Lies, lies, lies. All lies, all the time. The main truth surrounding Satan is that he is all lies, all the time. It’s what he does best. He speaks the language of lies. Every idea that comes from his mouth is couched in a lie. He is not called the deceiver for no good reason. Deception is his specialty. He cannot manipulate the physical world in which we live. No, but he can, and he does, manipulate mankind through deception. The first words he ever spoke audibly on the planet were a lie. Eve was just the first in a long, very long, line of people to be duped by the lies of the enemy. He, or his minions, have hoodwinked you, and they have hoodwinked me.
The challenge for the believer is to recognize a lie from the enemy when we hear it. Learning to discount his attacks takes practice. Most often those attacks come from those voices we hear in our own heads. It’s okay to admit you hear them. I hear them, too, sometimes. At times, they are so loud it’s hard to hear anything else. They want to bring up your past mistakes. Your hidden fears and buried failures. Feelings of inadequacy or inferiority creep into our consciousness and seek to paralyze us. He wants us to doubt what we know to be true of God. He’s good at what does, but we can arm ourselves, and the first thing we must do is learn what he sounds like.
Satan wants to stall progress. He wants to stifle growth and spiritual maturity. If he can fill your mind full of failure, inadequacy, doubt, and guilt, then maybe, just maybe he can stop your forward motion for the Kingdom. If he can throw darts at your self-esteem, he can keep you still, unable to take that next step towards Jesus. The less you look like Jesus, the better off Satan is.
Learning to recognize the voice of the enemy is almost as important as learning to recognize the voice of God. Learning when to expect his attacks helps you to mount your offensive and get the drop on him. Back in January, I accepted a leadership position in my church. I knew the attacks were on their way. I knew he would try to make me feel inadequate for the job. I was certain he would make me think of the times I have failed as a leader. I was ready for him, and he arrived right on schedule. I saw him coming from quite a ways off. I did what every good soldier would have done. I fell back on my training. I also called in reinforcements. Together, we fought him with the Scriptures. Instead of stopping me in my tracks, he was the one stalled. He’s a scrappy fellow, though, and he does not give up easily. It’s been a tough few months. He has hurled lots of distractions my way, but I am learning more about my enemy and how to defend myself from his attacks, from his lies.
Currently, I have a friend who is far from God. She knows of him, knows a lot about him, but cannot seems to break through the lies of the enemy to allow God to embrace her like a loving father embraces a precious daughter. The lies are so entrenched; it is hard for the truth to find a path inside. I’ve tried. I hurl truth at those lies, and see but the faintest of dents in the armor of lies encasing her. I see the split second desire on her face to believe the truth, a brief brightness at the possibility that what I say just might be true… And then, just as quickly, the darkness of doubt closes the gap again.
Once again, I am going to fall back on my training. My friend needs a chink in her armor. In fact, she needs the whole of it to fall away so that the light of the truth of Jesus can come in and wash away all the doubt, hurt, brokenness, confusion, and lies. Right now she is learning to speak the enemy’s language of lies. It protects her from truth. She slips into it as easily as not because it is the language she hears most in her head. She has learned it well, and it helps to hold that armor surrounding her steadfast. Yet here’s what I know to be true. I know that the same Holy Spirit power that raised Jesus from the dead, is alive in all those who believe in Jesus. I am praying with that very Spirit that what stands in the way of truth in my friend’s life will fall away, like scales of a broken armor, to the ground.
How about you? Do you recognize the voice of the enemy when it comes? Or are you like my friend, and continue to fall prey to it? Are you in this battle, or are you just cowering in fear of the next attack? Learn to stand strong. Learn how to fend off attacks from the enemy. Jesus came so that we might have victory.
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 1:18-20