You can watch the message John shared at the McNeil campus at www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.
I shared the following message at South Campus:
To dig deeper and apply the message, work through the Next Steps.
Here are the notes from our message:
“We all get wounded. No human escapes unharmed in this broken world. Hurt people hurt people, and these relational wounds, when they go unhealed, are like fertile soil for lies to take root. Lies designed to harden our hearts—against God and against each other to isolate us and get us agreeing with things that are not reality.
If you’ve been doing the Next Steps homework, you should have listed all the names of people who have hurt you, or you’ve hurt them, or there’s some relational rift. Go back into that painful wound with God who heals, and let Him turn on the light and show you reality. We have to release the desire to take vengeance, punish, show them, or hold onto resentment or bitterness. We have to hand that over to God and trust Him to be just. And then we ask, “Is there anything I need to do to live at peace with this person?”
To maintain a healthy heart we need to break evil agreements that we made.
What is an evil agreement? It’s any place where a lie has been suggested, and we’ve agreed with it.
Jesus said: “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
To Break Evil Agreements:
1). Write down agreements.
List agreements that you may have believed (or still believe). It’s not that easy to discern agreements because you’ve been deceived—so you may need to get a few spiritually mature friends who know the Bible well—they know what God says is true—and bounce off of them some of the beliefs guiding your actions.
God’s Word promises that he wants to lead you into Life and Freedom—life, freedom, joy, peace, hope, trust, love. Anything trying to rob you of these things is NOT from God.
Once we reject what God said was true and start agreeing with lies, we can be manipulated.
Lies could include anything like the following: “I’m worthless.” “I’ll never be loved.” “I’ll never succeed.” “I’m uniquely evil.” “My soul is dirty.” “I’m fat and ugly” (that’s an agreement every anorexic has made), “God is disgusted with me.” “God’s given up on me.” “I’ve failed too many times.” “I’m a victim—I’m weak, I’m unable, I’m irresponsible.” These are all lies—if you think they’re true—you’ve agreed with evil. So you must break those agreements.
2). Write down God’s truth.
Jesus said, “If you abide, or soak, your mind in what’s true according to God, it will set you free.”
Look at the list of common things you say to yourself or hear in your head—that you wrote down—and ask: “What does God say is true about this in the Scriptures? Use www.Biblegateway.com to search, or lean on more mature Christ-followers and ask them.
Often agreements are accusations, condemnations, fear-motivated thoughts, or self-protective thoughts. These are NOT from God. Not only is God not accusing you, but Jesus advocates for you:
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1 John 2:1-2
If you’re in Christ, yet feel hopeless and condemned that’s not from God—the truth is: “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
How about worried, fearful, self-protective thoughts: “perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:18
Next to the lie you’ve agreed with write down the truth serum according to God.
3). Renounce the lie.
Tell God out loud that you renounce this lie (say what it is), and you agree with His truth (say what He says). There’s something powerful about verbally renouncing these lies outloud, and saying what’s true outloud—it breaks those agreements.
4). Make a list of Daily Beliefs or Memorize Scripture.
We maintain health by abiding in the truth. Going over these daily beliefs that are God’s truth to fight off those old lies keeps you healthy and joyful.
VERSES I’VE MEMORIZED AND QUOTED TO COMBAT EVIL AGREEMENTS:
1. Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2. Matthew 5:8 – “The pure in heart will see God.”
3. 1 Corinthians 4:20 – “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”
4. Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
5. 1 Corinthians 9:22 “I’m flexible, adaptable, andable to do and be whatever is needed for all kinds of people so that in the end I can use every means at my disposal to offer them salvation.”
6. Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
7. – Psalm 84:11-12
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
blessed is the one who trusts in you.