Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)
2 Corinthians 10:3–6  For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,  being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (ESV)
We are in a very real spiritual battle against evil. Satan desires to make the lives of followers of Jesus Christ ineffective by holding them hostage to lies, accusing them, and discouraging what God is trying to accomplish in them and through them.
Knowing God’s word is the only way that we can know truth. Contrary to our cultural view of” truth is what you perceive it to be” or “what you experience it to be”, absolute truth is only found in God and His Word. Our human nature wants to immediately push back against this – against God and His word – even before we know what it says! God’s word is our only offensive weapon against Satan. Ephesians 6:10-20
Many Christians struggle in their daily lives because of untruths that they are acting upon. Pride is a barrier to humble acknowledgement that we can’t know everything and that our limited perception and our feelings can often lead us into error and wrong thinking. Keeping a teachable attitude that says “I may be wrong about this” is a mark of maturity and humility. Yet we do need to stand firm in our faith. We stand on what we understand and know to be God’s truth, and we remain teachable, seeking God’s wisdom to show us where we may be wrong. He is our greatest teacher, and we must remain teachable throughout our lives.
James tells us that God does not tempt anyone, but that each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desires and enticed. (1:13-15) It is a slippery slope of thinking about something that leads to repeated thinking on that thing, which leads eventually to acting on our thoughts. Our thought life is extremely important to our walk with Jesus.
Paul tells us that we need to take all of our thoughts captive and make them obey Jesus Christ.
That means to not entertain those things that stand contrary to God’s word. Not going over and over ideas that we know are not true.
That means to correct your own thoughts and take things back to God’s word. What does God say about that?
Most fear and worry stem from erroneous thinking about who God is, about who we are in Christ, and from allowing certain aspects of our lives to not be fully surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. These are the areas that give our enemy a foothold in our lives. These footholds will lead to strongholds and satanic oppression in a Christian’s life if they are not corrected, confessed, repented of, surrendered, and healed by God.
Now if we struggle to know fully what God’s word says, how are our children to fight this spiritual battle if we are not equipping them with the truth of God’s word? We are commanded to diligently teach our children the ways God. (Deut 6:4-9, 11:19) Filling the lives of our children (and our own) with the Word of God is an absolute necessity. When we fail to do so we are allowing our enemy to enter in and bring chaos and destruction into our lives. At first it is as simple as a twisted truth, but the toe hold becomes a foot hold and then before we know it, Satan has a stronghold.
In our own lives, we need to prayerfully request that God will reveal the lies that we have been believing. Start examining the areas of life where we are continually struggling. We must be in God’s word every day, seeking His truth. We must be fully surrendered to the work of God’s Holy Spirit as He has equipped us with all that we need to live prosperous and victorious abundant lives as His servants here in this dark and fallen world. We are to be salt and light to those who are lost. Remember that you have been given a Spirit of power not of fear.
For more teaching about who Satan is and what His schemes and tactics are in our lives, I’d encourage you to seek out podcasts and books by Charles Stanley on spiritual warfare.
Many have stated in the past that there are two danger areas to avoid: 1) blaming everything bad on the devil and finding him around every corner when many times suffering comes from our own sinful fleshly desires that we refuse to submit to the Lordship of Jesus and 2) going through life as though your greatest enemy doesn’t even exist. Resting comfortably where you are and not being on guard with all of your Armor on leaves you and your family at great risk.
Lord, help us to believe the full counsel of Your word. Help us to be people of the Word, people of prayer who live victorious, prosperous lives for Your glory. Satan exists and is a very real enemy to Your children. You tell us that He who is in us (Your Holy Spirit) is greater than he who is in the world (Satan and his fallen angels). So we have full confidence and victory over all of his schemes. Yet we must be aware, watchful, and ready to avoid those traps. I rejoice with You God that You have revealed to us the victory that Jesus Christ accomplished and will have over sin and death. I thank you that Satan’s power is limited and under full control of Your hand and that You are able to turn what he intends for evil for our good. All glory and honor to you God. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.