I hear a lot of lies everyday… I don’t mean the TV commercials that promise bliss if I buy this or that. I am not speaking of all the politicians that fill our airwaves. I don’t even mean the gossip that masquerades as news or entertainment… I mean inside my own heart and mind. I am a pastor, and I chose this line of work because I believe God still speaks to us corporately and as individuals. But God’s is not the only voice I hear.
Has it ever occurred to you that not every thought that crosses your
mind comes from you (or God)? We are being lied to all the time. "You won’t be able to do this." "You’re too ___________ (fill in the blank:stupid, fat, poor, uneducated, ugly)" Yet we never
stop to say, “Wait a minute . . . who else is speaking here? Whose voice am I hearing? Where are
those ideas coming from? Where are those feelings coming from?”
I am amazed as I read the saints and scholars from every age before the Modern Era—admittedly a very
pride-filled age of science and technology that most of us were
thoroughly educated in—you’ll find that they take the devil very
seriously indeed. I don’t mean a dude dressed up in red long johns carrying a pitchfork. But I do mean satan, the enemy, belial – the liar and accuser – whose sole mission is to bring pain to God the only way he knows how: by lying to His kids in order to get them to self-destruct. A predator of children. A schemer. If he can lie to me and get me to believe his voice is mine, or even worse, God’s, he wins. I lose.
There is a discipline I struggle with so often… to think about what I’m thinking about. Not to let any thought or feeling take control, but to think about its source, its helpfulness, and its outcome. Just like I just don’t accept every piece of information I hear as "news", I don’t accept every thought or feeling as valid. I
check the source. Where does it come from? Does it fit with what God says? Is it worthwhile to hear? This is the daily discipline spoken of in 2 Corinthians 10:5 – "take every thought captive". Replacing the lies I hear with Truth. That is a worthwhile struggle.