“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).
Friend To Friend
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 long hair with extensions, slipped on 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. The movie was rated R for violent content, but his parents let nine-year-old Michael watch it upon release. The movie 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 was not 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 on 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 is the power of the truth. Yesterday we looked at step one to taking every thought captive. Today let’s look at step tw
Step One: Recognize the Enemy’s True Identity Step Two: Recognize Satan’s Lies
In 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul says, “We are not unaware of the enemy’s (Satan’s) schemes.” So let’s take a few moments and look at his battle plan. “The One who is in you is greater than the one that is in the world” (I John: 4:4) and Paul reminds us “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). But let’s see how this defeated foe operates and plays with our minds so we can recognize the lies when he fires them at us.
If Satan came to you in a little red suit with a pitchfork and announced himself as the devil, you would not 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 us, feel like us, and before you know it, we think it is us. He did this all throughout Scripture and he still does it today.
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 is 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? Now, 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 tomorrow 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 believe a lie and that He will help me see Your truth.
In Jesus’ Name,