Have you ever considered the fact that we have an enemy whose primary goal in life is to fill our minds with lies?
Lies that undermine our faith in God and lead us to question His character.
Lies that left unchecked can render us ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”Ephesians 6:11-12
It has become clear to me over the last couple years that many of us are believing the lie that the battle for our hearts is over the moment we dedicate our lives to Jesus, accepting Him as our Savior, repenting and turning from sin to follow Him instead. The truth is the battle for our soul is won but the battle for our hearts is just beginning.
A soul saved, while a loss for the enemy, is nowhere near as threatening as a heart transformed and sent out boldly and passionately to spread the word. So, the day you become a believer, rejoice yes, but first put on your armor because the Christian life well lived is a battle day in and day out to continually surrender your heart, mind, and life to the Lord. From the day of salvation on the goal of the enemy is to snuff out the flame of our faith. Be on guard Christian. The battle is real.
There are many ways the enemy tries to undermine our faith, too many to count really because each lie is unique to the person he is using it to discourage. He tries to taint our view of God, bring division amongst God’s people, stoke our pride so we’ll lose sight of our need for God, or convince us God has failed us because bad things keep happening in our lives. He may even be so sneaky about how he goes about it that we don’t even notice it is happening.
“Then the devil took him to the holy ciy and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,Matthew 4:5-7
“He will command his angels concerning you,”
“On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”‘
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
It is so important that we understand that the enemy actively seeks to twist the truths found in God’s word into hard to recognize lies.
I’m going to give you some examples, but first I think it is important to call your attention to the fact that many if not all of these lies are things we would never say out loud that we are believing.
Instead, our belief in them is revealed in our thoughts and actions, the way we let a hurtful thought linger a little too long, or don’t speak up when given the opportunity. It is revealed in our hesitancy to pray in bold faith or step into the stirring desire the Lord has placed within us. So as you read this list of “lies we live with” I challenge you not to write them off right away, but to truly look at your actions (or lack thereof) and ask the Lord to help you root out any lies you have been living with.
So many lies:
“God can’t/won’t use me until..”
“God wants me to be comfortable”
“I can do it on my own”
“If I can just manage to love the things of this world less, then I’ll be able to love the Lord more.”
“The desires of my heart are bad and not form the Lord”
“God doesn’t speak to me the way he seems to speak to others.”
Friend, I wish that it was in my power to snap my fingers and open all of our eyes to the specific lies the enemy is using against each of us. But only the Holy Spirit can speak such things with authority over each of us. If you are like I was three years ago, stuck in the apathy trap, believing the lie that you are hopeless to change the circumstances of your heart and mind, I am praying fervently for you. For the Holy Spirit to speak the word you need to hear and touch the hurt places that need to heal. I believe wholeheartedly He can bring about that kind of heart-level change and understanding.
I do want to give you a word of caution though. It is entirely in our power to quench the Spirit and prevent Him from bringing about the growth He desires in us. If our grip on the lies we are believing is too tight; if we refuse to open our hands and surrender to God’s sanctifying work for whatever reason (love of comfort, fear of the cost, etc.), we will hinder the Spirit’s work in us.
Please friend, if you’re feeling stuck or apathetic toward God, I’m begging you to surrender to the work He wants to do. I’m begging not because I want to pat myself on the back for a post well written (I’m powerless on my own remember?). I’m begging you because I long so badly to see your eyes light up with love and faith in the Lord again. I long to see you crush the enemy’s head under your feet and walk out the full life of freedom and joy that Jesus died for you to have.
In order for that to happen, we must be willing participants. Dying to self is a choice, not a passive pursuit.
Maybe the cleverest lie the enemy tells us is that God will complete the work He began in us, so we don’t have to play an active role in our sanctification. He tells us we’ll experience the fullness of joy when we see our Jesus face to face (true) but he does so in a way that blinds us to the fullness of joy available to us in the here and now.
We are one with God, His Spirit indwells us. It doesn’t get more personal, more intimate, or more real than that. I’m praying we’ll be believers who refuse to let the enemy trick us into settling for hope deferred when we have very real and tangible hope in the here and now.
In our next post, we’re going to go more in-depth on how to battle some of these lies with truth. In the meantime, here are some questions to ponder this week:
- Do you view your day to day life as a battle against the enemy for the truth to reign in your heart and mind?
- If you answered yes, do your actions each day reflect that belief? Are you doing battle with the enemy each day? Or is it more of a belief that you hold but don’t really think about on a day to day basis?
- What are some of the tools you use to combat the enemy’s lies? What does God’s word have to say about the tools available to us? (Ephesians 6:10-18, Matthew 4:1-11)
- Are there any lies on the list that jumped out at you? Or any that aren’t on the list, that you would add? Let us know in the comments. We want to be sure and address the lies that are relevant to each of you!