“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:43-44
Deception is Satan’s trademark, and it’s nothing new.
The very first book of the Bible tells of his trickery with Eve in the Garden of Eden: He planted seeds of doubt about God’s words by asking, “… Indeed, has God said, `You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1. And this is still the devil’s primary tactic because deception blinds people to the truth.
If you’ve ever accepted a false belief or been intentionally deceived, you know how devastating it is to feel betrayed. Now imagine the utter ruination Satan causes by blinding people to the truth of the gospel. It’s hard to imagine the countless souls who will suffer eternally because of his trickery.
However, the devil doesn’t limit his efforts to preventing faith. He also works diligently to deceive believers by feeding us discouraging thoughts: he insinuates God doesn’t care when we’re going through difficulties and suggests He’s unjust for allowing our suffering. Our enemy also prompts us to dwell on the wrongs done to us or the things God hasn’t provided so we’ll hold grudges, complain, and find fault.
All this robs us of the joy, gratitude, and peace that are ours in Christ. Our first defense against deception is a mind filled with truth from God’s Word so we can discern the lies before they poison our emotions and contaminate our behavior.
“For he (Satan) is a liar and the father of lies” John 8:44
God is truth and speaks the truth. Satan lies and is the father of lies.
A few days ago, I discussed the awesome miracles of God with a friend during a breakfast meeting. We both felt so privileged to be called to serve Him. During the discussion, we also touched on fact that the enemy keeps whispering lies in our thoughts to try to stop us from serving God.
Satan seems to know our weaknesses, and he attacks our minds in those areas. For example, I told Shirley that Satan often begins to tell me, “You are too old to put up another website. People will laugh at you for building a website. What do you know about the internet? You won’t be successful.”
However, God’s Word tells me,
“In your weakness I am strong. . . . You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. . . . I called you and I will be faithful to do it. . . . Because I am your shepherd, I am everything you need.”
Years ago, Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, explained the battle for our minds in this way. As Christians, we have both a spiritual nature and a carnal nature, and each has its own channel signal. Our spiritual nature listens to the Holy Spirit channel, while our carnal nature listens to the enemy’s channel. Many times a day, when thoughts come into our minds, we decide whom we will listen to: the Holy Spirit channel and truth, or the enemy channel and lies. We make the choice.
When the enemy begins to torment you with lies, or tries to make you feel unworthy, turn the channel of your thoughts to the Holy Spirit channel and begin quoting Scripture to yourself and the enemy. That is what Jesus did when the enemy taunted Him, and the enemy had to depart.
Remember what the Psalmist prayed,
“Your Word have I kept in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
When the voice of the enemy would have you believe lies, quickly turn your thoughts to God’s truths.
Father God, You are Truth. There are no shadows with You. You are Light and Joy. Make us alert to the enemy’s lies and turn our thoughts toward heaven. We love You. Amen.