4 times in this passage the apostle Paul emphasizes the word ‘Stand’. Sometimes the only thing that will overcome the onslaught of Satan is to simply hold your ground and stand firm. Standing firm has a defensive posture to it. Life will sometimes feel like the enemy of your soul is throwing everything at you to distract you and ultimately destroy you. His attack can come in multiple forms, including, sexual temptation, condemnation, offense, fear and intimidation to name a few. Remember, the primary battlefield Satan attempts to conquer you in, is in your mind. When his attack comes, don’t merely fight it in the natural with positive thinking but resist the devil by submitting to God and using the spiritual weapons God has supplied to you. These weapons include praising God, acting in faith, meditating on and declaring the truth of Gods Word, choosing the pathway of peace versus conflict and finally standing firm. The next time you find yourself in a firefight with Satan, utilize the arsenal of weapons at your disposal but after having done all, stand firm, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
From Genesis 3, back at the beginning of creation, the devil has been lying and casting doubt on the truth of God’s Word in our lives. His strategy hasn’t changed and he’s still undermining people’s faith with his constant condemnation, negativity and hopelessness.
Satan’s whole agenda is to steal, kill and destroy anything that resembles the life of God’s Spirit in you and at work in our world. Never has there been a more important era of human history than now to know, think and speak God’s truth about ourselves. We are bombarded daily with hundreds of mixed messages. Deciphering God’s truth can be a challenge without being intentional.
Satan is an anchor that is always pulling you back down from heading out into the adventure that God invites all of us onto. If you entertain the negative thoughts, words and opinions that weigh you down too long, it will become your new norm and limit your capacity to believe for God’s impossible to work in your world.
The challenge is if we haven’t undergone a renewed mindset then we don’t so easily distinguish between the lies of the enemy and our own thoughts. The truth of God’s Word really does set us free and we need to immerse ourselves in a daily diet of God’s truth so that we will not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Pay attention to the messages you entertain in your brain and heart on a daily basis. As you think, so you are. What negative self-limiting ideas have you allowed to preoccupy your thinking? It’s time to uproot and replace with God’s truth!
Jesus always speaks the truth and he cannot lie because he is truth. If Jesus says, his sheep hear his voice, then this is exactly what will happen. On the other hand, the devil is a liar and tries desperately to convince us that God doesn’t want to speak to us and that hearing God’s voice is too hard cause he is so distant from us. Refuse to accept this lie.
Believe that you can hear the voice of God. Hebrews 11:6 exhorts us to approach God with faith because without faith it’s impossible to please God. We must believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Everything in the kingdom of God is received by faith.
God’s people will hear his voice, know his heart and follow his ways in the context of an intimate relationship with Him. We must give ourselves space to make mistakes along the journey of learning to hear the voice of God. I remember when my kids took their first step on the journey of learning to walk. I didn’t get angry at them because they only took 1 step and fell over again. I rejoiced and kept persevering with them, knowing they were going to walk very soon. We can be so hard on ourselves and yet God loves us and perseveres with us and rejoices that we are taking baby steps towards hearing his voice.
It’s important to discern the source of the voice you are listening to. There can only be 3 options: 1) Voice of the Holy Spirit; 2) Voice of the Flesh; 3) Voice of Satan.
Professional bankers detect the counterfeit bills by studying the authentic true bills, not the other way around. I know my wife’s voice very well because I’ve been in her presence for 18 years. Voice recognition increases the longer you spend time with someone. I worked with someone in the Police Force many moons ago who investigated a cop-killer for an entire 2 years, listening to phone taps and hearing his conversations during the day. He said that even though the investigation was years ago, if the cop-killer called up today and talked on the phone, the investigator would recognise his voice in an instant. That’s voice recognition. The best way to discern the truth is to spend time with the truth. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Discernment is sharpened by knowing the truth.
Test the Word. After you walk with God for a while, he gives you a witness of his spirit in your heart that is like a knowing in your spirit what the right thing to do is. However, it’s important you test the word. The bible doesn’t say, ‘put the word on the shelf’. It says test the word, otherwise you become defiled by it, if it isn’t from God. Is the word in alignment with the general revelation of Scripture or does it contradict it? Is there a witness of peace about the word and have you sought counsel with some trusted and spiritually mature leaders? Does the light of Christ brighten in your heart as you consider outworking of the word in your life or do you feel oppression and darkness? Important questions to consider.
The presence of God is worth committing to. No other pursuit in life compares to walking with God. Get a place or room where you can spend time with God. Train yourself to walk with God. Invest into your relationship with him. God doesn’t want you to perform for him through legalistic spiritual duties but he does want a deeper relationship with you and for you to have one, you will have to invest into it. Start today by opening up your heart to God, reading his word and being still in his presence.