Last week, my five-year-old son and I took a little walk together. Somehow the conversation moved from how awesome roller coasters are to the things Satan tells us. That seems jarring from an adult perspective but he’s a little boy. His world is superheroes and Legos and Transformers. Good versus evil. The evil enemy trying to out-smart our good God and losing every time.
Honestly, it really is that simple but our adult lives with our stress and mortgages and student loans complicate the battle.
As we’re walking, my son says, “Satan, he just lies. He tells us God doesn’t love us and we’re bad and I just say back to him, ‘That’s not working on me, Satan! That’s not working on me!'”
My son’s words rolled around in my head for several days. Proud of him for his boldness but also a little envious of it as well. Do I say the same thing when I hear the lies whispered? Do I shut it down that quickly and confidently? Or do I allow those lies to roll around in my head just as I did with my son’s words?
- There’s the mistake at work
- The email I missed or misread in a rush
- That time I gossiped about someone as they stood around the corner listening
- When my daughter decided to practice writing her name on the wall with a black Sharpie and I lost my temper
- The anniversary my husband forgot to recognize with a gift and I passive-aggressively reminded him of it for the next several weeks
Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” -Romans 7:15 NIV
When sins, misunderstandings, hurts, roll around in my brain, keeping me awake at night, I want to let it go. Confess it. Apologize. Make amends. Pray it out of my head. Have God remove that photograph of my sin from the mental scrapbook of my life. What I want to do is move on, live free in the finished work of the cross.
But I do the thing I don’t want to do, I do what I hate to do, and wallow.
The reason we wallow is simple. Satan won’t let us move on. He stands right with us, whispering, stroking our embarrassment, our shame, our anger, and we don’t even realize what’s happening.
We’ve forgotten we’re in a good versus evil battle.
To get back to the place where my five-year-old son lives, a place of bold confidence in the victory of our Savior, we have to firmly reclaim our thoughts. We have to go to battle.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.” ~2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV
To reclaim our thoughts, the way we talk to ourselves about our past, to step into the sweet relief of the shade of the cross, we must claim our divine power through the Holy Spirit and take our every thought captive.
In Christ, we have the heavenly power to bring down every high thing, demolish strongholds, rip apart arguments and prideful assumptions standing contrary to our all-knowing Creator.
But when we are staring at the ceiling at 2 am…again…wishing we had made a different choice, we are not tuned in to that power. We are listening to Satan.
And it’s time we stood up and said, “That’s not working on me!” Time to take the thoughts of shame and regret and remind ourselves in Christ we are righteousness. Time to tell the enemy we are forgiven, sins are as far as the east is from the west once confessed. Time to put on our superhero armor of God and reclaim our thoughts.
We have the power to take every thought captive so, satan, your lies are not working on us anymore!