The Great Deceiver

3 Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (Russian painter, 1868-1945)   Reading in the Garden 1915
One of the things we read and talked about this week is how Satan tries to fill our minds with voices that speak lies to us. They whisper that we are not good and are unworthy of God’s love. He tells us we are not talented enough for God to use us, or that we are not smart enough to know God in a deep way. He fills us with doubt, discouragement, fear and disbelief in order to hinder us in our Christian walk. So I want to focus on 3 areas of our lives where Satan likes to wreak havoc.

1. He will mess with our thoughts

Satan will do all he can to mess with our heads. Sadly, he doesn’t have to use much to mess us up. It can be a passing comment by a friend or family member, it can be a glimpse in the mirror, or an attempt at something that fails. He will tempt us to think that what is true is false, what is right is wrong, or what is good is bad. He weaves these webs of doubt and disbelief so that we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on ourselves. It corrupts our knowledge of God and always leads to weak faith and ungodliness.

When thoughts or inclinations contrary to the will and ways of God creep in, many dear Christians mistake these miserable orphans for their own children, and take upon themselves the full responsibility for these carnal passions. So deftly does the devil slip his own thoughts into the saints’ bosom that by the time they begin to whimper, he is already out of sight. And the Christian, seeing no one but himself at home, supposes these misbegotten notions are his own. So he bears the shame himself, and Satan has accomplished his purpose.
William Gurnall

2. He will mess with your quiet time

Satan knows something that we often forget, and that is the power and effectiveness of the word of God. He knows that in it we not only find truth, but The Truth. Therefore he will do all he can to keep us from the Scriptures. The other thing Satan knows about the word of God is that it is his “kryptonite”–the sword that can and will defeat him.  John Piper points out that “many Christians fail to realize that we can’t draw the sword from someone else’s scabbard. If we don’t wear it, we can’t wield it. If the Word of God does not abide in us (Jn. 15:7), we will reach for it in vain when the enemy strikes.” Not matter what we face, no matter how we feel, we must make sure we are in God’s word so that our sword is sharpened and ready for battle. With a sword like that the devil cannot overcome you!

“It is written.” Stand upon it, and if the devil were fifty devils in one, he could not overcome you. On the other hand, if you leave “It is written,” Satan knows more about reasoning than you do. He is far older, has studied mankind very thoroughly, and knows all our weak points. Therefore, the contest will be an unequal one.  Do not argue with him but wave in his face the banner of God’s Word.  Satan cannot endure the infallible truth, for it is death to the falsehood of which he is the father.
C.H. Spurgeon

3. He will mess with your prayer life

All prayer requires of us is that we simply, truly, talk to God through Jesus Christ. But many of us struggle with this. We don’t know what to say, we feel like our prayers are not reaching the ears of God.  Sometimes we find ourselves distracted and bored. How many of us are truly excited and can’t wait to attend our church prayer meetings? How many times do we try to pray only to have all kinds of other thoughts flood our minds? Satan has done a great job convincing us that prayer is a drag and because of this many of us have weak prayer lives. We cry out when we are desperate or want something, but we rarely just talk to him about our day, our life, our desires and his greatness.

Few indeed are to be found who pray: there are many who go down on their knees, and say a form perhaps, but few who pray; few who cry out to God, few who call on the Lord, few who seek as if they wanted to find, few who knock as if they hungered and thirsted, few who wrestle, few who strive with God earnestly for an answer, few who give Him no rest, few who continue in prayer, few who pray always without ceasing and do not grow weak. Yes: few pray!  It is just one of the things assumed as a matter of course, but seldom practiced; a thing which is everybody’s business, but in fact hardly anybody performs.
J.C. Ryle

Satan will never give up distracting us with lies, false pleasures, and a plethora of idols to replace God. We must be aware of his tactics and fight against him.

We must guard our minds, dive deep into our quiet times, and persevere in prayer–but not to earn more of God’s love. You see, the devil is right when he tells us that we are unworthy of God’s love. We are. Yet, God loves us anyway and eternally. We guard our minds, dive deep into our quiet times, and persevere in prayer because in this we see the love of God more clearly.

