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How do you overcome Satan's accusations?
The battle for me has always been in my mind. When I first became a Christian, Satan's whispers have been, “You didn't respond right to the Cross” and '”you are not a true Christian.” The condemning thoughts have followed me into my marriage (to the point of obsession) and now as a new mom. I have had thoughts like “you don't really love your husband” and had an insecure wedding day. (Even though my husband is amazing and the perfect fit for me--a true blessing from God!) Do you have any wisdom that might encourage my soul?
I really appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to open up! That's always the first step in finding freedom. You certainly aren’t alone in your battles. In fact, I have journals full of my efforts to change my thinking about myself, about other people, and about my life situations, heartaches and losses.
Why do we have so much difficulty changing our thoughts? In my own life, the mistake I was making was trying to either will the thoughts away, prove the thoughts to be wrong (by my own perfection), or quickly stuff the thoughts away because I was frightened of them.
It’s easy to see how Satan digs deeper and deeper in our thoughts—setting up a Satanic stronghold (a place that he’s got control). And Satan takes us there bit by bit:
1.I have an accusing thought.
2.I feel bad for having the thought.
3.I imagine no one else has these types of thoughts.
4.I begin to believe the thought has some validity.
5.I become afraid of the thoughts, and start to carry shame over them.
6.Because I carry so much fear about them, the thoughts begin to multiply.
Do you see how Satan gets his hooks into our thinking? So, how do we overcome his plot to set strongholds in our minds?
The Bible tells us that the battlefield is in our minds. In 2 Corinthians 10:5-6, the Bible instructs us to take down strongholds by demolishing arguments and pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God.
In this scripture, we find three important keys to changing our thinking:
1.Satan uses arguments and pretensions to accuse us.
2.These arguments are in direct opposition to the knowledge of God.
3. The knowledge of God is the only thing with divine power to demolish them.
First, it helps me to realize that every destructive thought comes wrapped in a lie from Satan. The Bible calls them pretensions — a form of the word pretend! No doubt Satan is the great pretender. His attacks are built on pretend truths! Then he turns around and tries to make us think that we’re the pretenders!
For instance: We think: “Maybe I didn’t really respond to the cross.” Satan is accusing: You are a pretend Christian.
We think: I don’t deserve my husband/children. Satan is accusing: “You are just pretending to be a good wife/mother.”
He also comes at us through setting arguments. Satan wants to set thoughts into our minds that disagree with God’s truth and God’s character.
God says: “I am your guide and put you exactly into the family that I want you in.” Satan says: “Oh, no. You don’t deserve this family. Someone better than you should have had this family.”
This is why I’ve put lots of charts in Secure in Heart that contrast Satan’s whispers with God’s truths. Embedded in every lie that Satan throws at us is a lie about God. So, we disarm Satan with the true knowledge of God and his word. I’ve found four simple steps to help me:
1. Call out the thought — What is the thought, i.e. what is Satan whispering?
2. Call out the lie — If that thought was true, what would that say about God? (i.e. that He’s not good, that He’s not faithful, that He’s not in control.)
3. Seek the truth — What is the truth about who God is? What does God say about this arena of my life? What scriptures address this lie?
4. Say the truth out loud — “God, you are my rock. You have provided perfectly for me. You bring good out of every situation in my life.”
And the Bible has even more advice on how we can be victorious in this battle for our minds. For example:
· Replace doubts with thanksgiving — Spend time thanking God for specific truths, specific parts of his character that stand in direct opposition to the lie. Philippians 4:6-7
· Surrender your thoughts to God — Translate the thought into a feeling, “God I’m feeling unworthy and unloveable.” Then surrender it to God. “I surrender my salvation, my family, my husband to you.” Philippians 4:12-13
· Entrust yourself to God’s goodness — “God thank you that you are my security, my rock, the only place I stand. I entrust my marriage to your care.” Romans 8:28, 31-39
· Resist Satan and expect him to flee — When I’m struggling with my thoughts, I sometimes blow into the air as a reminder to stop listening—in a sense, blowing Satan right out of my mind! 1 Peter 5:9-9
· Let someone else confirm the truth — Let another sister listen, affirm the truth (you’re begin attacked here) and then pray with you over your struggle. James 5:13-16
· Fill your mind with good things — Spend time in personal worship ever day. Find Christian songs and Psalms that speak to you and memorize the words. Philippians 4:4-9
Ultimately, taking down strongholds means marching your thoughts, one at a time, out of Satan’s control. These habits won’t change overnight, but I’ve found that by calling out Satan on his lies, I’m able to turn my thoughts to God and entrust my fears, heartaches, anxieties and troubles to his goodness and grace.