To Tell the Truth or Not: Part 2 – A Series by Jennifer Miller
Last time in Part One we looked at how one can justify why they choose to lie. This time we will look at the lies we are told about ourselves and tend to believe. Why is it that we always tend to believe the worst about ourselves or the opinions that others have of us and fail to believe the truth when it is staring us in the face? We are blinded and need to understand not only who the enemy is, but how to identify the enemy and his tactics to overtake us or control us. Today’s blog will be zeroing in on this and then further down the road the series will continue with major lies we allow ourselves to believe and how we can combat them and move on.
My friend, you and I are in trouble. Daily we are hounded and threatened by the enemy whose objective is to take control over us and keep us apart from God. I say daily because this constant attack will not end until either he wins, or we die. Sounds discouraging right? It does not have to be if we are aware of this and prepared to fight for our souls.
So, who is the enemy? It is the devil the arch-enemy of God. He uses whatever means is necessary to either distract, discourage, divide and then conquer his prey. We learned how manipulative he was in the Garden of Eden; thus, sin became a part of our world. We are told how he tried to convince Jesus through temptation, to come and worship him instead of God. He is crafty, crooked and determined to gather as many souls for his dominion as possible.
Throughout the bible we are given prime examples of his lack of character and his wiles used to cleverly undermine us. Many sadly, give in to his reign of terror and faithfully follow him. Let’s look at a few verses that illustrate who the devil is, his desire or purpose, his tactics used to thwart us and how we open the door and let him in; thus, bowing to his will and not God’s.
In John 10:10 Jesus compares the devil to a thief when He states:
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
In 1 Peter 5:8-9 a clearer picture of the devil is depicted as an adversary and we are given the proper way to respond.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Several times the devil is compared to an animal or other creatures in the Bible. For example, John 10:12 compares him to a wolf, we just saw previously in 1 Peter 5:8 that he is also compared to a roaring lion, in Revelation 12:9 he is compared to a dragon and of course in Genesis 3:1 he is compared to a serpent.
“But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep.”
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God has made. And he said unto the woman ‘Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’”
Now that we can clearly see who the enemy is we need to next address the purpose or the intent of the devil. Everyone knows when you are facing an enemy there is always a reason for the battle. The devil is strategic, and cunning and we are the impressionable sheep he is after. The devil wants you on his team. Once again, I state he is the enemy of God; thus, he desires to obtain the souls of all men and make his team “winnable” or successful to do his will – his way. Christians know the outcome and that the devil has limitations – he is on a short leash; however, that does not deter him from taking as many souls as he can with him. He needs a solid plan to do this. What is the bait you may be wondering? It is our flesh – our desires and he zeroes in on this through the art of temptation. Hitting us where it hurts and causes the most damage. He knows our weaknesses and plans to attack accordingly. There is no coincidence – everything is strategically planned for this attack. I did mention that he is cunning!
In Proverbs we learn who is wise and who is deemed a fool. A fool is someone who refuses to hear and adhere to God’s word. A fool lacks sense and discernment and is set in his ways and due to his pride, leaves the door wide open for the devil to slither in and overtake him. Stop for a second and really examine where you are and who you are. Are you playing the part of the fool? Are you at risk of being devoured?
Does Isaiah 32:6 describe you and your behavior?
“For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.”
If so, not only are you are at risk of being a welcome mat for the devil and his work, but you are great fodder for whatever tactics he employs to distract or overtake you. Every time we refuse to hear God’s call and decide to live life our own way, we make his job so much easier. We become his and follow his leadership. Remember he is not working alone. He has many followers and princes of principalities behind him. Let’s examine a few, shall we?
In John 8:44 followers are identified as willing participants, and Ephesians 6:12 goes as far as giving us the details on who is part of the enemy’s legion. He is an enemy who does not play fair and one who fights against and not for us.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
He has a full arsenal of tactics that he will throw at us to get us to come to him and walk away from, or reject, God. Let us look at a few tactics he uses.
- He deceives us and convinces us to do what is wrong and justify it as right. Lying for example, is wrong, but we justify this tactic and use it with said good intentions (re: white lie to avoid hurting someone) or commit a wrong act to satisfy our desires (re: viciously slander someone whom we feel is inferior to us, we are envious of, or threatens our personal agenda).
- He will distract us or wear us down. Right now, currently in history we have never been more divisive. This is where he wants us to be. When he can keep us focused on the divisive issues and away from God’s word, he is successful, and we fall further down the rabbit hole.
- He uses our trials to discourage us and tries to sway us to disavow God and His word.
- He uses our emotions against us and anger is one of his most effective tools used to achieve this.
- He leads us to believe that the blame lies on the shoulder of a loved one and not on the real culprit which is him.
- He plans and schemes.
- He uses false prophets to mislead people into believing false doctrine.
Every time we blame someone else for our problems or situations, every word uttered in anger fuels his fight to overtake us. Every proud thought or action he applauds. Upon realizing that we are susceptible, it should lead us to investigate why we are giving him our allegiance, and why we are responding to his tactics. We respond whenever we seek to meet our own individual needs or fulfill our desires and overlook others in return. We respond in bouts of anger or blame. The evidence to support this is in Romans 2:1, Proverbs 21:2 and we are warned in Galatians 5:19-21. We must stop shirking responsibility and address our actions.
“Therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; but the Lord pondereth the hearts.”
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
So, what can we do about this? The answer is found in James 4:7 telling us to submit to God, 1 Peter 5:8 advises us to be sober and diligent, and Ephesians 4:2 suggests that we resolve and mend broken relationships, stemmed from anger, quickly.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
“Be sober, be vigilant…”
“Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
This can be done if we are strong, stand united and are prepared to fight back. Finally, follow the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 16:20.
“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
Stand tall, do not give up and lean on God. He will carry you through this battle. Next time I would like to look more closely at some of the lies the devil tries to get us to believe and how we view ourselves through the lens of his eyes. Until then, take care and God Bless!