“You aren’t good enough.”

“You’ve made too many mistakes”

“No one will love you.”

“You’re hopeless.”

“You can’t climb out of the mess you’ve created.”

“No one cares.”

These are just a few lies that hold us hostage. These are lies from Satan. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says,

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.”

We’re fighting against an enemy that uses tactics that we can’t fight in conventional, human ways. Ephesians 6:12 says,

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

One of Satan’s greatest war strategies is to whisper lies to us enough times that we start to believe them and even repeat them to ourselves. His greatest tool is guilt. Once we have convinced ourselves and accepted what we believe to be true, that we are beyond repair or rescue, we’re an easy target to eliminate.

At the heart of all of these lies is one big one, Satan’s favorite lie to tell us:

God can’t change me.”

When we start to believe that, Satan has not only taken our power away from us, but he has taken our trust in God’s power away from us. These lies hold us hostage and tear us apart. We become our own worst enemy because we begin to live in these mistruths about ourselves.

But here is the truth of what we know through the Bible about who we are:

“We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

Every one of us is created uniquely by God’s own hands. We’re stitched up with purpose, wrapped in love, and wired for a mission. The Bible says God has a plan for us, and nothing can stop God’s plans. Except, of course, our own unwillingness to cooperate. That’s where Satan’s lies become so effective. By convincing us that we are worthless, he removes us from the game.

So how do we defeat Satan in this battle? How do we resist falling into belief of the lies he tells us?

1. Capture wrong thoughts. Take them captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” That means that we should systematically change our way of thinking. How do we do that? By constantly getting into the Word of God. Read your Bible. Even if you don’t understand it all, read it anyway. Pray for understanding and wisdom to come from it. God will answer that prayer. But through this, you’ll replace the lies of Satan with the truth of God.

2. Speak truth. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” The words we speak have incredible power in our lives and in others’ lives. In Psalms 19:14, we read some wise words: “May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Make sure that what you say and what you think is reinforcing to you and those around you the value that we’re each given as creations of God, in His image. We have worth because God loves us.

3. Don’t give up. It is a constant struggle to withstand the lies of Satan. It’s not something that ever stops or goes away. He will always be there, ready to whisper those things in your ear. He knows your insecurities, your weaknesses, and your struggles. Like a true war enemy, he has studied you. He’ll attack when you’re least expectant, when you’re weakest, and when you’re most susceptible to failure. He’ll sabotage you by attacking through those close to you. Sometimes the people you trust and respect the most will damage you by telling you these lies. That’s another tool and tactic of Satan. Don’t buy it. Be strong and don’t give up in this fight. Colossians 1:29-2:1 says, “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

The key to victory lies in that verse. You can’t win when you fight on your own strength. It’s a losing battle. You aren’t strong enough, disciplined enough, or powerful enough. Satan knows that. Unless you tap into the power of God, you’re done for. So don’t try. Ask God for strength. Pray. Read your Bible. Surround yourself by other people who will encourage you and fight alongside you. A one-man army will never win a war.

Finally, release your past. Let it go. Philippians 3:13-14 says,

“…but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Focus on Jesus. Remember your goal. That’s the victory that’s yours when God is on your side. The lies Satan tells can’t hold you hostage when you have the truth of God in your heart and your sights set on Jesus. It is a continual battle in this life, but you already know the outcome. Keep that in mind as you fight against this enemy.

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