Growing up in a church-going family, I learned early on that the devil was a very real part of life. Of course, it didn’t hurt that in the deep South, certain oft-repeated phrases served as a healthy reminder of that fact . . . things like:
- ” . . . scared the devil out of me!” (whenever somebody got really frightened)
- ” . . . the devil whippin’ his wife” (whenever rain and sun were present at the same time)
- “The devil got into him.” (whenever one succumbed to the temptations of the evil one)
Scripture teaches us that the battles we wage as believers really are largely battles of good versus evil. Too often we let evil have victory in our lives — in the so-called ‘little things’ that perhaps don’t make much difference. Or so we say.
The truth is that Satan, while extremely shrewd, is also limited. There are only so many tricks he has up his sleeve. The sad thing is that even though we can spot his arsenal pretty much anywhere, we still let him have his way far too often without so much as a whimper, let alone a fight.
For those who are in Christ, the best hope the devil has is to discourage our hearts, distract us from our mission, and define us by our past. He knows that Christ has already won the victory, and the pages of history are just playing out according to God’s perfect plan. Therefore, Satan focuses on us with laser-like precision in a battle for our minds. You see, if he can get us in a mental tug-of-war, we’ll never be effective for the Kingdom of God.
HERE ARE THREE LIES SATAN CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO BELIEVE:
1. “You don’t really belong to God.” With this lie Satan aims at the very heart of our faith. He challenges us to doubt our salvation experience — and pulls out lots of ‘evidence’ from our emotional pile of dirty laundry. “If you belonged to God, you wouldn’t do these sinful things,” he whispers. Reality Check: Not all doubts are necessarily from Satan. However, while salvation is a point of decision/acceptance of God’s gift to us through Jesus Christ, personal discipleship is a process that will not reach completion until we meet Jesus face to face
2. “God doesn’t really care about you.” This is a real manipulative power play that has only one goal: confusion. In this mode, Satan brings all our problems to the forefront of our mind: debt, health issues, relationship and intimacy problems, dissatisfaction with work, etc. I think some of Satan’s chief channels for communicating this ridiculous message are the proponents of the ‘health and prosperity gospel.’ That’s not to say that those individuals are not believers — but to point out that Satan can use even believers to bring about confusion. We live in a fallen world. Problems come. People die — which in most cases involves developing some sort of health issue — no matter how faithful they are to the Lord.
3. “This is as good as it gets.” Every now and then, Satan tries to convince us that the Bible is just one big fairytale. He tells us there’s no God, no heaven, no abundant life. In this line of attack, the devil strives to drive daggers in our very hope. If we begin to think there’s no hope, then we’ll certainly not be sharing the Good News with others.
I believe that everyone has doubts from time to time; otherwise, there would be no need for faith. However, when those doubts arise, the only proper response is to confess them to God (He already knows what you’re thinking and feeling), challenge them with Scripture, and command in Jesus’ name that Satan have no power over your mind.
And always hold on to the powerful truth of Scripture:
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:2-4, NIV [emphasis mine]
IT’S YOUR TURN!
What are some other lies that Satan tells you? How do you handle those times when doubts arise?