And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” – Luke 4:14-15,18
This is the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He was just tempted by Satan in the desert for 40 days, He was without food for that whole time, and He was misquoted by Satan about what He has said in HIS WORD. The very next thing, He went home to Nazareth and began to teach. This is the first account of HIS teaching, and what did He feel was the most important thing to do? He had to deal with the devil’s lies about God’s people- in their main environment, their thoughts, their minds. The battlefield is in the MIND, it is the devils playground. Jesus’ first thing to do was to convince people of the TRUTH, and DESTROY THE LIES from the FATHER OF LIES. Most depression falls into the category of situational depression and our self-talk is the culprit. In other words, our THINKING either makes us a TOY OF THE DEVIL or a usable TOOL OF GOD! 60 Million Americans struggle with depression and many more struggle with self-worth and believing in the inerrant truth of the Bible. In a great piece on foxnews.com, Christen Limbaugh Bloom wrote about the lies of the devil: Five lies God sent Jesus to destroy. The first part of Jesus’ ministry was some TRUTH THERAPY. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Leader, the only way to destroy the lies of the devil is with the TRUTH OF THE WORD, just like Jesus in Luke 4:1-12. His response was always, IT IS WRITTEN. Here are the 5 lies that Mrs. Bloom identified. Lie 1: God can’t understand or relate to our human nature. IT IS WRITTEN; “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Our God has empathy, He has walked a mile (33 years) in our sandals. He knows our frame and He knows our pain! Lie 2: God wants to control you with harsh, restrictive rules. God is a GOOD FATHER. Like all good parents He wants to teach us things so that we can have a safer, better, more productive life- like ALL GOOD PARENTS! Satan wants to keep us trapped in lifestyles that will leave us feeling isolated and empty. IT IS WRITTEN; “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10)
Conduit, the writer posits that if you have difficulty with the last lie, then you are most likely struggling, as well, with the third: Lie 3: Your way is better than God’s way. We pick and choose what we want to believe and do, and we get comfortable in the darkness- many believe that’s normal. But God created all of us to live in the light that only Jesus can provide. IT IS WRITTEN; “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness”. (1 Thessalonians 5:5) Lie 4: God is so disappointed by your failures that He could never forgive you. God is immutable (He cannot change) and God is Omniscient. (All-knowing, HE CANNOT LEARN) We serve a cosmic KNOW-IT-ALL. HE cannot be disappointed in you. HE ALREADY KNEW IT ALL, before you were! IT IS WRITTEN; “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Unfortunately, rather than accepting this as truth, our minds often replay our past mistakes and we get stuck on the fifth lie: Lie 5. You can never change. IT IS WRITTEN: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is why TRUE CONVERSION is called being, BORN AGAIN! The TIME IS NOW to destroy the lies of the devil and to believe the ONE TRUE GOD by knowing…IT IS WRITTEN! For IT IS WRITTEN; “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Amen!