“Do you experience accusations and taunts in your mind when you drive home from Bible study? If so, please raise your hands.” Hands went up all around the room when I asked that question at a recent luncheon.
Do you edit the thoughts that run through your mind? Besides your spirit, the Holy Spirit, the world, the flesh, and the devil can plant ideas and thoughts in our heads.
Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27, NIV). Do you know how to discern His voice from all the other voices in your head?
I’ve heard that those who identify counterfeit money train by studying real money. The better we know Jesus the less likely we are to be conned by our enemy. But, at the same time, we are to be aware of Satan’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Let’s contrast Satan’s activity with Christ’s. I’ve highlighted some words I don’t want you to miss.
Satan’s Intent: Destruction, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Now think about this. Thoughts and ideas that come from the world, the flesh, and the devil are sent to steal your joy, kill your hope, and destroy your faith and family. Don’t listen to them!
Satan’s Weapon: Deception, “There is no truth in him…for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44, NIV). “For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14, NIV).
Satan pretends to be serving God. He presents his thoughts as our thoughts or as the Holy Spirit’s leading and correcting. Below are three examples of people who loved God and believed the devil’s plans were their own ideas. Those hoodwinked by these hoaxes suffered loss.
- Peter – tried to keep Jesus from going to the cross. Jesus recognized who was behind those words and rebuked him (Matthew 16:23).
- King David – believed the scheme the devil gave him to take a census of Israel was his own idea (1 Chronicles 21:1-3). It cost 70,000 men their lives.
- Ananias and Sapphira – believed the plan the devil gave them to lie about a gift they’d given to the church was their idea (Acts 5:3-5). It cost them their lives.
In contrast to our enemy, Jesus and His words bring life and peace. They empower us.
- Life-Giving: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).
- Truth: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6, NIV).
- Gentle: “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29, NIV).
- Gracious: “All…were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips” (Luke 4:22, NIV).
- Peace: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace” (John 16:33, NIV).
Even when the Holy Spirit corrects us, He never shames us. When our thoughts accuse, taunt, and bully us or generate irrational fears, we can be sure they are not coming from our shepherd. We must remember their intent and make them bow to Jesus.
“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).
I’ve put together a printable handout to help you win the battle in your mind: Recognize Satan’s DARTS.
Are you editing your thoughts? Your peace, joy, and very life depend on whose voice you follow.
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Debbie W. Wilson
Sometimes I link to the following great sites: #TestimonyTuesday, #Titus2Tuesday, #IntentialTuesday, #TuesTalk, #Tell it to me Tuesdays, #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention, #LivefreeThursday, #WordswithWinter, #Grace and Truth, #FindStability