Day 16 – Exposing Core Beliefs

Today, we are going to address the subject of your core beliefs. As Christians, when we hear the word beliefs, we often associate it with doctrine or theology, but that is not what we are talking about here. In this lesson, when you see the word belief, we are not addressing anything academic. We are going much deeper than that to the beliefs we hold in our hearts about God and reality. 

Most of us live completely unaware of the core beliefs that drive our lives. 

As an example, as Christians we all know that we are called to be generous. We can easily quote Bible verses about giving. But at the end of the day, many are still driven by greed and struggle to live a generous life. Why? It comes down to their core beliefs, which often operate undetected in the depths of our souls. The person who struggles to be generous has certain core beliefs about money that they would rarely verbalize—especially in church. Some of these might be:

  • I can’t trust God to come through for me, so I have to come through for myself
  • Money is my source of security and safety
  • I can’t fully trust God to provide for me, so I need a backup plan
  • Giving more will make me less happy because I won’t be able to get what I want

Like previously mentioned, we would rarely verbalize beliefs like this—but our lives are the true evidence of what we believe. Unless we address the destructive core beliefs and replace them with truth from God’s Word, they will continue to wreak havoc in our lives and hold us in bondage. 

The same is true for our struggles in the area of sexuality. This is not a comprehensive list, but will help you to identify some of the beliefs that may be operating underneath the surface in your own life, keeping you stuck in a cycle of sexual sin. Some of these are:

  • I cannot be happy or fulfilled in life without sex/porn
  • Sex is the ultimate source of pleasure in life
  • I cannot trust God to give me an exciting sex life
  • God requires me to choose between obeying him and happiness

It is only when we begin to identify these core lies that operate in the shadows that we can replace them with the truth. Repentance, while having an impact on our behavior, starts with us changing our minds. The greek word for repentance, metanoia, essentially means a change in the mind that results in a change in the life. At its core, it begins by seeing differently. It comes from a deep internal shift that results in an external shift. This is why simply trying to change your behavior does not work. Your behavior is a fruit of something far more deeply rooted, and unless you are willing to go deep and get to the source of the problem, the problem will come back no matter how hard you try to pick the bad fruit off the tree.

A.W. Tozer once said, “A low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils. A high view of God is the solution to ten thousand temporal problems.” True repentance begins with seeing God differently. When we get a better view of God in our own hearts, we will see this play out in our lives. In Romans 2, Paul makes this profound statement:

“Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?” (Romans 2:4, Amplified)

Why is God’s kindness the foundation for repentance? It comes down to our core beliefs about Him. Our behavior flows not from our academic assertions about God, but from what we truly believe about Him in the core of our beings. If we view God as withholding and unreliable, we will take matters into our own hands. But if we view Him as good and worthy of our trust, as one who fully desires what is best for us—that will play out in our behavior. The way we choose to live is the truest reflection of what we really believe about God. Said differently, if you want to know what you really believe, look no further than the actions you choose. 

Seeing God as a loving Father who desires our good is the key to living differently. If God is truly good, then He can be trusted, and it is trust that ultimately leads to obedience. When we exchange false ideas of God for the truth, we will finally find ourselves able to repent—for indeed, that is exactly what repentance is—a change in the way we think that produces a change in the way we live. 


Day 16 Freedom Work

Scripture Reading — Read Romans 1-2, taking notes of what causes people to live in sin, and what leads them to repentance. 

Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to write for about 5-7 minutes per question:

  • What core beliefs listed above do you identify with? What are some other core beliefs that you can think of that may be keeping you stuck?
  • What do you really believe is true about God’s heart toward you? How does this play out in your life and in the choices you make? 
  • If you truly and fully believed that God’s heart toward you was good and that He could be trusted, what impact would that have in the way you choose to live?

Prayer — Father, I don’t want to walk in deception or under the influence of lies. Help me to trust that your heart toward me is good, and expose anything in my heart that I’ve believed to the contrary that is keeping me in bondage. Reveal your kindness and your love to me in profound ways, and help me to live in a deep revelation of your goodness toward me. Help me to know your love which surpasses knowledge, not just in my mind—but deep in my heart. I don’t want to just read about your love. I want to know you intimately. Help me to encounter your love in deeply transformational ways that lead me into true repentance. Amen.

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Dr. Joseph Serwadda's Story

Over the past decade, numerous pastors and leaders from all over the world have been crying out (and even begging us) for discipleship resources in their language. This may sound extreme, but in America we have an abundance of books and resources that are available to us that are often taken for granted. In many ways, we have access to excess.

In some developing nations, people have never seen a book in their language. When leaders from these nations are given a book, they treat it as sacred gift! They even hand-write books and Bibles word for word so that they can spread this message of hope to others in their sphere of influence.

Dr. Joseph Serwadda, a leader from Uganda who oversees a group of churches that number approximately 27,000, echoes this need among pastors and leaders all over the world: “Our biggest need is not money or bigger buildings, but solid teaching. We lack literature for people to read and study on their own. The more people we have in church who are less instructed in the Word of God, the less solidity we have. Come and help us preserve the harvest. This is a Macedonian call!”

