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The father of lies
- Jacob Ninan
Which of these have you believed at any time? "I am no good. I am never going to succeed in anything. I am a failure. I can never be as good as my brother/sister. Nobody likes me. Nobody cares about me. Even God can't forgive me. I'll never be able to change. Nobody will marry me." If we believe such things in our life, especially in our childhood, the chances are that our life will be, in general, a miserable experience. Did you realise that thoughts like these are put into our mind by the Devil or one of his demons at the appropriate moments of our life? Satan is out to destroy us (Jn.10:10), and he waits to catch us when we are most vulnerable, when we have just experienced a painful situation because of what someone said or did or something that happened. Especially when we are children and unable to think much, analyse things or understand, he puts ideas such as these into our mind which can derail the rest of our life.
Think of occasions when we have misunderstood other people or misinterpreted their intentions. Our parents disciplined us in order to teach us good behaviour, but we may have imagined that they hated us. They struggled in order to provide for us, but we may have thought they didn't have any time for us. Someone tried to help us by pointing out where we were going wrong, but we may have concluded that they were out to find fault with us.
God may not have given us something we asked for because He felt that it would not be good for us, and we may have judged Him as one who didn't care for us or as one who didn't keep his promises. He may have spoken to us through a preacher that we were going on a wrong path, but we may have decided that this church was too judgemental and condemning.
How many lies like this have we believed and imagined that they were true! How such beliefs have spoilt our moods and broken down relationships! Satan has been at it for thousands of years and he is an expert at it. We poor, foolish, ignorant people have fallen for his lies again and again. We didn't even realise these thoughts were coming from him, but thought that they were the conclusions that our clever minds had reached!
Can we wake up from this and learn to question our own thoughts before we accept them? It is only when we accept the truth as truth and decide to act on it that we are going to enjoy God's abundant life (Jn.8:31,32).
A sad fact is that if we have built up wrong thought patterns in our childhood it is going to be difficult to change them. But they can be changed, with God's grace. It will be helpful if we can identify how they started and recognise that we were believing what were really lies. Then we can reject them, and replace them with what the Bible tells us (Ro.12:2). Sometimes it is helpful to meet a Christian counsellor who can take us through this process.
Jesus has come to set us free. He does this many times by telling us the truth about ourselves, others and God.