Have you ever said one of these things to yourself?
I am just a messy person.
I’m bossy – I can’t help it.
I’m forgetful – they just need to get used to it.
I’ll never really succeed at that.
This is how it will always be. I’ll just have to live with it.
Perhaps you have made one of these statements. These are all things that people say about themselves, thinking that they are being practical, or even self-aware.
These, my friend, are agreements.
Remember, God is Truth and Satan is our adversary. He tempts us. He tricks us. He accuses us. He wants to devour us.
Do you think he has stopped?
No, Satan is still trying to tempt, trick, and accuse us. One of his best tactics is to plant a lie in your mind and get you to believe it. (Like Leo in Inception.) If he can get you to believe a lie then he can just sit back and let you go. You will carry out your own destruction.
Once you are aware of this you can almost hear his voice, whispering in your ear: “My wife doesn’t really care about me. She never does.” Or, “My husband doesn’t understand me. He never has, and he probably never will.” “They don’t respect me.” “Nothing is ever going to change.”
Affairs start this way. “I guess I’ll never be happy in my marriage…I might as well get used to it.” Turns into, “If I were with him, I’d be happy.”
Compromised character starts this way. “All men betray. All men lose heart.”
Here is the problem. When Satan tells you a lie, you are distracted. When you believe the lie, you are tricked. But when you make an agreement with the lie, then you are trapped. John Eldredge calls them agreements. They can become strongholds in your life that hinder everything else.
What if much of what we call our ‘personality’ is really just agreements we have made? “Always late,” or “the funny guy,” or “scatter-brained,” or “always put-together.” Any of these self-labels sound familiar? What if we have let compromises and agreements detract from the heroic selves that God has planned for us? (After all, he gave us 70-100 years to work towards something!)
Think through your major areas of life. Marriage, family, kids, work, church. What pessimistic agreements have you made? What areas have you settled for less than God’s best?
“Your actions follow your beliefs.” Dallas Willard