Looking To Jesus,
jen-sig

 

 

 

jenthorn.com

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Comments

  1. JESSICA says:

    Thank you so much Jen!! God has been amazing to put this study into my life just when I needed it. I thought I didn’t doubt God loves for me, but man have I been doing that lately with a few things going on in my life. It’s so important to remember all the these negative thoughts come from the devil and that he plays so many games with us, so thank you for that reminder, I know it and then so easily forget its the devil. Have a blessed day!!

    • Jen Thorn says:

      I am so glad this study is blessing you. We all constantly need to be reminded how much God loves us!

    • I love how He does that – puts in our lives the very things we need! Today’s post was a great reminder to me too!
      ~ Blessings, Marlene. Leadership Encourager

  2. What a timely post this is! My husband, an ordained minister in an evangelical denomination and a professor of English and Communications at a Christian liberal arts university, just published a novel in which Deception is the enemy to be overcome. This book, “The Shattered Urn: An Allegorical History of the Universe,” reveals the spiritual battle facing Christ-followers today and offers power to overcome. Similar books include John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. This is young adult fiction in the same category as Hunger Games, it’s dark (as much young adult fiction is these days), and it is glorious as readers see how to win in spiritual warfare against Deception the the Holy Spirit’s strength and wisdom. I don’t wish for this to be a shameless commercial, but I really believe this book can speak to the hearts of many people who are slyly being deceived by today’s culture. For either an eBook or print version, go to http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Urn-Allegorical-History-Universe-ebook/dp/B00KXEG5T8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403212075&sr=1-1

  3. here are many who go down on their knees, and say a form perhaps, but few who pray; ………this was the sentence that caught my attention. GUILTY AS CHARGED at times! Real prayer is hard work and takes concentration. Saying ‘rote’ prayers is easy and requires little mind at all. I’m working at praying and having quality quiet time and healthy/biblical self talk. Thanks for the reminder Jen. God bless you today!

    • Jen Thorn says:

      Yes, I was very convicted by that quotes as well, which is why I included it :) I am so guilty of that as well.

  4. Wonderfully written post, Jen. If this had been in a book, I would have highlighted nearly all of it! Guarding our minds is so important and something I struggle to do. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Jen Thorn says:

      Oh, thanks for your kind words. This study has been so good for me and I am glad it is blessing you as well.

  5. Guilty as charged. I am with the help of God getting better with quite time. The devil real knows when to creap in. Thanks for your words Jen. And the remind..

  6. Guilty as charged. I am with the help of God getting better with quite time. The devil real knows when to creap in. Thanks for your words Jen. And the reminders of how important our time is spent with God.

    • Jen Thorn says:

      Yes, God’s word is so very important for so many different reasons. We have to constantly fight against the devils lies and our laziness and forgetfulness.

  7. Tonia MIller says:

    Great reminder! Thanks so much! I also love that your comments are from such theologically solid Christian men!! Knowing where you go to learn, whom you learn from, helps me personally to learn more from you. I hope that made sense! I have been doing this study with my 16 year old daughter and we really love it! It has been such an encouragement to be in God’s Word each day and to be able to talk with my daughter about each scripture. I thank God for your faithfulness in doing what you do!

    • Jen Thorn says:

      Woohoo, I am so glad you are familiar with some of these guys. I love reading the reformer and puritans. They have been so influential in my understanding of scripture!

  8. Thanks Jen, I struggle with quit time with God,because the devil knows just the right time to break my concentration. This really hits home. Thank you so much for your word. I am going to save it and read often.

    • Jen Thorn says:

      I am right there with you. Satan knows how to distract me and I fall for almost every time!! It can be so frustrating. But i have to remind myself that I don’t fight this battle on my own and I am thankful for that.

