Accusations flew at me while singing praises during worship. My mouth tried to focus on the words but my ears were distracted, listening to the lies; believing them. Sometimes the condemning words are predictable (such as before a new ministry year or before speaking at a women’s event); other times they seem to come out of the blue, like sitting at a red light. While the timing may vary, the voice remains the same. The enemy of my soul specializes at whispering lies and accusations so he can trick me into crippling bondage.
The devil has been whispering wickedness for a long time. It’s what he does. If you love Jesus, you are his target. The devil’s goal? To kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). But, let’s not be unaware of his schemes and get sucked into his lies. Jesus has given us an example; let’s follow Him:
It is written…
Every time the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, the Son of God responded with the words of God. Satan twisted God’s precious words then, and he continues this same ploy now. If you follow Jesus, you are the enemy’s target. So, let’s be prepared for the battle.
The Battle is Real
One of Satan’s lies is that only the “really charismatic” Christ-followers believe in spiritual warfare. Clearly I am going overboard if I think this or that is a spiritual attack. But, do not believe this lie.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
If we imagine Satan to be ‘that guy in the red suit with a pitchfork’, we aren’t believing God’s word. Those fiery darts the wicked one is flinging at us is for real.
Quench the Attack
When the enemy was accusing me recently during worship service, I made a crucial mistake. I listened. I realized that I’d actually been practicing listening to him too. See, I had been struggling with some sinful thoughts and my response was to “take those thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6), which was good. But, somewhere along the line, I began trying to reason with the enemy. Just an FYI, that doesn’t work. It’s a little like reasoning with a two-year-old. Instead of reasoning with the devil, or giving him an ear at all, God gives us the specific battle plan:
*Take up the whole armor of God.
*Gird yourself with truth (His word!).
*Put on righteousness (that would be Christ’s righteousness that you are clothed in because of His perfect obedience and His sacrifice on the cross). You aren’t standing there on your own merits; you stand in Christ!
*Put on the shoes of peace.
*Take up that shield of faith to quench the fiery darts.
*Don’t forget your helmet of salvation. You have been SAVED from the sin Satan is accusing you of!
*Use the sword of the Spirit always (the word of God).
*And, pray in the Spirit, being watchful.
Keep the End in Mind
You know the end of the story, you know the final score of the game. This inside information is critical to your daily life because it really can change the way you respond to all sorts of things.
If you believe God when He says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1), you will reject the enemy’s attempts to remind you of your past sins.
If you believe God when He says nothing can snatch you from the palm of His hand (John 10:28-29), you will reject the devil’s whispers “Did God really save you? Are you really His?”
And, if you believe God when He says you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), and that the accuser of the brethren will be overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:10-11), then you will fight to the bitter end because you know Jesus Christ is the victor and you are on the Lord’s side if He has delivered you from the domain of darkness.
We Need One Another
That morning, as I struggled in the house of the Lord because I’d allowed the enemy to get inside my head, the light broke the darkness. My friend reached out to talk with me at the end of the service and ended up shining light onto my dark thoughts. The enemy scattered because she spoke the truth of God to me.
How many times do we march forward in battle, but end up finding ourselves battling other professing Believers instead of the devil himself? I’m sure Satan is so pleased with himself when he can get us battling one another instead of seeing him as the real enemy.
Or how many times do we wallow in the mire of our dark thoughts only because we’ve not opened ourselves up to others who can shine light onto them? If you are entertaining offenses, criticisms, accusations, then you may want to examine where darkness has taken over. Allow others to shine light onto your darkened thinking. Speak God’s truth to these thoughts. But, keep in mind that we are often skilled at self-deception. We may be completely unaware of how we’ve bought into the darkness. So, open yourself up to others–above all, be part of the local Body of Christ where there is accountability, God-given authority, and help.
Fight the good fight. God has equipped us in every way possible.