Have you ever been at a low point in your life when it felt like the voice of Satan was bombarding your mind non stop? It’s not a comforting place.
Frustrating as it may be, it is a part of the Spiritual journey we cannot bypass or ignore. Every person who has ever put their hope in Christ knows what it means to have the voice of the evil one speaking lies into their lives. These lies are even more apparent at night when all is silent. We want to sleep, but all we hear are the accusations of the enemy.
For the single person wanting to be married, it’s the lie that you’ll never be good enough. For the couple wanting to have kids, it’s the lie that God is angry with them. For the person struggling with depression or discouragement, it’s the lie that life is not worth living. For the parent whose kids are struggling, it’s the lie that life will only grow worse and that they are responsible for every misstep their kids have made.
The devil is cruel. We know this, but sometimes we don’t know how to fight back.
1 John 3:19-24 shows us the way. The other day I was reading through this section and this passage jumped out at me. So raw, so true, and so encouraging!
19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
He starts off in verses 19-20 by pointing out that sometimes our heart condemns us. Sometimes it tells us lies. It is as Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us, “deceitful above all things.” On its own, our heart will lie to us. [This is one of the reasons I keep telling Janan we need to stop watching the TV show When Calls the Heart. “Janan, how can I be expected to watch a show that’s very title is built on a wrong premise????” She will not listen. Please pray for her.]
Seriously though, this point is important to underscore. Yes, there are times when our heart may condemn us and it’s our own fault. We goofed up and now we feel guilty for good reason. But there are other times when our hearts lie to us.
Personally, when I find my heart taking me down a dark place, I don’t tend to lash out at others. Instead, I direct my frustration at myself. If I’m not careful, the lies of Satan can become personalized mission statements I repeat in my brain. “You are worthless” can become “I am worthless” all too easy.
So how do we live in such a way that our heart does not condemn us? A) We walk in all the light God has given us and B) We speak truth to our heart.
Sometimes when I am going through a downer morning, I’ll begin reciting the promises of God and who he says I am. I am his child. I have an inheritance no one else can take away. He won’t give me any obstacle that he won’t give me the strength to overcome. He is king over all. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
As we speak truth to our hearts, our confidence in God is restored.
Notice the progression. Our hearts lie to us. We combat these lies with truth. Our confidence with God is restored. And this allows us to “come boldly before the throne” to ask in confidence.
Too often, it’s easy to pray out of an inferiority complex. We pray to God with the lies of our heart distorting the beauty of who God is and how he views his children. Our prayers become more about “God, just get me through this day” than they do about “God, help me to see your glory today and represent you well to others.”
When our confidence in God is strong, our confidence in prayer is strong and we are able to ask with boldness.
The cherry on top is that we have the assurance of the Holy Spirit inside. We not only know we are God’s child by our fruits of love toward others, but we have that inward assurance.
Satan is the grand accuser. It’s his full-time job and even now he is dreaming up fresh accusations to bring your way in the near future. Like a professional boxer, he is great at body blows and jabs, all the while setting us up for the unexpected George Foreman uppercut.
The key is to combat him with truth BEFORE he gets to the upper cut phase. As you feel the jabs of “God doesn’t love you” coming, strike back with truth. Rest in God’s confidence. Pray to God in boldness. And rest in the assurance the Holy Spirit provides!