving selflessly to people in need.
It’s amazing how much generosity can transform our propensity for greed.
When we use money to love people, rather than using people to pursue our love of money, it revolutionizes our outlook and relationship with finances.
Hebrews 13:5-6 reveals a wonderful promise of God that guarantees our stability, identity, and happiness (and replaces the lie that money will solve our problems):
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence,’The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’”
Embrace the truth that you have ultimate eternal security in God, and put money in its rightful place.
Every external problem in your life is a reflection of an internal struggle.
In order to fight and overcome the lies that grip us and the underlying fears that consume us, we have to be able to identify them.
You will never fully dwell in the abundant life God has for you unless you unearth the bedrock lies in your heart, rip them out, and root in their place the unshakeable truths of God.
Fill every doubt, weakness, struggle, and fear in your heart with what God says, and the lies in your life will relinquish their power as you step into a life filled with pure love, relentless grace, and freeing faith.
This article is inspired by my latest book, Overcome: Replacing the Lies That Hold Us Down with the Truth That Sets Us Free.
If you’d like to see the full list of the lies we believe and how to conquer them, I encourage you to pick up a copy today.
How is God encouraging you today?