Pay attention, because he lies.
And he is so very good at it, too!
This arch enemy of the Living God knows you will recognize a full frontal attack so he rarely comes at you that way.
Instead, he wiggles in sideways
And he doesn’t (usually) yell.
He hisses, “You will never measure up.”
“You are always so stupid.”
“They don’t really like you, you know.”
Or something similar. Something designed just for you. To stop you in your tracks.
Usually the message he whispers was originally given to you at some point by another human.
Someone who should have loved you well but did not.
Or someone who did not love you at all but should have.
The enemy takes those words and plays them back on a loop, softly, repeatedly, intentionally.
Often, he whispers so frequently and so well that you don’t even realize it is there.
The message becomes the background music of your life, the almost-hidden, underlying soundtrack of your thoughts.
It is there – but you barely are aware of it.
But every time you get poked by life, the volume increases and it is the message you hear.
Every time a sensitive area is jostled, this whisper comes with the pain.
And the message becomes one you deeply believe, without even realizing it.
It defines how you deal with relationships.
And how you deal with yourself.
Until at last you shut down your heart – or at least that part – and become trapped in his web of lies.
Until one day, something changes.
One day, a different Voice speaks above the soundtrack.
The Voice of Truth.
Sometimes He shouts.
And sometimes He, too, whispers.
Sometimes He uses a friend who is willing to ask the hard questions.
And sometimes He uses a book.
Or a sermon.
A passage of Scripture.
Or all of those.
When the Voice of Truth speaks, the enemy has to flee.
Light suddenly shines in what has become a dark and dreadful corner of your heart.
And you recognize the lie for what it is.
You wonder how you never saw it before.
And you rejoice at the freedom that washes over your heart as the Holy Spirit proclaims Truth.
But beware! The enemy will try again.
Yep, with that very same lie.
Or perhaps a slightly different version.
After all, Jesus said that our enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy.”
And Peter calls him “a roaring lion, seeking who he will devour.”
So what do you do when he comes crawling back around to whisper some more?
You speak Truth to him.
You take that thought captive, wrestling it to the ground and kicking it out of your head and heart.
And then you replace the lie with the Truth of God’s Word.
Every. Single. Time.
So when he says, “You will never measure up”, you say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead at work in me. And I may not be able to measure up, but my God always comes through. His grace is sufficient because His power is made perfect in my weakness. So I will press on, forgetting what is behind and striving for what is ahead.”
When he says, “You are always so stupid”, you say, “I am a glorious creation of the Living God, bought and paid for by the precious blood of Christ. I may not know everything there is to know, but I know the God who does know, who has promised to be my help in time of need, every time. He has given me everything I need for life and godliness.”
When he says, “They don’t really like you, you know”, you say, “Love chooses to believe the best. I don’t know if they like me or not, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I am called to love them with the love of God. So I will choose to love, choose to believe the best and choose to remember that I am a beloved child of God, regardless of what anyone else thinks of me.”
Do you know what happens when you replace the whispers of the enemy with the Truth of the Word?
He has to flee.
He has to go.
Will he try again?
Anything to shut you down and keep you from being Kingdom-effective.
But does he win in the end?
His fate was sealed the day that Jesus broke the power of death and hell by walking out of the empty tomb. And he can mess with you now only as much as you allow him to play in your thoughts.
Here is how Paul describes your mind and this battle for you as a Christ-follower:
“For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, AMP)
Those “sophisticated arguments” and “exalted and proud thinking” may come from some outside sources. But often they are simply the internal messages, the whispers, the lies that replay themselves in your mind on repeat.
But here’s the Truth:
That message doesn’t have to be there.
Take it captive.
And take it to the cross.
Leave it there at the feet of Jesus.
And watch the enemy flee in fear.
Repeat that procedure as often as necessary.
Give yourself a tangible reminder if you need to.
Something you can see.
Or something you can touch.
Something that reminds you of Truth so that you can replace the lies one more time.
And the time after that.
Because this only works if you replace the whispers of the enemy with the Truth of God’s Word.
And you will only know the Truth if you get into His Word.
Reading the Bible
Meditating on it.
Listening to godly speakers.
Being in friendships where “iron sharpens iron”.
Asking the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to the Word of God.
Replacing the whispers of the enemy with the Voice of Love, the Voice of Truth, the Voice of the One who died to set you free.
So that you will, indeed, know the Truth – and the Truth will set you free.