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There is a certain theme in many great stories that have captured the human imagination for as long as stories have been told. Good versus evil, This theme has captivated mankind for nearly all of time. It stretches from ancient Greek mythology to the present. We see it in Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Lion King and Harry Potter yet we never grow tired of this compelling good versus evil plot line. You know why? Because it's true, it’s a part of our real lives. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are living in a daily battle of good versus evil. It is a battle we did not choose, but a battle we were born into and cannot avoid. A battle where the stakes are as high as life itself.
The war of good and evil is a real war, it is a war for our souls. It is a war based on lies that are designed to kill our souls and to extinguish our closeness to God. The enemy comes by way of a 3-pronged source. So, who is this opponent? Who is this Darth Vader that seeks to wreak havoc on our souls? Just as the source of goodness is a body of three the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, so too is the source of evil a three pronged entity. The Bible tells us that evil comes in three forms. The devil, the flesh and the world. The formidable enemy known as the devil is the one who Jesus calls “the father of lies” He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. - John 8:44
Deceptive ideas designed to destroy one’s soul begin with the devil. Below are some examples of soul killing lies from the devil that often bang around in our head and heart until we begin to live them out in the everyday of life. Jesus said that when he lies he speak his native language.
“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” - John 8:44
A language that we can hear and understand. Recognize any of these? I do.
“I’m not good enough”
“I am unlovable”
“Do whatever it takes to be happy”
“God doesn’t care about me”
The problem is we don’t simply hear these lies, we live the lies. You can see how living these lies will greatly affect your soul and your life. It's why Jesus calls the devil a murderer. He kills the joy and peace which Christ promises. The flesh is how the disordered desires, that were created by the lies we believe, play out in our lives. The flesh is where we take the lies to heart and prioritize the ideas from the Devil. Create our own truths to satisfy our self-seeking needs and internalize the lies of our external enemy.
The third prong of evil is the world. And we are not talking about the world as the big blue and green ball that we are currently riding on through space at 62,000 miles an hour. The Bible refers to the world as the place where the Devil rules and reigns. Unfortunately, we are living in enemy territory where the Devil opposes God. This is where the Devil's lies and ideas are normalized. No question, we face a daunting opponent, but God knows the battle and has joined the fight with His truth and protection.
Jesus knew what we would face when dealing with the world. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus gave us a beautiful prayer to read and live by for all
of time. In this prayer, He asked God to protect us from the lies of the world.
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by [a] the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” - John 17:15-18
Tomorrow we will look at how we can join God and live both in His truth and protection, and in the world at the same time.
Today reflect on what are the lies from the enemy that you might be living?