  9. Would you please share the source of the artwork you chose today? Thanks!

  10. andra_sn5 says:

    Thank you, Jen for such a great post! I have struggled in all 3 of these areas, but especially the mind. Although I accepted Christ as a child and walked strongly with Him as a teen, I had a short time during college where I was backslidden. Ever since then, the enemy has done so much damage, convincing me that God doesn’t love me because “a true Christian” would never compromise the way I did then. Even though I repent, I still struggle now at the age of 33 with feeling like I have to work my way back to God when I fall–which as you can imagine, happens often! :)

    This study is really peeling back the layers of my heart, and gradually I’m learning (again) that God does love me, despite all my flaws. He has compassion for me and He doesn’t require me to perform for love or punish myself when I fall. Thank you all so much for all the work and prayer you put into this study! I pray God blesses you a thousand times over!!

    • I know what you mean about struggling, Andra! And also about needing to peel back the layers in our hearts, to truly understand how deeply God loves us.

  11. An idle mind “IS” the devils workshop. This reminds me of my long commute to work and home each day, how I need to make sure I am listening to something positive. We need to be so mindful how being tired and stressful days can also initiate negative thinking as well. This really hit home for me. Thank you for this devotional today, looking forward to more…

    • I agree Adele! Exhaustion…that’s when I am at my weakest! I didn’t realize it until you mentioned it in your post! That’s when I really start having negative thoughts that bring me down. I need to be aware of that, stop what I am doing (and thinking) and go to God’s Word immediately!

  12. Crystal Hacker says:

    Jen, thank you so much for this post! This really spoke to me, as I have really been struggling with my quiet time and prayer lately! We are definitely in the midst of a spiritual war. I was on a field trip with my daughter several weeks ago at a wildlife center. They brought out a Great Horned Owl. He was magnificent! The handler began describing how he will sometimes catch his prey. He will sit extremely still in a tree with his eyes closed and his “horns” up. The pattern of his feathers blends in with the bark of the tree, making him virtually invisible. Then his prey, a squirrel, will wander into the tree and, not seeing the owl, get too close. Then it is too late. The entire time the handler was describing this, all I could think about was that this is how Satan disguises himself, blending in with our “tree” as we go about our day to day life and we keep getting closer to him and we don’t even know it. I am very thankful for this study! It is just what I needed! Thank you and God bless!

  13. Thanks Jen! I so needed that reminded. I needed to be reminded that Satan is in my head and will leave me thinking is was my thoughts. Drives me crazy some of the things that cross my mind and then I wonder “where did that come from”. God Bless you ladies at GMG. You are changing and blessing lives through our sweet Lord!

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  16. This shed a whole new light on my struggle to make a quiet time happen. I was looking at my struggle from a “performance ” arena of needing to be more disciplined. Now I see it as a spiritual battle issue. I can easily now , in the mornings, say yes to Christ knowing it is squashing the enemy. Thank you for this post.

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  18. Oh my, Jen. This was powerful and oh so edifying. Thank you for sharing these three simple, brief reminders. Clearly, i am behind in the study, but God is working the timing out just right.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] One of the things we read and talked about this week is how Satan tries to fill our minds with voices that speak lies to us. They whisper that we are not good and are unworthy of God’s love. He tells us we are not talented enough for God to use us, or that we are not smart enough to know God in a deep way. He fills us with doubt, discouragement, fear and disbelief in order to hinder us in our Christian walk. So I want to focus on 3 areas of our lives where Satan likes to wreak havoc. to read more from GMG Blog click here… […]

  2. […] Week 3-The Rival Monday- Chapter 3: The Rival Tuesday- A Personal Message From the You Are Loved Contributors Wednesday-No Condemnation… Friday- The Great Deceiver […]

  3. […] Week 3-The Rival Monday- Chapter 3: The Rival Tuesday- A Personal Message From the You Are Loved Contributors Wednesday-No Condemnation… Friday- The Great Deceiver […]

  4. […] Week 3-The Rival Monday- Chapter 3: The Rival Tuesday- A Personal Message From the You Are Loved Contributors Wednesday-No Condemnation… Friday- The Great Deceiver […]

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