|photo in background courtesy of pixabay.com|
For years – I mean for YEARS – I have fallen prey to the lies of the devil. Maybe he hasn’t called me a loser, but he’s called me just about everything else. Whether he has used a faint whisper at times, or a PA system with extra high volume, he has done his fair share of trying to tear me to pieces – with WORDS nonetheless. Not just any old words. But big, bad, ugly, defeating, discouraging, disappointing, nasty, slimy, foul, words. Like these. “Give up. You’re a failure.” “Nobody reads your writing; quit writing.” “Shut down your ministry. It’s not helping anybody.” “You can’t possibly help anybody; your life is too messed up.” “You’ll never have victory over that sin; quit. Quit. Quit. Quit.” “Kill yourself. Your life is worthless. You’ll never change. Your life will never get better. God only loves you because He’s obligated.” “If the world knew how mean you are to your dogs when you sin and lose your temper, or when you’re impatient with a person, they wouldn’t listen to anything you have to say. Who cares if you repent and try really hard. Who cares if you love the Lord and dedicate your life to Him; you’re a failure.” “So what if other people sin also, and who cares if they don’t repent; you should be perfect, and you’re everything but.” Loser, loser. Loser. Loser!
My friend whom I have never met in person but who has encouraged me countless times over the telephone or by mail likes to remind me that God does have a purpose for me, and that God has used me in his life to bring a major transformation into his heart, attitude, and life. But I know better than to depend on the encouragement of one single person, let alone on any number of people. Because people are fallible, not to mention they are not always there when we need encouragement. Most important of all, the Lord Himself has reminded me countless times that His Word says that we MUST get rid of anything that goes against the Truth of the Bible and that we need to take EVERY thought captive to Christ. In other words, EVERYTHING – including every word and thought – needs to bow down to God’s Truth. What have I done though? I have taken the bait of Satan more times than imaginable, allowing him to build up strongholds in my heart and life by listening to him and believing his filthy, despicable lies and then becoming increasingly discouraged, despairing, and, well, you can imagine. A friend of mine calls it the “slippery slope”. Oh, how right she is. Listening to the devil and paying him heed results in going down, down, down into dark places – sometimes even going so far as to think of ending it all. Listening to the devil’s lies ends in misery.
The TRUTH is NOT the devil’s lies. The TRUTH is what God’s Word says. And as a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for my sins, I am loved, forgiven, given eternal life, and blessed with the Word of God to teach me how to walk according to the ways of the Lord instead of the ways of this world. And the devil’s lies have no place in God’s Kingdom. Do I sin? Yes. Do I mess up? Yes. Am I perfect? No. But I know I am on the right path because step by step I am learning to walk with the Lord as I study the Bible and apply it to my life. Who’s the loser? The devil.
If you’ve been listening to the devil like I have found myself doing far too often, do the same thing God continues to tell me. Get rid of the devil’s lies, and believe the Lord and His Word. Make sure you are on the right path. His path. Through faith in Jesus Christ, and a life committed to following Him. And when you find yourself fallen like I have done so many times I wished I had not, repent quickly and reach out for the hand of the Lord as He leads you forward in the pathway He has set before you. The Lord’s pathway. For the glory of THE LORD.
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.