One thing that we say about Satan is that he is a really smart idiot. Yesterday I gave a workshop on the enemies of the believer and had a few minutes to share with new believers about the different ways that Satan attacks. It is true that he knows each of our weaknesses, but his attacks are classic…probably because they work quite well.
One classic attack that I have experienced for the past couple weeks is the “Old News Attack.” It is true that God has already forgiven and healed many things inside of me and from my past, but Satan comes along and tries to pretend that the healing never happened. He tries to convince me that I am still a failure and a slave to the habits and the person that I used to be. He has used it several times, and probably keeps using it because he has remarkable success with it.
Perhaps Satan tries to defeat you with the Old News tactic. So when you are facing this, how do you kick Satan in the face? …because I don’t know about you, but that’s really what I always want to do.
First of all, we need to recognize that our emotions are often not good judges of reality. I may feel defeated, but the truth about my situation is that I am overwhelmingly victorious in Christ. It is a daily reminder that I must give myself (and often one I have to make every five minutes). Second, I often must take action contrary to my emotions. Do I feel like isolating myself? Awesome…I must go hang out with friends. Do I feel like complaining? Awesome…I must go out and encourage someone. Do I feel like crying? Awesome…I must choose not to indulge, but rather surround myself with people who are laughing. Does this mean that I am denying emotions? Isn’t that unhealthy? I will tell you what is more unhealthy: allowing lies to take root in the heart and grow into maturity; encouraging emotions to grow by wallowing in them. There are times when we are truly sad, and there is nothing wrong with crying. However, in the situation of an attack, choosing to stay in a negative and depressive state is not edifying to yourself nor to anyone else. Pick yourself up, tell yourself you’re amazing and loved (because it is the truth), and make the decision to believe it. As incredibly difficult as that sounds, it is necessary.
Spiritual warfare is tough and Satan doesn’t play fair. However, how awesome is it that as children of God we have all authority to resist the enemy and stand firm in the victory that we already have? Yep, that’s right. The battle has already been won; the prize is already there waiting. Don’t give up!