Do Satan’s lies still occasionally tickle your ears?
Can you flick them away as soon as you hear him mutter the first few syllables?
Do you tend to hit the rewind button so many times that you can no longer distinguish between lies and truth?
Oh, please read on, my friend.
I thought my discernment was adequate until I met with a counselor who helped me sort through more than a few things. Shirley was my friend who became my counselor. I was confident in her ability to help me overcome my overwhelming tailspin because I knew she would lead me into God’s truth and pray mightily for me.
About halfway through our first session, the light in her eyes flickered a bit when she asked, “So, what are the things you hear in your head?” (I guess counselors have permission to cut to the chase quickly.) Even though I trusted her with my life, I couldn’t seem to manage anything but a trite answer. I think she knew I’d be giving more thought to that later. She softly tossed me just enough questions to get me into the Word in search of my own answers. She’s really good at what she does. 🙂
I had already read about Elijah’s moment of depression in 1 Kings 19 and learned so much, but I felt the Spirit strongly urging me to return to chapter 18. That’s where Elijah confronted 450 prophets of Baal whose job it was to dish out lies about the the power of their false god. Stepping into that showdown opened my eyes to how the Spirit was slowly and methodically unpacking the lies in my mind.
In case you don’t know that story, let me give you Donna’s CliffsNotes version:
Ahab the wicked king of Israel married an even more wicked woman named Jezebel. (That’s why we don’t name our daughters Jezebel.) Her worship of the false god Baal caused Ahab and the rest of Israel to do the same. God arranged for Elijah to go to Mount Carmel to confront 450 prophets of Baal. Like a scene in an old Western movie, Elijah slightly tipped his white hat forward, boldly stepped out into the street with his God-badge glistening in the sun, and asked the Israelites this question: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. But if Baal, follow him.”
The Baal prophets drew first. They built an altar to their god, placed a sacrifice on the altar’s wood, and asked Baal to send down fire to consume it. They danced around the altar they had made, cut themselves with stones, and otherwise humiliated themselves while asking for fire, but with no results.
Finally, Elijah built his altar to the Lord with 12 stones and placed his sacrifice on the wood. Then, just to make sure he couldn’t be accused of trickery, he asked that a 4-gallon trench be dug around the altar. Four pots of water were poured on top of the sacrifice at three different times until the wood and the trench were drenched. Elijah prayed for God to do His thing so that the hearts of Israel would return to Him.
Yes, the good guy won. Not only did fire from the Lord consume the sacrifice, but it also consumed the wood, the stones, the dust, and even licked up all the water in the trench! The 450 prophets of Baal were destroyed!
So, what’s this got to do with the lies of Satan? Everything! It’s time to stop keeping step with the lies dancing in our heads. I’ve talked with some of you. Like me, you’ve danced with the father of lies for so long that you’ve allowed him to continuously whisper not-so-sweet nothings in your ear. His monotonous melody has become a song you sing to yourself containing lyrics you wouldn’t dare sing to anyone else! Your mind mouths words like:
- You don’t really matter.
- It’s all your fault.
- It’s all up to you.
- Remember all your mistakes?
- You don’t deserve anything better.
- Work harder.
- Don’t even try, you’ll just mess it up.
- If they loved you …
- If only you had …
- If only you hadn’t …
- If only they had …
- If only they hadn’t …
Any of those sound familiar?
God may be asking you, “Which altar do you want to dance around?” The choice is really yours. Do you want lies about past mistakes, desires, and circumstances to be the center of your thoughts? Or, would you rather:
- Build an altar of truth in your mind – one built with the stones of God’s promises. Go back to the Word and find out who you are. You are the child of the One True God – the God who will never leave you nor forsake you, the God who wants only what’s good for you, the God who has the power to change your darkness into light! You are redeemed to make a difference. You are blessed to bless others. You are empowered to demonstrate His power! You’ve been set free to help others find freedom.
- Place your sacrifice of praise on the altar. Worship! Give thanks! Try listening only to praise and worship music for the next 30 days and see what happens. Here’s a great place to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvKNUH2qLfg&start_radio=1&list=RDMvKNUH2qLfg
- Pray, and imagine Jesus the Good Shepherd peacefully sitting at the door of your thoughts. Give Him permission to bat away anything that doesn’t honor Him or you. He will guard your mind if you let Him. Any time an unhealthy thought tries to wiggle its way in, I’ve learned to close my eyes and ask Jesus to destroy it with the flick of His finger. I get a kick out of watching it fall like lightening from my mind. He is faithful – and powerful!
- Keep pouring jars of trust on your altar. Be patient with yourself, and trust God. THIS IS A PROCESS! In Healing for Damaged Emotions (a book I highly recommend), author David Seamands offers this wise council:“You must become a partner with God in this programming and renewal process. Such work is a continuous process, not a sudden crisis. I don’t know of any single Christian experience that will change your self-image overnight. You are to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) The verbs in this verse represent continuous action, and the mind describes the way you think, the way you look at life as a daily process.”
- Continue to be amazed at the fire of the Holy Spirit living inside you. Learn to appreciate how far He’s brought you instead of obsessing over how far you still need to go. A long-time friend who knows me too well recently laser-locked my eyes and said, “You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row! You have a magical life! Relax and enjoy it!”
This new layer of freedom has allowed me to deny the lies and do exactly that! It can do the same for you too! Destroy those 450 lies of Satan! Your life is a blessed one! Choose this day whose altar you will dance around.
This week’s question:
What Scripture do you find yourself returning to over and over when you need reassurance of God’s love for you?
Meditate on Psalm 119 this week. It’s a long one, but it will be so worth it! Happy Tuesday!