A few weeks ago I found myself swimming in the thoughts of low self-esteem. Waves of self-pity, frustration, and lack of accomplishments were tossing me around from side to side in the feeling of a stagnant life. I was about to take a plunge into the pit of Satan’s suggestions about my identity. It’s not that I didn’t know who I was. I knew it then just as much as I know it now. The problem was that I allowed myself to get weak physically and spiritually. Then, I let my mind adrift.
During those couple days that seemed so much longer, a war was taking place within me. I was trying to stay afloat while demons kept using circumstances to build their case against the promises of God in my life. No one around me had any idea what I was going through. I knew how to disguise it to avoid confrontation. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone while dragging myself out of this demonic slum. Isolation is one of the devil’s tactics. It’s easier to defeat a lonely prey. Besides, this kind of separation clouds the day even more and darkness intensifies. That’s where I was except for a ray of light at a far distance (John 1:5). But in my weakness I couldn’t find the strength to walk toward it.
I’m not afraid of physical darkness. When all is well within my spirit the night can draw its blackness veil but I’ll not be shaken. A strong, well determined mind can face the dark as a meager slice on the clock of life. It’s not so when the Light of this world (John 8:12), the Sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2) is absent. No wonder Jesus calls hell a place of “outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12). When He’s not present, darkness creeps in with its claws of allusions. If we allow ourselves to be engulfed by them we are doomed to a rapid descent into the chambers of a miserable life.
There is a verse in Job 14:7-9 that reads, “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” I praise God for the beam of light above me during my darkest moments. The Holy Spirit quickened in me the words of God to Adam, “Where are you” and “Who told you that you are naked” (Genesis 3:9-11)? These questions made me realize I had been listening to the wrong voice. Then, Bible verses about my identity in Christ started to come back to me. The scent of His Word, like a laser beam of light, stroke the right nerve in my soul and positioned me standing again.
With my focus redirected I opened my mouth speaking words of victory and counter-acted every lie that assaulted my mind. I dove into the Word from morning to sun down. Refreshed and fortified I soared on God’s promises. Then, I decided to study Satan’s scheme to destroy me. I know he came to steal, kill, and destroy, but I wanted to learn the tactics of my enemy. I don’t want to be oblivious to his strategies (2 Corinthians 2:11). I want to learn to fight and to defend what is precious to me from every attack.
Satan has no power whatsoever to harm us or to halt any blessings prepared for our lives. He cannot stop our healing because it is written, “…by his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He cannot defeat us because we conquered him by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11). He cannot keep us down because God has set our feet in high places (Psalm 18:33). He cannot overpower us because God has given us strength (Isaiah 40:29). Satan cannot do anything because he is on a short leash (Luke 22:31; Job 2:6). So, how come so many believers live in bondage? How come I slipped into his snare?
The battle always starts with our thought life. No one can spoil a house of a strong man before binding him (Mark 3:27). Satan attacks our mind. Since he has no power to destroy us he keeps firing his darts of lies into our mind (Ephesians 6:16). This verse says we must use the shield of faith to extinguish the flames caused by these fiery darts. It means his firing darts are inevitable. In 1 Peter 5:8 we read, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Demons are like vultures. They hover anticipating the death of anyone who garners their allusive lies. Once we accept his deceits we lose ground and Satan advances with more lies, which are his weapons. He tries to make us destroy ourselves since he cannot touch us any other way.
Satan has a simple method. He knows we act upon our emotions; that is why he tries to steal our joy (Nehemiah 8:10) – no joy, no strength to fight him. Emotions are reflections of knowledge. A distorted or deceiving knowledge (Revelation 12:9) causes a downfall in any given area of our lives. So demons work hard trying to convince us of a lie, what is opposing to God’s Word. If he wins our thoughts he wins the battle without doing anything else. With corrupted thoughts we destroy ourselves. “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober” (1 Peter 1:13).
When God gave the great commandment He instructed the people of Israel to have it in their heart (most inner part, mind, understanding). He commanded them to talk about it at home, on the way, when lie down, and when get up. He also told them to make themselves reminders so the Word would be always present in their lives (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). He knew Satan would target their minds to shoot arrows of doubt. The Lord was giving the Israelites instructions to prevent their fall. The same Word applies to us today (Isaiah 40:8) if we want to live abundantly.
Today I am renewing my mind as commanded in Ephesians 4:23 and Romans 12:2 because I want to live a victorious life in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). I don’t want to pass through life dragging my days and touching the divine only from time to time. I want to walk on earth rooted in the promises of God. So, I have been taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The Bible declares that through the knowledge of God and Jesus we have life and promises (2 Peter 1:2-4). I pray that the minds that have been blinded by the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4) may be set free to see the Light (Matthew 4:16).
I am a child of the light (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
I walk in a dark world but not in darkness (Colossians 1:13).
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)