A Pernicious LoopA Pernicious Loop
. . . he himself gives to all mankind
life and breath and everything—Acts 17:25
There are few more powerful (and potentially harmful) forces at work in the lives of men than the When/Then lie. It goes like this: when we get that job, that promotion, that house, that “number” in the bank account . . . then everything’ll be great. Things will settle down then. We’ll have peace and joy and security then. The lie wouldn't be so bad, but for the behavior we rationalize and excuse with it, hoping it is true: neglecting people we’re meant to love; disregarding people we’re meant to serve; ignoring people we’re meant to rescue; treating badly and taking advantage of people we are meant to encourage and support.
Our enemy, the “father of lies” (John 8:44), created a clever one with the When/Then lie—it’s an infinite loop. You see, whatever “something” follows When is never as good as we think it’ll be. And so, any given “something,” when it’s achieved, is quickly replaced by a bigger, better one.
There’s freedom available to us, though—freedom to enjoy the abundant blessings we’ve already been given; freedom to access true peace and true joy and true security, right now—if we’re willing to reject the lie and, instead, embrace the promises of our King, Jesus Christ. He’s promised that our Father God will provide everything we need in any given moment (Matthew 6:25-34). His provision just might not look how we think or hope it will (Isaiah 55:8).
Okay, so what do we do?
Write down the When/Then lies you’ve believed. Be specific with both the Whens and the Thens. Now, with brothers in community or directly to God, pray against any power they’ve held over your life. Then, pray in the opposite: declare your gratitude for how God’s provided for you already—and for how he always will.