You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.—John 8:44
The devil lies. In fact, the devil doesn’t know how to speak the truth.
Most Christians know that—and yet they still listen to his evil words. Sometimes the lies seem to just pop into our minds for no apparent reason; sometimes Satan even speaks to us through other people. He puts something critical or hurtful into their minds about us, and they speak it out for us to hear. If we listen and accept what we hear, our enemy rejoices. If we listen long enough to the deceptive information we have taken in, we will find ourselves facing serious problems.
Instead of listening and absorbing the untruths and satanic deceptions, you can look at what Jesus did and follow His example. After fasting for forty days in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him three times. Each time He defeated the devil by declaring, “It is written,” and quoting the Word of God. No wonder the devil fled from Him (see Matthew 4:1-11). Learn the truth of God’s Word, and every time Satan lies to you, quote a scripture back to him. Learn to talk back to the devil!
Too many people don’t know how to use the Word to defeat Satan’s lies. Many people—even Christians—don’t seem to realize that they can refuse to listen to that voice. Too many people don’t realize that the devil attacks their minds with negative or wrong thoughts. It’s his nature to lie; he is out to enslave everyone.
I encourage people to realize that they are not alone in their spiritual battles; their minds are not the only ones under attack. Satan comes against everyone. His entire goal is to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy our lives abundantly (see John 10:10). By becoming more conscious of the spiritual weapons the Lord has made available to us and learning how to use them, we can gain victory. We can break the strongholds the devil has built in our minds. The Bible tells us that when we know the truth, that truth will free us from Satan’s strongholds (see John 8:32).
In my book Battlefield of the Mind, I referred to Mary, who had been mistreated and brainwashed by her father, and by the time she was a teen, she didn’t trust men. The devil had whispered to her for years that all men were alike and wanted to hurt women and take advantage of them. As Mary read the Bible and prayed more effectively, she learned that it was the devil who had pushed her around. Now she knows she can be free.
As Mary develops in her relationship with God, she is equipping herself to win the battle for her mind. She’s learning more about God and more about how to pray effectively.
“Jesus has become my friend,” Mary said. She had known Him as her Savior and worshiped Him as God, but this was a new revelation to her. One day she read Hebrews 2:18 in a totally new light. It says of Jesus, Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able…to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted….
That passage came alive to Mary because she saw Jesus not only as God, but as her friend—one who knows what it’s like to be tempted and who knows what it is like to suffer. “I knew He died on the cross, but I had not thought of all the pain He went through for me. To realize that He understands my pain and problems was a new thought to me.”
Mary also says that when negative, mean, or ugly thoughts come into her head, she is learning to stop those thoughts. “Jesus wouldn’t talk that way. Jesus wouldn’t be critical and judgmental, so that’s the devil fighting for my mind.”
Mary hasn’t won all the battles, but she has learned to fight the great deceiver. Every time she wins one battle, the next one becomes easier.
God of all power, thank You for giving me the weapons to defeat the lies of the devil. Help me to always make good use of them. Thank You, Jesus, for being my friend and for being with me in my difficulties and struggles. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer.