Repentance

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11

The Enemy is real … Don’t trust him!

by
Scott Benson

Ask God to speak as you interact with today's Scripture and devotional.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” - Ephesians 6:12

“Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” - 2 Timothy 2:25-26

Ephesians 6:12 pulls no punches in telling us that we’re in a real spiritual battle and our opponent, Satan, is never to be trusted. In John 8:44, Jesus calls Satan the “father of lies.” In fact, whenever he lies, he’s only speaking his native language — there is no truth in him. Craig Groeschel gives us insight into Satan’s cunningly deceitful schemes, but also reminds us that God’s Word is the spiritual lie detector we need to lead us to the truth: 

In 2 Corinthians 11:3, our “thoughtology” Professor Paul said, “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”  Satan will whisper accusing questions and deceptive statements. He schemes to twist your mind, because if he can, he then diverts you from your purpose, distracts you from God's voice, and destroys your potential. If he can get you to believe a lie, your life will be affected as if that lie were true. 

Unfortunately, Satan’s lies are easy to believe. Why? Part of the reason is that because of sin, we have a flawed internal lie detector. God warned us: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9).... “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). That's definitely the problem, so what's our solution? How do we access God's power to stop Satan’s lies? How can we demolish his strongholds in our lives? If Satan’s primary weapon is lies, then our greatest counter weapon is the truth of God's Word. Not just reading the Bible but learning to wield Scripture as a divine weapon. God wants us to view his Word that way. 

See how Hebrews 4:12 offers a direct solution to the warning of Jeremiah 17: 9: “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints, and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”.… God's Word was the first weapon I learned to use to remove lies and replace them with truth, changing both my thinking and my life.  

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). The second half of that sentence is in the passive voice, meaning it is not something we do but instead something that is done to us. The good news is that God is ready to renew our minds by leading us to “a knowledge of the truth” … so we can “come to our senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken us captive to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Then, as Jesus said, “(we) will know the truth and the truth shall set (us) free” (John 8: 32). (Groeschel, Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, p. 44-45)

reflect

Answer the questions below and write down any other thoughts and prayers to God in your Life in Rhythm journal.

  1. When are you most vulnerable to Satan’s lies?  
  2. What kind of lies does he tempt you to believe?  
  3. How has God’s Word helped you to expose Satan’s lies and lead you to the truth?  
  4. Is there a situation now where you sense Satan is scheming to deceive you?  
  5. How could the truth of God’s Word set you free?

Go deeper (optional)

Every day you'll have an opportunity to "go deeper" into God's Word by practicing the REAP study method. Read the following scripture and use your journal and the REAP method to unpack the following scripture and apply it to your life.

John 3:16-21
Learn more about reap