Growing up I watched my fair share of cartoons. In nearly all of the cartoons, when a character would make a bad decision it was the fault of a red-faced, pitch-fork-carrying devil on their shoulder.
This imagery formed a notion in my mind that the devil only shows up when we are faced with a decision of obvious right or wrong. As I’ve read the Bible and learned more about the way the enemy works, I’ve made a surprising discovery. Satan isn’t just concerned about getting you to do something that is wrong, he first wants to convince you to believe something wrong. Slowly and subtly he whispers lies in an attempt to get you to come into agreement with him.
Hopefully, by revealing some of the lies I once believed it will allow you too to recognize the lies and walk in the freedom of God’s truth. Here are 5 lies, in particular, that the enemy has convinced me to believe at one time or another.
God is Mad at You
For most of my life, I lived in anxiety and fear that God was going to strike me down for the sin in my life. And when I messed up really bad I thought that God might even take it out on somebody I loved – like my parents. Yikes!
That thought process is terrible… I know. But, that is exactly the way the enemy works. If the enemy can convince you that God is mad at you, then he will keep you from the only One who can truly bring hope, healing, and peace to your heart. God is not mad at you. He loves you. Not because of anything you have done, but because of what Christ has done for you.
You may have done a lot of things you’re not proud of, but thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice He looks at you with love, not anger. (see Romans 5:8)
You’re Unqualified to Lead Others
This one is kind of funny because it is partly true. The truth is, we are all “unqualified” and messed up in one way or another. And we all equally need God’s grace. The only true qualification to helping others is the realization of your weakness and an awareness of God’s strength.
People often get the wrong idea with leading. As if being a leader is determined by qualifications and accolades. The truth is, Biblical leadership is defined by servanthood. Jesus provided this example by living life on earth in service to others and ultimately laid down His life for his followers (Matthew 20:28). Leading others starts with following Christ – if you’re doing that then you’re already as “qualified” as you’re ever going to be.
You’ve Done Too Much to Be Forgiven
We live in a world that classifies and categorizes sin. Bad sins, really bad sins and then those really awful sins. With that said, the enemy is going to do whatever he can to persuade you that you’ve done something that is just too terrible for the grace and forgiveness of God.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Romans 5:20 explains that where sin increases – grace increases even more. In other words, there is nothing you’ve done that God isn’t willing to forgive. He wants you to live in His strength, not your shame.
You Don’t Need Help From Anyone
I didn’t realize until recently just how important it is to surround myself with Godly counsel. It’s easy to be prideful and think that you can handle your issues on your own, but more often than not you will need the help of those around you.
Isolation is one of the most dangerous places you can find yourself as a Christian. Satan will try to convince you that you can defeat a struggle or addiction on your own, but the reality is – putting your struggle in the dark will only make it darker.
There is strength in numbers. If you begin to believe the lie that you can do this life on your own, then you can bet that you’re closer than ever to falling (see Proverbs 18:1).
You Have No Hope For the Future
For far too long I saw my sin as my identity. I lived in guilt and condemnation. I filtered everything through a lens of failure – including my future. Which is exactly what the enemy wanted.
The enemy wants you to live in shame. He wants you to associate your insufficiencies with your identity. As a follower of Christ you are given a new identity. You become a new creation with new capabilities. You have a future because you have the will of God in your life. And His will is to draw you closer to Him and closer to your God-designed purpose in life. With the God of hope on your side, you always have a reason for hope.
If you’re struggling and believing lies like these, take heart. Walking in the truth begins by learning the truth. And God has given us His Word to fight the battle. Start today by confronting the lies and replacing them with His truth.