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Believe Differently

Believe Differently

Editor’s note: In Power Moves, Sarah Jakes Roberts pushes us past the status quo to live utter real before God and within ourselves. She encourages us to live with boldness to be exactly who the Lord created us to be. Enjoy this excerpt.


The systems that leave you stagnant and ashamed are rendered powerless only when a stronger, more powerful belief is introduced. That new belief introduces an opportunity for a healthier, more powerful system to emerge. Failure to take advantage of that opportunity occurs because our new belief must compete with our old system.

God loves me whether I am in a relationship or not. God loves me whether I am successful professionally or not. God loves me whether other people like me or not. These statements are opportunities to believe differently, but until our choices reflect what we believe, we will not experience change.

The belief that I am loved, valued, and worthy of maximizing my life is not one that I grasped with ease. It is a truth that required me to see beyond what I think about my messy insides and to dare to believe that where I see mess, God sees material. Romans 8:28 says,

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

It’s a powerful scripture that has so much meat, but the word that stands out the most to me is know. Too many times we quote this scripture, replacing the word know with think, wish, or hope. There’s something to be said about being in relationship with God long enough that you move from the space of uncertainty about how things work together to a place of knowing.

I have learned that when God causes all things to work together, it’s because God is so holy that even the messes I make along the way in the pursuit of His purpose cannot contaminate His holiness. That’s not just my truth either. It’s yours too. When I fall into the trap of inadequacy because of my negative belief system, I have to remind myself that

God did not run out of grace when I messed up.

When I trust that I am loved beyond measure, it breaks me out of the system that cripples me. There is a power waiting to be released in you that is rooted in the knowledge that you are inescapably loved, valued, seen, and adored.

If you are able to grasp this as truth, it will grant you the courage to change your mind about who you think you have to be in order to be palatable. Even more powerful is that it will change what you believe is possible. You will have to learn to confront the ugly strongholds of your systems with the knowledge that God’s not finished with the masterpiece of you.

  • If you are up against it, it is because God has strategy to help you conquer it.

I want you to start defining the parts of your systems that make you who you are. This will require some introspection, so I’ll guide you through it. I want you to consider a most recent outcome, whether it was the outcome you desired or one that left you feeling disappointed. Then ask yourself what attributes you possess that directly contributed to the way things play out.

This is when it gets easy to begin listing negative qualities. Try not to focus exclusively on the ingredients that are frustrating, like ignoring red flags. There are some parts of your system that you should be proud of too. Besides, this is about building you up, not beating you up. Here are just a few to help get you started:

Pursuing perfectionism
Fear of isolation

In what sequence did these things come to the surface? If you take the time to look at the stages you go through when meeting new people or starting a new project, you’ll begin to see some of the mechanics of your system that have played a role in your being successful, stuck, or somewhere in between. What belief fueled positive outcomes? Which ones wore you down? Taking the time to identify the ingredient that sabotages your outcome is how we begin to petition God for a new way of believing. I’m adding my faith to yours with this quick prayer:

God, please help my reader to believe what You believe and to rebuke what has not come from You.

Until you decide that you do not deserve the debilitating results that your system constantly produces, you cannot break out of your system. And you can’t break out of your system if you don’t acknowledge where you keep getting stuck. Advocates for criminal justice reform are engaged in the work of dismantling a legal framework that has negatively affected the future of individuals because they believe those individuals deserve better results than what the system provides.

Those who’ve dedicated their lives to serving individuals in the legal system understand that each case that is revisited sets a new precedent, and with a new precedent, power moves away from endless oppression to a reason for optimism.

Every time you make a choice opposite of what your negative systems dictate, you are serving notice to them that they no longer have power.

If you want to know whether your system is healthy, you’ve got to look at the outcome you consistently produce. Even if the outcome is not what you desire, it can help you to better understand what system may be at play in your life.

I want to broaden your perspective on what you need at this stage of your life. You don’t just need a different outcome. You need new convictions. A system that is rooted in love, compassion, worthiness, and the pursuit of heaven touching Earth through you. I’ll be honest and let you know that heaven doesn’t touch Earth through anyone who hasn’t first faced off with hell.

The worst thing you can do when you’ve gone through hell and back is to repeat the same cycles and habits that bought the ticket to struggle in the first place. There is an authority that comes with surviving that must be enacted so that you no longer live trapped.

The old system doesn’t relent because you wake up one day and say the season is over. No, you get a revelation and when that revelation becomes consistent with your declaration and presentation, you will experience transformation. It’s beyond being viewed differently because you put on a power suit so that others can treat you with esteem.

  • Real transformation is when what’s taken place on the inside of you becomes so evident that the external must

The negative thought process that has left you feeling like a shell of who you think you have the potential to become is operating as designed. It’s the same old system that started in the garden. It’s the same lies I’ve had to face and likely the ones that have run rampant in your family.

The template for that system was formed in darkness and seared as an imprint on humanity the moment Adam ate from the tree, but it cannot have your future. It cannot have your community. It cannot have your children. The system has to end with you.

Since the system is functioning as designed, that means you have to get out of line. You must be willing to break free from the system that is trying to break you. If you don’t break free from the system, you will never experience the power that is available to you. I know firsthand how difficult it is to break free. I also know the joy that awaits on the other side of freedom.

Soon you will understand that the system wanted you to believe it was more powerful than you could ever be. The system is wrong.

Excerpted with permission from Power Moves by Sarah Jakes Roberts, copyright Sarah Jakes Roberts.

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Your Turn

Are you ready to experience the freedom on the other side of what has held you back? Jesus came to bring us freedom! God didn’t run out of grace for you! ~ Devotionals Daily