Who’s Talking? God or the Enemy
As a pastor’s wife, I feel I have counseled more ladies to help them distinguish between truth and lies more than anything else. A lot of women, myself included, struggle with allowing our feelings to rule our minds. We have adopted the philosophy “if we think it, it must be true.” However, that could not be further from the truth of God’s word. The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We spend so much energy on how we feel. And who we listen to will ultimately affect how we feel. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about how to know who is talking.
This is a word that is used more often than it should by some people and not enough by others. The scripture is very clear that we have an enemy and he wants to destroy us. If the enemy cannot get our souls because we are saved, he will settle for our joy and peace. He knows if he can warp our thinking, he can keep us in a constant place of misery. Nothing can hurt the cause of Christ more than a miserable, emotional, and tormented Christian.
The enemy has two main goals. He will deceive and divide. How he does that with you may be different than with me but the goal is always the same. In John 8:44b, the enemy’s actions are described as, “when he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.” One way to recognize the voice of the enemy is to determine if your thoughts are lies or perceptions. Most Christians know bold lies are from the enemy. We know if someone feels that it is okay to have an affair, that lie is from the enemy. However, what do you do when you think or feel something that isn’t clearly a lie? Satan came to Eve in the Garden and twisted the truth to affect her thinking (Genesis 3:1-5). The enemy likes to twist the Word of God.
If you feel that you are being attacked by the enemy, may I suggest you look at your situation and see if it falls into any of these three categories:
- Is your trial bringing you closer to God or further from Him? Everything God allows has a purpose. If the enemy is attacking, then he wants to divide your relationship with God. The enemy does not want you reading your Bible, praying or being in a Christ-centered environment.
- Next, do you feel your family is under attack? God will never want to destroy your family. Just watch the news or be on social media and you will see the attack on the Christian family. If you are experiencing family issues that are not the result of direct sin, the enemy is at work.
- Lastly, do you have a desire to hide from community? God made us to need others. The enemy knows you are weaker alone. Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus when He was alone in the desert. Of course, Jesus pulled away for a time of fasting and prayer. His purpose was to be closer to God (Luke 4:1-11). However, the enemy knew to attack when Jesus was weak in body and by Himself. If you are pulling away for a time of retreat or refreshment, that is of the Lord. The enemy may still attack so be on guard. The feeling of isolation and running is what should cause you to be cautious. Remember Matthew 18:20: For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Some of us may not feel an attack on a specific area of our lives but an attack of our mind. This is the most common attack and one of the hardest to fight. You cannot get rid of your brain. So your thoughts are with you every second of the day. There are many scriptures to help with the battle of the mind. I will include those at the conclusion. The following questions have helped me often to recognize the voice of the Enemy in my thoughts.
- Is what I am thinking clearly against scripture? This is easy. If it is a clear sin, then you know who is talking.
- Is what I am thinking making me the issue or Christ? Everything should be about Jesus. It should promote the gospel and point others to Him. If every time you turn around you are thinking of offenses people have done or you are upset, then that is a good indicator you have made yourself the issue and are listening to the enemy.
- Is what I am thinking something I can prove to be true? Sometimes we think and feel things and we do not know it to be a fact. We assume or perceive something but it cannot be proved. If we cannot prove it with actual evidence then we cannot let ourselves think about it. You, with God’s help, have to control your thoughts.
These questions are important. We need to start fighting the enemy. If, with God's help, we examine our thoughts and purge the ones that are from the enemy, we will transform our lives. In the next post, we will look at how to know when God is talking.
Your friend, April Minnix
Please print and post these verses to help you fight the Enemy.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
1 Peter 5: 7-10
Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as roaring lion, walketh about, seeking who he may devour: whom he may devour; whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.