When to agree or disagree with Satan
Figuratively speaking, our beliefs first begin as ideas that come knocking on the “door” of our hearts. Once we open the door to let certain ideas in and agree with them, they become part of our lives and influence our perspectives. As disciples of Jesus, it is critical for us to identify the source of those ideas.
Revelation 3:20 ESV Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Who we open the door of our hearts to
Ideas can influence our lives both negatively and positively. The thought that says, “There is pain in my life and I should die to end it all” is merely an idea, not the truth. But once we agree with such a fatal idea, we will literally open the door for Satan to enter our lives to destroy us.
If we agree with the idea that “God has a higher purpose for this pain. What a privilege it is to witness His glory and power in my life“, we open the door for Jesus to reveal His powerful work in our lives.
This is why it is critical for us to recognise the sender of our ideas, as it can make the difference between spiritual life and death. It takes biblical and spiritual familiarity with God’s character to recognise the voice of Jesus, our good Shepherd.
John 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Distinguishing between good and bad ideas
The ideas that God presents only bring about the fruit of the Holy Spirit; which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Also, see How to test for the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The ideas that Satan presents only result in destruction and division; such as anger, anxiety, condemnation, confusion, discouragement, disillusionment, fear, jealousy, inertia, weariness and so forth.
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
God’s love compels Him to give us the dignity to choose
Nothing can separate us from God’s mighty love, not even Satan.
Romans 8:38-39 NLT And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because of His great love and affection for us, God has also given us the dignity to make our own choices.
God won’t force-feed His will on us. He chooses to gently knock on the door of our hearts, instead of charging in to take over our lives even though He has every power to. He reveals Himself to us through His written Word and His Holy Spirit, and then allows us to choose whose words we agree with and accept.
Satan desperately wants us to condemn ourselves
We need to choose the ideas we agree with wisely.
Satan bombards us relentlessly all day long with destructive ideas. There are ideas to lie, to exalt ourselves, to hate others, to doubt God, to boast, to cheat, and so forth.
Perhaps the darkest of Satan’s ideas is to condemn ourselves, the very souls that Jesus redeemed with His precious blood. The truth is, all believers are instantly freed from any form of condemnation once we repent to Jesus for our sins, get baptised and receive the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:1-2 ESV There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
In an attempt to blaspheme Jesus’ great sacrifice for us, the devil will tempt us to believe nasty ideas and smear ourselves with horrible labels, such as:
- “I am not loved.”
- “I am not worthy.”
- “I am condemned.”
- “I am hopeless.”
- “I am shameful.”
- “I am ugly.”
Satan wants us to think that Jesus’ blood is not powerful enough to redeem everything. He celebrates when we condemn ourselves because, in reality, he is the one who is condemned.
John 16:11 NIV … the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The devil is desperate for us to agree to his conniving ideas because he fears the Holy Spirit in us and the authority of Jesus’ name that we pray in. By tempting us to agree to condemn ourselves, he hopes to recruit us to join him in defeat – instantly turning us from victors because of Jesus into victims because of Satan.
Sadly, when we condemn ourselves, we grief God very deeply because He sacrificed His Son so that we would be completely free from any condemnation. We need to remember that our old selves were declared dead once we repented before God and were baptised with His Holy Spirit. Jesus’ blood, which was “poured out for many”, is supremely powerful over everything. It covers all of our brokenness – not only from our past, but also the present and future. This is the incredible hope that we have through the transformative power of God’s Holy Spirit in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Matthew 26:28 ESV For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Agree with Satan about the old self, not the new
The best way to respond to Satan’s condemnations is to agree with him when he reminds us of our past, our mistakes, our weaknesses, and our worthlessness, because we can praise God for His redemptive work in our lives. It becomes the perfect foil to a baseless plot.
Satan can point out the truth about our past or present imperfect selves, but his ideas about our future are absolutely baseless – unless we agree with him. We must be careful not to agree with Satan’s corrupting talk. Otherwise, we insult God’s love for us and grieve His Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
2 Corinthians 6:16 ESV What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ephesians 4:29-30 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
When to agree and disagree with Satan
Here are some ways we can respond when Satan presents us with ideas to condemn ourselves.
Idea 1: I feel rejected. I am not loved.
“Yes, I have been rejected by people. BUT I am loved by God. God promises never to reject or abandon me when I seek Him. He is faithful and loves me with the greatest love in the universe. God is worthy of all praise!”
Psalm 27:10 ESV For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
Idea 2: Look at my weaknesses. I am not worthy.
“Yes, I have many weaknesses and I will never be worthy of God. BUT that is precisely why God’s love is so amazing. He loves me nonetheless because He is perfect and good, not because I am. People will see God’s power in my life when they know how incapable I really am. God is worthy of all praise!”
Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Idea 3: Look at my sins, I am condemned.
“Yes, my sins condemn me. BUT I will submit to God, no matter how many times I fall, and confess my sins and repent before Him. He is faithful and will always forgive me when I confess. At the same time, I will confess to and consult godly believers to help me overcome this sinful pattern. I know God will help me along the way. God is worthy of all praise!”
1 John 1:8-9 ESV If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 5:16 ESV Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Idea 4: Look at my mistakes. I am hopeless.
“Yes, I have made mistakes. BUT I am not hopeless. There is no mistake that God cannot redeem. I pray that God will turn what I have done into something beautiful because He has the highest authority to do so. No human can help me more than God can. God is worthy of all praise!”
Isaiah 44:22 ESV I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Idea 5: Look at my past. I am shameful.
“Yes, I have done shameful things. BUT with God, my shame can become a powerful testimony of my Father’s power to restore my life. Without my shame, I would not be able to experience the depth of His grace. God is worthy of all praise!”
Isaiah 61:6-7 ESV but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.
Idea 6: Look at what people say about me. I am ugly.
“Yes, I am not physically perfect. BUT God can use this imperfect body because He carefully knitted me together for His glory. I will praise God and be joyful in spite of what people say, because it is God’s plan for me that truly matters at the end of the day. God is worthy of all praise!”
Psalm 139:13 ESV For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Don’t accept every idea that arrives at our door
Once we are able to practice turning Satan’s accusations into praises for God often enough, the devil will, in frustration, give up bombarding us with thoughts of condemnation.
So in future, whenever Satan delivers a corrupting idea to our door, we should simply reject it and keep the door closed. Let us not waste any time entertaining Satan’s packages of lies. Instead, we ought to take hold of God’s redemptive love and live the abundant life He has for us.
Proverbs 4:23-27 NLT
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
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