“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
I read this verse during my quiet time this morning, and felt like God was nudging my heart to write a blog post about the new person I have become in Jesus Christ. I didn’t know if it was my own pride and selfish-ambition that wanted to write about this topic or if it was truly Christ-inspired, so I prayed that if He wanted me to blog about His truth and His word, that He would send me confirmation. About an hour later, my Mom came into my room and said, “I was reading this scripture this morning and felt like I should share it with you.” The scripture fit perfectly with what I wanted to talk about, and, just like that, I had my confirmation (what an awesome God we serve).
So I sat down and began to write a post about God’s truth. I wrote about how Satan tries to trick our minds into believing the lies of the world – keeping us from the truth that sets us free. After finishing the post, I had a strong feeling that it just wasn’t that great. I felt like it wasn’t good enough, and felt that I shouldn’t post it.
So I let it sit all day. In the back of my mind today I have been thinking, “It’s just not good,” “Maybe tomorrow my writing juices will be flowing,” “It doesn’t have to be posted today.” Then all of sudden, while driving in my car tonight, it hit me.
Satan had been whispering lies to my mind all day long about this blog post and I didn’t even recognize it.
I spent a huge chunk of my morning researching the truth in God’s word and writing about not listening to Satan’s lies, yet, there I was listening to the devil telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I was inadequate, even though I knew (and had just written about how) I didn’t need to be “good” enough, but that God would always be strong enough in my weakness. God wanted to show me something today. He wanted to show me how Satan works in the quiet without us even noticing it. He wanted to teach me how to be aware of His presence and His truth in the midst of Satan’s voices. He also wanted me to include this story in today’s post. I am so humbled and thankful to be writing about a topic that I have literally been battling all day long. So without further delay, here is the word that God laid on my heart this morning. I know that someone needs to read this today, because why else would Satan be trying to keep me from posting it.
We’ve all heard the voices of this world before. We’ve all felt the feelings the world throws at us. Feelings of inadequacy, doubt, temptation, lust, anger, sorrow, fear, shame, and timidity. The voices that whisper, “Everyone does it.” “See, you haven’t changed.” “You’re not strong enough.” “No one even likes you.” “You are alone.” “You can’t memorize scripture.” “You can’t wake up early and spend time with God.” “You aren’t good enough for this position.” “How could God ever use someone like you?” “You’ve strayed too far.” “See, this is who you really are.”
These voices whisper nothing but lies. Satan, our deceiving enemy, is the father of lies. But where there are lies, there will always be an alternative, flawless, truth. Understand, sweet soul, that when the father of lies is at work, your Father – the Father of truth – is at work as well. God’s truth always outweighs the lies of the devil.
Before I write about God’s truth, though, I want you to understand a few things about the lies of this world and where they come from. Satan is our enemy, and he is real. He is not on our side, and he never will be. Satan whispers lies into our lives and into our hearts in an attempt to shoot our faith down. In 1 Peter 5:8, the scriptures warn God’s children, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” John 10:10 describes Satan as a thief and explains, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Satan only wants to destroy and devour. He is trying to rob you of the joy, peace, and comfort that comes from knowing your incredible Savior. God wants to give you a rich and satisfying life in Jesus Christ. This is a life that the devil can never take away from you, although he will try to convince you otherwise. So I encourage you to keep a watchful eye out for the lies Satan is throwing at you. Do not entertain your mind with believing those lies even for one second, and instead, look to and lean on God’s word for truth and wisdom.
So if the feelings and whispers I hear in my mind aren’t true, then what is?
God’s word is truth. The truth of scripture defeats the lies of the devil. God’s word says that you have been made new in Jesus Christ. Your old life is gone, and your new life has begun. No matter how inadequate or guilty you may feel, you can know that you are a new creation in Jesus Christ. If you have been saved, and have surrendered your life to God, you are a part of His perfect family. You no longer belong to Satan and his kingdom. You belong to Christ and His freedom is yours to receive with open arms.
“Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” – 1 Peter 5:9
Jesus Christ has saved you from your sins and has saved you from this world. He has saved you, me, and all our Christian brothers and sisters from the world of lies. We have changed. It’s important to understand that we are not who we used to be. We once belonged to the world, and to the father of lies, but not anymore. Paul writes in his letter to the church at Ephesus about who they were in their old life, and who they should be now, as new creations in Jesus Christ. This part of his letter parallels perfectly to the life you and I should live as believers in a world filled with Satan’s lies:
“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts, and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.” – Ephesians 4: 17-23
Paul is explaining that you are a new creation in Jesus Christ. You are new, so act like it. Act like the new creation you are. Don’t live the life you used to live. Spend time in God’s word so that you can learn the truth that has set you free from the chains of this world. I was talking the talk without walking the walk for a very long time until God gave my soul a wakeup call. It is a daily struggle to take the road less traveled by and truly live out our faith, but take heart. The battle has already been won. You have been set free by an incredible King! I encourage you to stop listening to the lies of the devil, and start reading the Word of God. Memorize scripture so that you can fight Satan’s lies with God’s truth. Speak truth into your life and into the lives of others.
While Satan is whispering those lies in one ear, I pray that God’s truthful voice would far outweigh the devil’s earthly pull. Satan says, “Everyone does it,“ but God whispers, “You aren’t like everyone else. You are my beloved, unique child.” Satan says, “See, you haven’t changed,” but God whispers, “I have changed you. I am transforming you.” Satan says, “You’re not strong enough,” but God whispers, “I will be strong enough for you.” Satan says, “No one even likes you,” but God whispers, “I adore you.” Satan says, “You are alone,” but God whispers, “I am always with you, my child.” Satan says, “You can’t memorize scripture,” but God whispers, “Write my words on your heart forever.” Satan says, “You can’t wake up early and spend time with God,” but God whispers, “I love when my children sacrifice the comfort of their beds to spend time with me. I will be waiting patiently for you to enter my awesome presence.” Satan says, “You aren’t good enough for this position,” but God whispers, “I have placed you where you are for a reason.” Satan says, “How could God ever use someone like you?” but God says, “When you are weak, I am strong.” Satan says, “You’ve strayed too far,” but God says, “You can never outrun my love for you.” Satan says, “See, this is who you really are,” but God says, “You are my child, you are loved, and you are not who you once were.”
You are new, and you are treasured by your Savior, Jesus Christ. Rest in His truth. Remember that the battle against this world has already been won. Proclaim it. Shout it. Memorize it. Live it – for the glory of God and His kingdom, not your own.
This post was inspired by God through the words of my beautiful, God-fearing mother, Donna Marshall. She is writing a bible study about the 40-year wilderness journey the Israelites took under Moses’ leadership after God delivered them from slavery in Egypt (Exodus-Numbers). I wanted to conclude with an excerpt from her study in Week 2, Day 2 titled “Who Needs a Boat?” It reads:
“Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Where is the person you were before you accepted Christ? Where are you now? Whenever you feel Egypt [your old life, your old self] calling to you, soak in this verse and feel the waters of the Red Sea wash those voices away. We will stumble – I think that is a daily exercise for me, sometimes hourly. But I have also not believed I had changed – or perhaps I didn’t let the Holy Spirit change me. I believe our Christian journey is just that, a journey. As we learn the truths and hide them in our heart and allow Jesus to change us, we move forward. Let’s be careful to not be legalistic. Our journey is about faith, hope, and love. The first step in this wonderful journey is believing you are God’s chosen. Believing that Jesus died to save you from those sins that chase you down. He has heard you crying out in your slavery. Believe that no matter what you have done, Jesus loves you right now. You can’t do anything from this point on to make Him love you more and you can’t do anything from this point on to make Him love you less. The water that washed away all that guilt is Him and Him alone. There is nothing you can do to earn that. He loves you. He loved you in Egypt, that is why He provided a way out. All you have to do is accept it.”
All glory to God, forever and ever. Amen.