Jesus referred to the enemy as the “Father of Lies.” Lying is what he does best. In fact, it literally defines who he is. But the truth is that the enemy was defeated at the cross. The Bible even describes his humiliating defeat in Colossians 2:13-15. The victory now belongs to Jesus and we get to share in that victory as children of God. Knowing this truth, the enemy does what he does best… lie. And even though he can’t change what Jesus did on the cross, he can certainly lie to us in an attempt to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destinies and to stunt our growth as Believers. It is when we recognize the lies of the enemy that we can best combat them with the truth.
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…He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – John 8:44
- Did God really say that? This was one of the first lies ever told to mankind by the enemy. In the Garden of Eden, Eve was enticed by it as the devil tried to convince her that God’s Word couldn’t be trusted. Did God really say that to you? Is that promise really for you?
- You are inadequate. It’s fairly safe to say we have all heard this one. Even my young daughters have said things like, “I just can’t do it.” The enemy likes to tell us this lie when we are about to do something God has destined us to do. If we believe we can’t… we won’t. But the truth is that God has equipped us to do all He has called us to do, and we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.
- You will never be able to overcome that sin in your life. You will always be a sinner. As children of God, we have been declared righteous and forgiven. We are no longer sinners. Yes, we will make mistakes as we grow in the faith, but it’s different now. Nowhere in Scripture are we declared sinners after we are saved. Instead, we are victorious overcomers through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- You have to be perfect./Sin isn’t a big deal. These lies are nearly opposite of one another, yet the enemy likes to use them both depending on our situation. Some of us buy into the lie that we have to be perfect in order for God to love us. But Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, so we know this to be a lie. On the other side of the spectrum, however, are those who believe that sin is no big deal. It is a big deal. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to deal with something that was “no big deal.” The enemy likes to use both of these extreme views of sin to handicap our growth in Christ.
- The enemy still has authority, and we should be afraid of him. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus claimed to have been given ALL authority on earth and in heaven. (Matthew 28:18) This means that the enemy has NO authority. The Bible also says he has been disarmed. (Colossians 2:15) His power comes from his deception… So if you are armed with the truth, the enemy has no power in your life whatsoever. He only gains power when you believe him.
- You can’t trust God in all things. Some things you simply have to handle yourself. How often do we believe this lie? How often do we try to handle things ourselves before taking them to God? Now, there are occasions when we have to make physical changes and “handle things.” For example, if your finances are in trouble and you spend all your money on frivolous and unnecessary things… you can’t expect things to change until you start acting in wisdom. But there are some things outside of our control. And yet, we still try to handle them ourselves. Don’t believe the lie that God can’t be trusted to meet your needs.
- Fellowship with other Believers is optional… a good idea perhaps but not necessary. Your relationship with God is a personal one, but that doesn’t mean God meant for you to be all on your own. In fact, He designed you for quite the opposite. We are called the Church and the Body of Christ for a reason. We are destined to work together in unity and harmony. Not only that but we NEED each other. How many times did Paul remind the early church to lean on each other and to encourage one another in the faith? We need each other in order to mature and grow in Christ to our fullest potential.
- You are all alone. No one understands you. When we are struggling in life, how often do we feel like no one will understand us or our situation? The enemy likes to isolate us from the Body of Christ, and this lie is one of his many methods of doing so. The truth is that we all struggle, and there is always someone out there who has experienced your pain or struggle.
- God is good… but sometimes He’s not. We serve a good God. All the time, He is good. In every circumstance, He is good. And He is in the business of working ALL things together for our good. Even when we make bad choices or when bad things happen in our lives as a result of our fallen world… God is still good.
- What you do doesn’t matter. You couldn’t possibly make a lasting impact on the Kingdom. It’s easy to look at the lives of others who have made a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God and believe that we will never have that kind of influence. But the truth is that God wants to use all of us uniquely for His purposes. That is why He gifted us all so differently. What you do matters. All of it. Every time you talk to your children about God, serve a friend in need, or give a smile to someone at the supermarket… you are demonstrating the love of God to a world that desperately needs Him.
It is when we recognize the lies of the enemy that we can best combat them with the truth of God’s Word.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.