Disagreeing with the Enemy

enemy

Stay a Christian for long and soon enough you will hear about the enemy. The father of lies. The wedge-driver. I think every believer has heard Ephesians 6:12 many times:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

I am not about to launch into an explanation of this verse because, in all honesty, even the most passionate student of the Bible can only go so far with this one. Hints of demonic realms in Daniel and even Jesus’ casting out of demonic presences can’t fully clarify what is meant by principalities, powers, and rulers. The Bible doesn’t really delve all that deeply into demonology, or even angelology, for that matter.

And I am, if anything, a very practical theologian. I don’t care so much about etymology and ancient languages as I do information that I can use. So I enemyam told that it isn’t flesh and blood that I wrestle with. There have been times in my life where that didn’t seem remotely true. And yet, free now of my abuser, and enjoying a fulfilling marriage currently, looking at the past, I can see that what I wrestled with was less about my ex-husband and more about the lies I believed.

The enemy is a liar. God tells the truth. If I had a quarter for every post and sermon on the topic of taking thoughts captive and renewing my mind, I could probably take my husband on a decent date. And the lists of Bible verses that are made to combat anxiety or anger or whatever are endless. I used to believe that if I made these lists and studied them over and over, my problem would vanish. For me, the results were somewhat uneven.

Before any hackles get raised, please know that I believe a thorough knowledge of the Bible is crucial to any spiritual life. At times of heartbreak, I kept an encouraging verse in each pocket and looking at one got me through another fifteen minutes. And another. And I firmly believe the Holy Spirit brings verses to mind at just the right time. And if I hadn’t read those nuggets of truth, they wouldn’t surface when I needed them.

But the enemy is a liar. And he is so very easy to agree with. Everything the enemy says feels true. I am never getting out of debt. I am a failure. Something bad is going to happen. People don’t really like me. Any of these feel familiar? These thoughts are usually accompanied by feelings of anxiety, dread, and shame. Mix them together and suddenly we don’t have the strength to carry on.

I recently met with a young woman who had a whole list of things that she didn’t like about herself. Well, that may be understating it. She hated these things about herself. What is worse is that she was utterly convinced that each item was not only true but unchangeable except through immense effort. She couldn’t name anything that she thought she was succeeding at.

The enemy is a liar and he is also really loud. Have you ever known someone who didn’t listen to you? They just spoke over you, getting louder in enemyorder to drown you out? That is what was happening to her. She was being lied to by herself and by the enemy of her soul.

But wrestling with a liar is like wrestling with a snake. Oh wait, the enemy is a snake, too. He worms his way into our thought life and then our feelings rise to confirm what we have just thought. And then we are in the pit, whether anxiety, depression, or self-pity doesn’t matter. They all stink.

But here is something I have learned in my now forty-four years as a believer. And I learned it much later than I ought to have. Have you ever noticed that Jesus prayed out loud? The disciples did too. And they quoted the Bible frequently.

Apparently, our subconscious minds believe what they hear. This includes the things we say. Our conscious minds are generally more skeptical. But when we cry at fictional movies, our conscious minds are fully aware that what we see is not real. But our subconscious minds believe! And what we speak out loud, our subconscious minds absorb and process.

Google ‘subconscious’ and you will get a whole bunch of fiddle-faddle about the laws of attraction and harnessing the power of your subconscious mind. And yet. I believe that the enemy is a liar. This means that if the world is trying to harness your spiritual powers and help you unleash the power of your mind, then a truth exists that the devil has twisted into a lie.

Solomon’s temple had closets in the Inner Courts. They didn’t open into the Holy Place or the Holy of Holies. The Inner Court is a type for the soul, while the Holy Place is a type of the spirit. Or so Schofield the scholar says. For a more detailed explanation see the link at the bottom where I explain the metaphor of the temple and the believer in more detail.  Another name for these closets are the Cheder, or Hidden Chambers. Israel was instructed to store their good histories and trophies of war in these Cheder.

Several times various kings cleaned them out in sort of spiritual decluttering. And guess what they found. Idols. Pagan idols are pretty grotesque. They are violent, sexually perverted, and frightening. Sometimes our thoughts are too. Our subconscious minds are like these closets and they need emptying. Therapists often call the subconscious area of our minds the back seat driver. Why? Because they store up all manner of behavior and emotional patterns from our childhood and tell our conscious minds what to do.

