It happened recently during a random moment; a conversation with another individual that the enemy was not invited to! The deceiver strove to derail my thoughts to turn negative and sour. He took pleasure in discouraging me to the point of self-doubt. Ever been there? No sooner does a negative comment come, the liar makes you like a dog chasing fireflies of suspicion, criticism and disparagement; irritating to say the least.
Not long ago someone made a comment to me that I took offense to. It hurt and I felt the statement was unwarranted. It took me several days to reflect and delineate the swirling thoughts in my head. But the initial sting felt like an open wound oozing my raw emotions. You'll never guess who delighted to pour salt on this open laceration. You guessed it!
The impostor's fiery darts penetrated something like this: Hester, who are you trying to fool? You really think your little devotions minister to others? Ha! Most of your friends don't even read them. Oh, and you really blow it as a mother. You try to be patient, but you know how often you mess up. One more thing, do you really think God is concerned with your struggles? He's got greater concerns to deal with than your hurt.
Second Corinthians teaches the importance of taking every thought captive. To take a thought captive means to capture it and make sure it is obedient to Christ. If a thought lines up with God's Word we should receive it humbly. When a notion is a lie from the enemy we must discard it and consciously choose not to dwell on his trickery.
Satan makes it appear easier to believe the deception and follow the downward spiral leading to further decay. When we allow ourselves to park our mind in the place of negativity and self-doubt, our rival wins. If we don't take our thoughts captive they will make us captive to them; we might start believing the lies. The devil's attempts to defeat us, to give in to our flesh of insecurity can cause us to spin like a hamster's wheel.
Forcing our human nature to surrender to God's Spirit and recognize Truth takes purposeful intention. It is impossible, however, to recognize a lie if we do not know the truth!! Our opponents objective is to destroy our mind, cause doubt, discouragement, confusion, intimidation, etc. We defeat this con-artist with the Truth. There is a promise from the Word for every lie Satan would try to use to obliterate us.
Extinguishing fiery darts may look something like this:
- Lie: "I am worthless. My life has little value or purpose."
- Truth: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine." Isaiah 61:4.
- Lie: "I feel like such a loser. I will always struggle with food, money, weight, materialism, insecurity, jealousy etc."
- Truth: "No, in all things I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me and greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." Romans 8:37 & 1 John 4:4.
- Lie: "I'm not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough or liked enough etc. "
- Truth: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I was knit together in my mother's womb. I am God's masterpiece. I am bought with the blood of Christ and I am a child of the Most High God." Psalm 139, Ephesians 2:10, & Ephesians 1:7.
- Lie: "I just cannot move beyond the sin in my past; it continues to haunt me."
- Truth: "I (God), even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more. In Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Isaiah 43:25 & Colossians 1:14.
Our reinforcement comes from the matchless Word of God not the daily horoscope, not Dr. Phil, Oprah or Google, but the inspired, inerrant Word of God. When filtered through Scripture, our response to enemy attacks can become an arsenal full of weapons of truth.
This incident reminded me once again that ministry is tough. People say insensitive things. While I may want people to like me, I remind myself, "I'm not living for them, I'm living for Him!" The adversary wanted to throw me down, but I wielded my weapon of Truth and demolished his pathetic attempt.
Extinguishing fiery darts . . . one at a time. Are you ready for battle?
Ask for the Lord's strength to help you evaluate your thoughts as they come. Do they line up with God, His Word and His character? Rely on the Holy Spirit's power to enable you to control the input you allow into your mind.
Defeating Satan's lies is possible by refuting them with God's Truth. What Scripture can you memorize to defeat his attempts? Check a concordance or go to BibleGateway.com and type in a key word to show you related verses.
What thoughts are you presently struggling with? What strongholds in your mind need tearing down?
Are you taking control of your thoughts or are they taking control of you? What thoughts do you need to take captive or eliminate from your life?
Heart Changing Word:
Proverbs 23:7 (NIV) "For as a man thinks within himself, so he is . . ."
John 8:32 "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."
Ephesians 6:16 "Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.