We’ve been going through these battlefield trainings for the Spiritual Soldier Series as we prepare for spiritual warfare. We have talked a lot about Satan, understanding who he is and strategies he uses against us.
Before we move on to talk about demons I want to show you 5 lies Satan tells Christians. His lies are not limited to these five, for he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Throughout the millennia of the Church’s existence Satan has been lying to Christians.
We must not listen to his lies. He is a defeated foe who does his best to gain ground where he is given the opportunity. Our passive resistance is not enough. Do not allow the devil to gain any ground with any of his lies.
- You’re really not saved.
Satan tries to convince some Christians that they are not saved and therefore don’t need to fight spiritual battles. This is one way he tries to make your witness invalid and take you off the battlefield.
On its face, salvation seems so simple and that may be why he challenges it. Upon hearing the gospel a person must accept it by faith and rely on God’s grace for it to be true. Then there is turning to follow Christ in the path of obedience and holiness.
That’s all there is to salvation. We believe Jesus has forgiven us and walk in His ways. But Satan tries to sow the seeds of doubt in our minds. Is that really all there is? Did you do it right? Will you stay with Christ when the going gets tough?
There are several disciples in the New Testament who went through some of these experiences. Peter denied Jesus three times and was reinstated by Jesus at the end of the book of John. None of the disciples are anywhere near the cross except John.
In the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested all of the disciples fled in the night. I don’t know too many Christians who don’t doubt something about their faith at some point. But you must rise above any doubt you have. Find resources and people who can help you increase your faith in Christ.
When we cover the Armor of God we will pay special attention to the helmet of salvation. Constantly engaged in renewing your mind so you are not wondering about your salvation. And do not let the devil play mind games with you about God’s grace and power in your life.
Tell your testimony to everyone you meet who will listen. It will reinforce the story of God’s grace in your life. As crazy as it sounds, God loves us so much that he forgives and pours his grace out on us when we don’t deserve it.
- You’re not making a difference.
Every Christian has strengths and weaknesses. You may be strong in studying the Bible but weak in defending the faith. You could be a great worshiper of Jesus but not know how to help other Christians with their problems, or unbelievers understand why they should know Jesus.
Whatever the case may be, Satan with love for you to take a backseat in spiritual warfare because you don’t feel like you can contribute. He may tell you that you can do more but you’re lazy. Maybe he’ll tell you that you can’t figure out how to share your faith anyway.
One of the worst lies is that someone else is doing it, and doing it better than you. You should just let them do it and find something else in the background to do. But what if that person can’t do what you think they can do better than you?
The fact is we think we can personally gauge our ability to be effective for Christ. But most Christians are too hard on themselves. And others don’t take certain factors into account as they evaluate their ability to serve Christ.
There are things we will never know this side of heaven. I will never know how many people I reach because not every single person tells me. You may have impact on people you don’t even realize you’ve touched.
With just these factors unavailable to you how can you evaluate your effectiveness for Christ? Could you do more to serve Him? That is a question you should ask the Holy Spirit. Only He knows if there is a way to serve Jesus more.
But none of us should expect that another Christian can pick up our slack. Just because other Christians are doing something doesn’t mean you can’t get involved, learn from them or other resources available to you, or find other ways to serve Jesus.
We are all Spiritual Soldiers on the battlefield of spiritual warfare. None of us gets a pass on knowing what we believe, having our story of salvation ready, growing in our faith, or worshiping Jesus. Don’t let Satan lie to you and tell you that you are dead weight and not making a difference.
- You sin more than you obey God.
Satan wants you to think that any sin you do keeps you from God’s grace and Kingdom. I remember when I was a child and could not find any of my family members in the house. My first thought was, “Oh no! You’ve missed the Rapture!”
Satan is banking on your fear that any sin you commit, or multiple sins, will keep you from experiencing God’s power in your life. He wants to cut you off from the rest of the Christians around you, make you feel all alone and helpless, and take you down.
Many Christians balk at biblical counsel to confess our sins, even to one another. We leave them in the closets of our hearts so we are not criticized, or even worse, our sins become public somehow. We think people will just gossip about us.
After all, can’t we just confess our sins to God and let it be? We can confess to Jesus and he is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). But exposing our sins takes away their power over us. Satan wants us to stay bound instead of be free from them.
We must obey the Holy Spirit when He speaks to us about sin. We must take sin more seriously than we do. God’s grace is amazing that we must not abuse it. We must change our thinking and have the discipline to obey the Holy Spirit. Don’t return to your sin.
- You can give in to temptation every once in a while.
Satan may go the other way. Instead of challenging your salvation or you sin too much, he may tell you that you can sin a little more. Maybe you’ve been trying very hard to obey the Holy Spirit and Satan doesn’t like that either.
Hinging on God’s grace, Satan may point out that God is gracious and you can take part in the grace more. He is famous for misinterpreting Scripture for his purposes. When Jesus was finished with His fast in the wilderness Satan came to Him a second time and quoted Scripture with nefarious purposes (Matthew 4:5-7).
He will twist everything you know about God if he can gain ground. Giving in to temptation is not a privilege of Christians because of God’s grace. Listen to temptation is stepping to the right and to the left of God’s desire for you.
We are dead to sin and alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10). So listen to temptation goes against what God has told us we are in Christ. Temptation leads to sin. God’s grace is greater than our sin but Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to only sin every once in a while.
Let us live free from sin, alive to Jesus, and fighting the spiritual warfare fight. You don’t need to give in to temptation at any time. It’s not a privilege after having listened to the Spirit so many times. We cannot look at what Jesus has done for us this way.
- God is too busy to listen to you.
Satan may pray on Christians’ questions about “unanswered prayer.” St. John of the Cross Road about the “Dark Night of the Soul,” the feeling that God has left us to our own devices for a time. When it feels like “the heavens are brass” in our prayer time we wonder if God is still listening.
I have often heard even Christians suggest that God is busy with other people’s prayers to listen to ours. This is not true at all. God can hear every prayer and nothing hinders him from doing so. To think such a thought is to not understand God’s ability and Person.
He wants to hear from us. But there are times throughout our Christian lives when we will experience this feeling of God’s silence. The reason for this feeling can be on our end. If we spend our entire time in prayer talking to God and not listening, it’s very little different from the human conversation where we monopolize the time.
There are times of waiting on the Lord in our lives. It’s not that He’s not listening to us. He has His reasons for why we wait on Him. It’s been said that God has three possible answers to our prayers. The first one we like the most, a “Yes.” But he might also tell us, “No.” The third possibility is that God tells you, “Not yet.”
We may have to wait on the answer to our prayer. Daniel waited four days for the answer to his prayer, even though God had already given it when he prayed. It was actually a matter of spiritual warfare that he did not receive the answer from an angel sooner (Daniel ?).
So there are several reasons you may feel that God has not answered your prayer. The Bible assures us that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You are never whether you feel God’s presence or not. He is always with you.
Satan only comes after you with these lies because he knows he is defeated now and in eternity. Don’t listen to his voice. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Continue to fight these spiritual battles. It’s often darkest before the dawn. Don’t give up before your victory.
We need to fight against these lies of the devil. Every lie he has ever told has ignored God’s truth on every matter. Listen to the devil gives up precious ground to the enemy in your life. God wants to speak to you. Don’t listen to the devil. Listen to God instead. What other lies do you think Satan wants to tell?
Now that we have looked at the enemy in chief of our spiritual fight we will turn to looking at Satan’s little helpers, demons. We study and prepare for the spiritual battles we face in our next battlefield training talking about the truth about demons.