Filled with good things, our subconscious minds produce truth. This is why we are told to fix our eyes on that which is noble, good, and pure. enemyBecause while God’s love is the fuel on which we run, His truth provides the roadmap for where we are going.

This young woman wrote out a list of all the things for which she despised herself. Together, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we wrote out a new list based on the truth found in God’s Word. And then we burned the old list. We got rid of the junk in her hidden parts, at least some of it. And we replaced it with the truth. And we said it out loud because her mind was listening to her speak these things.

If the enemy is whispering lies in your ear (and he will) then consciously feeding your subconscious on the good things God has for you is some of the most intense wrestling with the enemy you will do. The power of life and death is in the tongue. Disagreeing with the enemy, out loud, by proclaiming what God says is true may feel awkward at first. In time though, your closets will be emptied of the junk and filled with treasure. Watch your mouth. The devil and God are listening. Maybe more importantly, so are you.

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The Road to Jerusalem is in Your Heart

14 Replies to “Disagreeing with the Enemy”

  1. “Everything the enemy says feels true.” Yes. This is why we believe his lies. It’s a great idea to say truth out loud so we can hear it and disarm the lies. Great tactic!

  2. That was a great piece. I’ve struggled for decades trying to free my mind from Satan’s lies he kept feeding me. It is very difficult to break free, but of course it is possible with God.

  3. Be aware that they enemy is pursuing God’s children at all times. We are blessed to be God’s children and to be covered in God’s protection.

  4. Donna Miller says: Reply

    Everything the enemy says does feel true. I’m learning to try to set my feelings aside and grab onto the Truth. I like when you said you kept a verse in each pocket and looking at one got you through the next 15 minutes and so on. Keeping the truth in front of me helps me get through my day. I don’t even know how He does it but He does get me through when I focus on Him! ❤

  5. This quote has stuck with me…”If you want to hear God speak, read the Bible out loud.” I’ve had to remind myself so often recently that even though it feels like I am fighting flesh and blood, I’m really not. The battle has been heavy. I get weary easily. This was a good reminder to keep flushing things out with the Lord!

  6. Yes! We cannot listen to the lies for they often come in first person, don’t they. Great reminder and challenge to rebuke each thought out loud!

  7. hisdearlyloveddaughter says: Reply

    This is truth! I have battled out loud with the enemy time and time again. It is effective! And there is nothing more powerful than speaking the truth of God’s Word in the Name of Jesus to silence the enemy and send him packing! Another great book you might add to your list on this subject is The Bondage Breaker.

  8. Excellent post! I too have paced the floors of my house speaking God’s truth out loud with tears streaming down my face, because I knew to fight the enemy the battle had to get loud and ugly! Thank you for the insight and wisdom you bring to this topic. Keep speaking the truth, in writing and out loud! – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

  9. Lies get us every time, don’t they? If we stopped believing what Satan told us (or anyone else who doesn’t have our best interest at heart) we would be better off in all areas of our lives.
    We need to know God’s truth, but not only know it, but apply it. When those lies come, we need to see them as lies and choose to dismantle them and throw them.

  10. Mary Gemmill says: Reply

    Thanks Alice.
    When I want to remember something I say it out loud and that works…soI can see how speaking to the liar could work exactly in this way.
    Most helpful indeed!
    God bless you.
    You are helping MANY with the help you yourself have received.

  11. Such a great reminder, Alice! Yes, it is so vital for us to know the truth of God and to remember the reality that we may very well be under the attack of the enemy and being lied to, especially if we’re facing identity issues. I love the exercise you mentioned doing with your friend– I’ll have to remember that for the future.

  12. I remember the first time I heard a bible teacher say Pray Out Loud it will scare the devil away. I thought she was crazy. But there is so much power in that! thanks for the reminder!!!!!!!

  13. Powerful piece, Thanks for sharing.

  14. As I tend to have an ongoing dialogue with God and my head, I try to remind myself to pray aloud when I am praying rather than simply talking to God.

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