Welcome You may have noticed a theme this week about the lies we are given by Satan. I wasn’t even aware that these lies were part of my life until I began reading books that addressed Satan as a liar. I have learned so much, and still have so much to learn. You may have been aware of these lies holding us back for quite some time, or maybe you’re like me and never really linked up the idea of our own weaknesses with lies before. Either way, I hope a few of my recent discoveries will help you, too.
Food For Thought For most of my life I have felt that there is something, well, actually many things, wrong with me. I have struggled with negative thinking, sadness, and depressed moods most of my adult life. Through all of this, I felt that something was wrong with me. I’ve been a Christian, raised in the Church, basically my whole life. I knew these thoughts were not right and not productive, but I couldn’t seem to fight them off. If Christians are supposed to live joyfully, then there must be something wrong with me. I’m doing something wrong. Well, yes, but I had help.
You see, everyone has weaknesses. We are Christians, but we are human, vulnerable to the ways of worldly thinking. And Satan? Well, he’s one slick little devil, literally! Satan knows every single one of our weaknesses, and because he’s working so hard to pull us away from our faith in the way-more-powerful God, he will use whatever lies he can to get us to succumb to those weaknesses. Weaknesses look different for everyone. For some, it’s addiction to drugs, alcohol, or sex. For others it’s greed for money, power, or attention. Some of our weaknesses are not so discernible. Weaknesses can be easily hidden from our family and friends, until we begin to act on them. I struggle with comparison, jealousy, and bitterness. Very ugly sins, even if only confined to my state of mind! Because Satan knows these are my weaknesses, he will use every chance he can to get me to fall into these lines of thinking, just hoping I will act on them, resulting in a stray away from God and His commandments.
A few months ago, I picked up a copy of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer (Faith Words; Hachette Book Group; 1995; updated edition 2011). Knowing how much I struggled with my thought patterns, I figured this book couldn’t do anything but help. Wow, has it been insightful! Right off the bat, in chapter one, she writes “The devil is a liar…He lies to you and me. He tells us things about ourselves, about other people and about circumstances that are just not true.” She continues to talk in chapter one about our mind is the battlefield where our war against Satan is taking place. Every sinful or negative action first begins as a thought. I was enlightened. I had never really thought that all of my negative thoughts and moods were part of Satan’s plan to pull me apart from my faith. Now, I can’t seem to read a devotional, faith blog, or self-help book without the lies of Satan being indicated as a source of struggle. All I can think is, How did I miss this?
It would be nice if I could say that once I learned the source of the problem, I fixed it and now have nothing but rainbows and sunshine for my thoughts. Hmmm, not likely. But it does help knowing why and how these thoughts become a problem. And I can address them as such…Satan’s lies. Once I label these negative thoughts for what they are, lies, I can fight against them better and resist acting on them a little more.
My recent spring break vacation was a good opportunity to practice this. My husband, daughter, and I took a trip to southern Missouri and Arkansas visiting some state parks and hiking trails, while also stopping in to visit different family members. I was struggling going into this trip because it wasn’t where I really wanted to go, but I knew my husband was making an effort, so I tried very hard to have the right attitude and make the most of the opportunities. But Satan knows where I get weak and ways I can act on those negative thoughts. He sure tried to get me last week! While on the trip, I was reminded frequently, via social media, that I had friends in Tennessee or North Carolina getting the vacation that I wanted, posting pictures of the things I wanted to be seeing and doing. We also had rain…lots and lots of rain, which slowed down or altogether cancelled some of our hiking opportunities. One day, we had to go to three different trail heads before we found one that wasn’t flooded. Oh, wait, that one was actually flooded too, but we didn’t know it until we were about a mile and half in. Rather than turn around and go back, we scrambled through underbrush up the side of a bluff to get around the high water. We dealt with camera issues, driving issues, weather issues and broken plans. Honestly, I felt like every single day of the trip, Satan was trying to get me to have a melt down and throw one of my fits about not getting what I wanted. But the thing is…I recognized it! I knew this was Satan preying on my weaknesses, trying to convince me that “nothing” ever goes right, I “never” get what I want, “everybody” else is getting what they want, and “this isn’t fair!” Even as we were headed out on our last day, Satan was trying to convince me that “this is the worst spring break ever.” Believe me, it was not! Somehow, through the power of knowledge and prayer, I recognized these lies and fought them off, one by one. And I’m so glad I did. Now my family has memories of our crazy adventures fun times, and not mommy having a melt-down.
Here are just a few of our hiking pictures from spring break, including this flooded trail.
Today’s Scripture So many times I have read John 8:44. I comprehended the words. I understood the meaning at surface level. But I never dug deep into the words and how they applied to me or my daily walk or my struggles. Now I see them in a different light, as wisdom and warning! Let me share these words with you today, regarding Satan’s lies. For a list of additional scriptures for combatting the lies of Satan, please see my post Cast Your Fears Into the Fire.
John 8:44; ESV “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (I underlined the key phrase of the passage.)
Today’s Recipe I often have friends, family, and readers send me recipes to try. A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a recipe for sweet potato-avocado brownies. Intended to be a healthier form of dessert, they were described as being wheat-free, sugar-free, and dairy free. I was intrigued by this recipe seen originally at Healthy Life Box. Well, I made a variation of these brownies this week, using the sweet potato, avocado, and some of my own substitutions. My brownies are not dairy-free or completely sugar-free. I chose to use skim milk in place of coconut milk, which saved on the fat content, but won’t work if you follow a dairy-free lifestyle. I also used regular chocolate chips, instead of dairy-free chips, which adds some sugar. These brownies are still packed with healthy fats, vegetable servings, lower in sugar, and free of processed flours, as well as egg-free. And wow!!! Talk about a rich, fudgy texture! Eating one of these brownies feels incredibly indulgent, but they have some serious nutrition hiding in there! My family was pleasantly surprised, and yours may be too!
Sweet Potato-Avocado Brownies (makes about 12 brownies)
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 small, ripe avocado
- 1 cup nut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup skim milk (can use a dairy-free substitute, if desired
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (can use a dairy-free substitute, if desired)
Peel, wash, and cut sweet potato into chunks. Place in pan with enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook until very soft. Drain liquid then place in blender. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before adding remaining ingredients. Set oven to 325 degrees. Scoop out avocado and add to blender. Add nut butter, honey, milk, and cocoa powder and blend until thick and combined. You will probably have to scrap down the sides of the blender a couple of times; the mixture will be thick. Stir in chocolate chips with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Spray 9×9 square pan with cooking spray (you can also use coconut oil for this). Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Remove to wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.