Pastor Yassir's Story

Over the years, Cubans have long suffered under the oppression of a single message: communism. Despite this challenge, Yassir is committed to sharing a new message with his people, a message of transformation that can lead to national revival.

Cubans, in general, have been conditioned toward communistic consumption. That’s why Yassir wants his people to embrace a new identity: a life defined by what they can give. This shift requires growth and maturity that can only come through a new perspective.

He explained, “The Cuban church is strong and filled with passion. But I believe it’s important that we shift our mentality. We need to see how the Gospel goes beyond our own needs. Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our nation, and not just wait for outside intervention.”

There aren’t many Christian resources in Cuba. So, Pastor Yassir’s church, along with many other churches throughout Cuba, have been profoundly impacted by the resources Messenger International has provided for them in their own language.

In our conversations with Pastor Yassir, he often cited an ancient proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. He sees MessengerX as a tool both to feed his people and teach them to fish.

It’s become evident that after many years in our ministry, the most effective way to transform a village or town is not to construct a church building. This just keeps the local leadership dependent on us.

We are much more effective if we give the indigenous leaders such as Pastor Yassir spiritual knowledge that will empower them to influence their village, town, or city. Such knowledge helps produce the faith needed to grow and sustain the work, which, if necessary, will include buildings and other resources.

Stories like Pastor Yassir’s fuel our mission, because we believe that everyone deserves to know life-transforming truth!

Nura's Story

Before Nura became a follower of Christ, her life was a living hell.
After the death of her husband—from whom she endured many years of abuse and suffering—she became a widow with four children. In search of peace and inner healing, she sought solace in religious places and practices, which only led her deeper into depression and financial debt.

Her last resort was Jesus.

“I came to the Christian church and begged for help! I accepted Christ after I heard of the promise of peace and healing that is found in Him,” Nura wrote. “I slowly began to recover, but there was one thing hindering my healing—unforgiveness.”
Filled with regrets, Nura struggled to forgive her husband. But the grip of offense began to weaken when her pastor handed her a copy of The Bait of Satan.

“I forgave my husband after I learned how much I, too, needed forgiveness,” shared Nura. “Now I am healed, and I have peace for the first time in my life. Some even say I look ten years younger!”


Pastor Raphael's Story

Pastor Raphael was raised in Kenya, immersed in a culture of darkness. As a child, he lacked affection because his father believed that strong men don’t show love. He continually witnessed his father beat and belittle his mother. Everywhere he looked, insidious behavior was practiced toward women and infants—families were being destroyed and lives were ending before they had a chance to begin.

This was the destiny Raphael was headed toward.

But everything changed when truth entered the scene. The first area to be transformed was Raphael’s heart—which, in turn, transformed his marriage and his family. And with a strong and healthy family, his whole outlook toward life has changed.

“Through the resources of Messenger International, a relentless passion was ignited in me to see the people of my country free from lies,” shared Raphael. “I discovered my purpose to train up others and bring God’s transforming truth to remote villages.”

Raphael has trekked miles through mud and rain to reach people, often rising early and returning late. He would travel over 50 miles a day with his bicycle—but through the generosity of the MessengerX community, he was given a motorcycle, which has enabled him to double his efforts while easily transporting the resources and supplies he needs to facilitate his classes. Raphael has seen over 200 of his students graduate in the villages he serves.

“Thank you for investing in my people,” expressed Raphael. “Each day tribal warriors are transformed into children of God, marriages are infused with love, and the innocent are protected. Your generosity has given us the tools we need to rewrite our story and reclaim our humanity.”

Dahlia's Story

Formerly a Muslim, Dahlia fled to Turkey after she was expelled from her Iranian school and excommunicated by her family. Her crime? Becoming a Christian.

You can now find Dahlia in a refugee camp, far from what she once called home. But despite the upheaval, she has found purpose in her pain. On a daily basis, Dahlia walks through her makeshift town and prays over the people. They have become her people—the audience of her message.

Dahlia has become a messenger, and she is often spotted lovingly serving those around her and sharing her faith with them. Despite language barriers, people are drawn to her because they see something different in her. And what’s amazing is that she’s not only reaching the people in her refugee camp, she’s also impacting those she left behind in Iran.

“I’ve had calls from Iran,” writes Dahlia. “People who mocked me because of my faith now believe in Jesus and want to know more. So, I tell them about MessengerX, which has a lot of translated discipleship resources.”

As we continue to provide people like Dahlia with life-transforming truth in their own language, we’re helping them grow in their faith and discover their purpose—and we’re equipping them to make a difference in their world.

“I am beyond thankful for all of the books that I’ve been able to read in my language, such as Driven by Eternity, translated in Farsi,” shared Dahlia. “I read them again and again. The messages keep me company in this lonely season, and they inspire me to reveal Jesus to the hurting people all around me.”