He's a Liar!
"(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." II Corinthians 10:4-5
You would think that the statement, "Don't believe the devil!" is a no-brainer. I mean, it is common sense, right? Who in their right mind would believe such a liar? Yet, many times we do just that. We let his lies permeate our souls, distort our reality, and disempower us for the Kingdom of God.
Years ago while I was pregnant with my first child, I had a car accident while on the way to church. I somehow mis-steered a turn and wound up crashing into a tree at the front of our subdivision. I seemed to black out for a minute or so, but when I came to, immediately Satan said to me, "You had better not go back to that church again. If you do I will kill you."
So, I didn't go back...at least not for a while. I determined that I could find another church which was preaching the truth. However, this never happened because that had been the church God intended for me. So instead, I found myself drifting further and further away from the Lord, becoming increasingly discouraged.
A few years later, a sister in that church called to invite me to a women's retreat. I knew that I had to go. If the Lord still wanted me, then I had to run back to Him. It was at this time that God really began dealing with me about the idol I had made of my marriage. He told me that I could not have my idol and Him, only one or the other; I had to make a choice. By the time of the retreat, I was ready to set aside all to truly attain the fullness of Christ.
Coming to the retreat, I was really at a place of brokenness. There was plenty of opportunity for fellowship, but I was communing with God in my own heart and needed this time with Him alone so that He could begin to heal & strengthen me. Therefore, I sought out such times during the retreat.
At one such time, I was washing the lunch dishes in the kitchen when my pastor came up to me.
"Where have you been?" he asked.
I answered, "No where."
"Then why did you stop coming to church?" he asked.
I told him about the car accident and stated, "The devil said he would kill me if I came back."
At this, my pastor chuckled almost with incredulity and stated, "And you believed him???!!!"
At first, that statement pretty much stomped me. What did he mean, "And I believed him?" Of course I hadn't wanted to believe the devil, but Satan had actually said what I stated. What had my pastor expected me to do? Why is he reacting like I did something wrong? Couldn't he see that I was the victim in this instance?
Then it hit me. By heeding the voice of the devil I was in all actuality placing my faith in him! At the time of the accident, it had never dawned on me that I had a choice whether to believe the devil or not. The devil said it, and I believed it. More importantly, I hadn't realized that in doing so, I had fallen short of my God-given responsibility not to believe him (II Corinthians 10:3-6).
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16
When we choose to believe
- If Satan says my life is in his hands - and I believe him - then I am denying that my life is in God's hands.
- If Satan says I will never be free - and I believe him - then I am expressing disbelief about whether Jesus really makes me free.
- If Satan says that I will always be the same old lust-filled sinner that I was - and I believe him - then I am doubting whether I am a new creature in Christ.
Did I know that Satan was the father of lies? Yes. Did I know that Jesus is the Truth? Yes. But when Satan whispered those lies in my ear, I drank them down because of the fear they inspired (I Kings 19:2-3). Instead of holding onto my shield of faith in God's words which would quench the fiery darts of the enemy, I allowed those lies to take root in my soul and they began to strangle off the word of God in my spirit (Mark 4:15).
I was not the victim in that situation. I was simply someone who did not exercise the spiritual authority I had been given. As soon as I heeded Satan's words, I began to believe the lie that I was defenseless against him.
How is it that we - who have been made victors in Christ - find ourselves as victim to His enemy? Because we do not take to heart the fact that we are in a spiritual war and as a result we do not fight. The war does not end when we get saved, rather that is when it begins. It is not until we answer the call of Christ that we become soldiers (II Timothy 2:4). When Satan comes against us with his lies, we can hold up our shields to deflect his attacks, but we must also go on the offensive with the truth (our sword of the Spirit). This is what Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness. Every lie that Satan spoke, Jesus countered with the truth. If we do not follow Jesus' example, then we will fall prey to deception.
Although I knew that it was Satan speaking these words to me, many people - including Christians - cannot distinguish God's voice, from Satan's voice, from the voice of their own flesh. They mistakenly believe that every voice they here, every thought they have, is their own. Yet clearly Scripture shows that even followers of Christ must be on guard against thoughts, imaginations, and lofty ideas which are inspired by none other than Satan himself.
When Jesus was sharing with His disciples about His upcoming death, Peter actually began to argue against Jesus. What was Jesus' response? "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." (Matthew 16:23)
Clearly Jesus was directing His words to Satan here, for He says so explicitly. However, this was not some general rebuke to Satan somewhere in the air. Satan was expressing himself through Peter, and as such Jesus was addressing Satan by Peter. Since Jesus had spiritual eyes to see, He knew that Peter's words were not his own, but were the words of Satan. Peter on the other hand seemed oblivious to that fact.
In another situation, James & John asked if they should call down fire on those who rejected Jesus. He replied stating, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." (Luke 9:55) Again, we see that followers of Jesus are being inspired by a spirit that is unclean and demonic. Worse, they did not seem to know at all what was the inspiration behind these thoughts, assuming that the thoughts were their own and perhaps even Godly.
Clearly God expects us to be able to discern the difference between all of the voices we can hear crying out to us in this world. Our ears must be exercised spiritually to distinguish them so that we can cleave to that which is of the Lord and reject all else. Otherwise, how will we know what needs to be pulled down, cast down, and brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ?
We must do more than know that, "The devil is a liar." We must be spiritually discerning at all times so as to guard our minds against such attacks; for that is where the battle is. The battle is in the mind.
The following article entitled, "The Battlefield of the Mind" by Min. Derek Prince is a good resource on this topic.
The sermon below, "What Happened on Skull Mountain" by Pastor Gary C. Price goes into detail about why the battle we face is in the mind and how we overcome all obstacles to obtain a renewed mind.