As part of our ongoing series, this week’s question is about our everyday battles with the Evil One.
How can I best guard against spiritual influences that are not good, i.e. the enemy?
Thanks for taking my question!
I think it begins directly with protecting our thoughts, because thoughts clearly impact actions. Joyce Meyer refers to it as the battlefield of the mind, or the struggle between lies (Satan) and the truth (God’s Living Word).
Satan knows our weaknesses and how to press our buttons. He knows all about those unhealthy and untrue thoughts running through your brain and is always ready to nudge you further down that rabbit hole.
“He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
I love this bible quote on Satan. (If you can “love” a scripture verse about the devil, lol.) It reminds us that his very character is built on telling lies. You’ll never get anything but lies from him. I find this a helpful imagery!!
“We sin, in large part, because we hold on to and live out of toxic beliefs.” (Every Thought Captive)
The devil wants to keep you clinging tightly to negative thoughts and lies so that you continue to sin. With every sin, you are drawing further and further away from God. YUCK. Well, the good news is that just because a thought pops into your head, that doesn’t mean you have to believe it. Just because we feel something, doesn’t make it true.
How do we get our minds right? How do we bring the focus back to God and align our thoughts with His? Begin by seeking to have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and remember that the Holy Spirit is there with strength to guide you.
“The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power.” 2 Corinthians 10:4
The same power that raised Christ from the dead is also inside of you, through the Holy Spirit. Once again, we can rely on that power to supply what we need. We can chose to “take every thought captive in obedience to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) by filtering our thoughts against the truth found in the Bible and replacing our toxic inner monologue with some truth-filled scripture.
“Your ability to recognize God’s voice will grow in direct proportion to your knowledge of Scripture and your sensitivity to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.” (Lisa Brenninkmeyer, Keeping in Balance)
It will get easier to discern the truth if we prepare our hearts and minds through time spent in prayer, immersion in God’s word and living in obedience to His will. Nobody is expecting you to become a theologian overnight, with a bible constantly at the ready (although they do make super cute ultra-tiny bibles that can fit in your handbag, ahem), or to be suddenly throwing around bible verse notations like an old Baptist preacher. But guess what! Write down a few key inspirational bible verses on a post-it or index card where you’ll see it frequently and you’ll be surprised at how they sink into your brain.
Some to get you started…
“He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage. I have conquered the world.” John 16:33
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those whose spirit is crushed.” Psalm 59:17
“We know all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I have come so that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
“Those who know your name trust in you. You never forsake those who seek you, Lord.” Psalm 9:11
Do you have a favorite “comfort” bible verse? (Mine is the second part of John 10:10)