Denial to renewal
Standing strong when life wants to knock you down.
(Never underestimate the power of denial.) –When I ignore important truths about my life.
Denial is a weapon we give to the enemy to use against us.
We are not lacking information or even revelation.
We are sorely lacking in application. The ‘doing’ part of what we keep hearing.
The speed of the human mind is remarkable.
It develops this inability to face the obvious when it will cost you something that you do not want to pay the price of! And it will require change!
Most of us are experts at ignoring the inconvenient facts of life.
Denial can become one of the most effective tools the enemy will use (if you’ll let him) to keep you knocked down.
The danger of denial is that you prevent yourself from accepting truth about yourself.
You begin to believe that your life, your mess up’s, poor conduct, and wilful sin, even your poor attitude is Okay! That’s life or I’m just that way?
Cartoon of a man whose head and arms were being squeezed through the rollers of those old washing machines. The caption read, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable”.
For many people, denial is their way of coping when life knocks them down.
If you start your day without caffeine or pep pills. If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains. If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles. If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it. If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time. If you can take criticism and blame without resentment. If you can face the world without lies or denial. If you can do all these things,
Then you are probably the family dog.
What is denial? It is refusing to believe something that is true.
Psychologists say: it’s a process by which painful truths are not admitted into an individual’s consciousness.
If I accept it into my conscience, I will have to change or do something about it.
The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we are afraid. Richard Bach
Galatians 6:5 (NCV) - Each person must be responsible for himself.
Our denials can take many forms.
The obvious way to deny the truth is to lie.
- Telling a story we leave out certain details, or we exaggerate making it larger, better or worse than it really is
- Officer, I didn’t know I was driving so fast.
- I never heard you ask me to clean up my room. We learn from a young age to live in denial
- I would love to help with your move but I am too busy this weekend.
People lie to avoid uncomfortable situations or to make themselves look better.
Maybe the most dangerous form of denial is when we do not even recognize we’re denying reality.
Here is one of those denial stories King Saul’s life…
1 Samuel 15:16-24 (NIV) 16 “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.
Denial hardened his heart – Not afraid of God
Covering up what we look like on the inside is denial - we refuse to accept or deal with who we really are!
The real you
Especially after hearing the word - being convicted by the Holy Spirit to change certain things and you just ignore it (That’s Denial)
In the days of royalty in England, Kings and Queens, when an artist painted their portraits, they never were allowed to include their blemishes and flaws. He made them look better than what they did.
Here are some phrases that a person in denial uses often:
- I can handle this - when we really can’t
- It’s not really a problem - but it’s busy destroying your life
- I don’t need help – when we are hoping someone will help us
- I don’t need counseling – we are just too prideful to open up to someone
- I can quit anytime – famous last words you know you can’t
- I can work it out on my own – we all need help from others.
The problem is we can’t handle it and also we can’t quit.
The truth is you have a problem!
The problem with denial is that the longer it goes on, the more we hurt ourselves and the harder it is to come to terms with the truth. We begin to live a lie.
Think about David after his sin with Bathsheba.
2 Samuel 12:1-7 (Amp) – And the Lord sent Nathan [the prophet] to David. He came and said to him, “There were two men in a city, one rich and the other poor.
2 “The rich man had a very large number of flocks and herds,
3 But the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb Which he had purchased and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It ate his food, drank from his cup, it lay in his arms, And was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveller (visitor) came to the rich man, And to avoid taking one from his own flock or herd to prepare [a meal] for the traveller who had come to him, He took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for [a]his guest.” 5 Then David’s anger burned intensely against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die. 6 He shall make restitution for the ewe lamb four times as much [as the lamb was worth], because he did this thing and had no compassion.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you as king over Israel, and I spared you from the hand of Saul. (David goes from Denial to renewal)
So many times when a personal crises doesn’t work, then God often uses people like a NATHAN.
Psychologists call what Nathan did ‘intervention’.
Going to a person in love and showing them what they are in denial about.
Galatians 6:1-2 (LB) – Dear brothers, if a Christian is overcome by sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong. Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command.
Has a friend or a spouse or a parent, someone else ever come to you and said, you have a problem”? This is a sure sign that you possibly have a problem.
Turning denial around to renewal takes a heavy dose of acceptance and a cup of humility blended with a spoonful of courage. (It takes courage, character and integrity)
As part of our renewal we need to fight problems, NOT just wait for them to take place.
That’s why James talks so firmly to the church.
James 1:22 (NLT) – But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
David understood that denial only kept his life in bondage and defeat
Listen how he protects himself from a life of denial.
Psalm 139: 23-24 (Amp) - Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 51:6 (Amp) - Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.
When living with an attitude of denial it will cause you much hurt and many knock downs.
The good news is that…
Philippians 1:6 (Amp) - And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
God is more interested in what you become than what you achieve.
You don’t have to deny your denials about yourself.
Only with the support of a caring, loving, healing Jesus you can say, “I am capable of terrible things but I am absolutely, unconditionally committed to You Lord.” “I am willing to change. Willing to take responsibility for who I am.”
Ephesians 4:23-24 (Amp) - And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
Denial is a destroyer that should be cut off as quickly as possible.
Acceptance and truth ‘always’ are your surest path to peace and freedom.
“Getting up when life knocks you down.”