“[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
(2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP).
My neighbor, Michael, was a stand-in for Samuel, the nine-year-old son of Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) in the movie The Patriot. For months, Michael wore his hair long with extensions, donned Italian knickers and knee-high stockings and acted the part of an American colonial boy. He traveled to rural South Carolina where part of the movie was filmed and received an education in the production of the silver screen. Michael saw how producers and makeup artists made something appear as though it were real when it wasn’t.
The movie was rated R for violent content, but his parents let nine-year-old Michael watch it upon release. It was a bloody realistic reenactment of the horrors of the Revolutionary War. However, during the guts and gore, little Michael didn’t even bat an eye. Why? He knew it wasn’t real.
During one scene, Mel Gibson pummeled a British soldier and landed a hatchet square in the middle of his bloody forehead. I covered my eyes. Michael watched nonplussed. His comment?
“That guy walked around the set with that hatchet in his head for three days. We even ate lunch together and he had that hatchet with fake blood glued to his face. It isn’t real.”
Michael knew what was true and it removed all fear. That’s the power of the truth. Yesterday we looked at step one to taking every thought captive. Today let’s look at step two:
Step One: Realize the Enemy’s True Identity
Step Two: Recognize Satan’s Lies
In 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul says, “For we are not unaware of his (Satan’s) schemes.” So let’s take a few moments and look at his battle plan.
If Satan came to you in a little red suit with a pitchfork and announced himself as the devil, you wouldn’t believe a word he said. But he is cunning and disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). When he deceived Eve, he even quoted Scripture – albeit twisted and distorted. He has a collection of old tapes from your past and pushes rewind and play, rewind and play. Oh yes, he knows just which buttons to push. He also uses personal pronouns like “I” instead of “you.” The thoughts sound something like this: “I am a failure. I am a loser. I can’t do anything right. I am ugly.” The thoughts sound like you, feel like you, and before you know it, you think it is you. He did this all throughout Scripture and he still does it today. (See 1 Chronicles 21:1 as an example.)
Satan knows exactly which lies to whisper in your ear. He has watched you over the years and is well acquainted with your insecurities, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. Do you tend to get discouraged? He will plant seeds of discouragement in your mind. Do you tend to feel rejection and loneliness? He will put ideas that you are rejected in your mind. But are they true? No they are not. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You are loved and chosen by God. That is the truth.
Here’s a simple exercise. If you aren’t sure if a thought is of the enemy, attach, “In Jesus Name,” to the end of it. For example: “I can’t stand that woman, in Jesus’ Name.” “I don’t love my husband, in Jesus’ Name.” “I am a loser, in Jesus Name.” Just doesn’t fit, does it? That is not a fail-safe method for detecting the truth versus a lie, but it is a quick litmus test that takes us in the right direction.
Step two in taking every thought captive is Recognizing Satan’s Lies.
Join me next time as we look at step three to taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Dear Lord, Help me to recognize Satan’s lies. I know the only way to recognize a lie is to know the truth. I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict me when I am believing a lie and that He will help me see Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Think of some of the negative thoughts that have run through your mind this week. Now attach “in Jesus’ Name” to the end of that thought. What does that reveal?
What are some lies that you have believed about who you are? For example: I am a loser. I can’t do anything right. I am used goods. I can never be forgiven. I am too far gone.
Friend, each one of those statements is a lie of the enemy. Now, who does God say that you are? Not sure? Take a look at the list found on my
This series of lessons were originally written in my book,
Becoming Spiritually Beautiful – Seeing Yourself from God’s Perspective. However, these particular lessons had such a great impact, I wrote a follow-up book, I’m Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselvesthat goes into much greater detail on how to overcome the lies of the enemy. If this is an area where you struggle, I’m Not Good Enough is the book for you. You can find both on my website at www.localhost/sjold.