15 Lies the Devil Tells the Man of GodMay 30, 2013
The work of Satan is to kill, steal, and destroy. He is a murderer of wholesome things, a roaring lion who prowls about for victims, a robber of joy and peace, and a consummate liar. Jesus declared in John 8:44 that he is the father of lies, or quite literally, the originator of deception. Every lie told is done so out of the dark character of the prince of this world. Because he can transform himself into the “angel of light” he is able to manipulate our thoughts, our attitudes, and our perception of reality.
His wicked words to Eve escorted her from paradise, yet they were disguised in a smooth philosophical vernacular. Although defeated by Christ in the wilderness, his temptations would have indeed captured the pride, lust, and heart of a lesser man. This is his game, this is his territory, this world is his dominion; and although we are the purchased possession of the Good Merchant, we are still susceptible to his whispering pretense. His manipulation is powerful, for he has the ability to speak with a mesmerizing (yet counterfeit) authority. He has lied to God’s men throughout the ages, and will continue to do so until he is arrested by the sobering truth of the Lake of Fire.
Hey preacher, the devil is lying to you. Don’t believe a word he says. Here are a few lies he is trying to convince you of:
1. You are the best preacher in the world. He wants to ensnare you with prideful thoughts and selfish ambition. In the presence of Christ, no man can boast, no preacher can stand. The encouraging pats on the back, the spiritual “high-five’s” of the brethren can turn your heart from God when mingled with the deception of Satan.
2. You are the worst preacher in the world. If he cannot defeat you with pride, he will try to discourage you with pity. Good rule of thumb: dismiss the compliments and dismiss the criticism. Find contentment in Christ.
3. People don’t care about you. If he can convince you of this, your ego and confidence in Christ will suffer. This particular lie can paralyze your preaching and minimize your ministry.
4. You make no difference in the world. This lie distracts us from the law of harvest. Remember, results belong only to God. Plant, water, plant, water. Keep planting, and keep watering. God is keeping track of the increase.
5. You could be more popular if you stayed away from preaching the Gospel. Satan knows his defeat is spelled out in the simple plan of salvation. Stand with Paul and say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel!” It is more than the message of your ministry; it is the power of your preaching, it is the truth of history.
6. You will starve in the ministry. He will entrap you with worldly possessions by directing your attention to earthly treasures. God promises to provide. They which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. He will supply all your need according to his riches in glory!
7. You are not called, you are not qualified, you are probably not even saved. Doubt is perhaps the greatest weapon in his demonic armory. Though he cannot take away your salvation, or remove your calling, he can restrict, limit, and halt your effectiveness through the use of doubt.
8. Soul-winning doesn’t work anymore. “Stay quiet, don’t tell others of Jesus. You will bother them. People are too busy, too distracted, and too sinful to hear your message of Christ. Limit your preaching to the pulpit and you will be fine.” Remember, your responsibility to the gospel is not restricted to a church building, or your opportunity to a specific time.
9. You need to lower your standards to reach the world. This is a prevailing issue among a majority of evangelicals. We in no wise should embrace the legalism or leaven of the Pharisees; however, the world needs to see a difference in the child of God. If they see in us the same thing they see in themselves, what would ever propel them to the light? Christ didn’t preach against standards, he preached against standards when substituted for salvation. The aim of standards should not be to keep men in bondage, but rather to keep men in bounds of righteous and holy living. Don’t color your salt black to reach the pepper, and don’t cover your light to reach the darkness.
10. You are above reproach. What a dangerous and destructive notion. If King David could succumb to the temptations of the flesh, my friend, you and I are no better. Guard yourself, and run at the same pace with Joseph when presented with the opportunity to sin.
11. Your personal time with God should be secondary to ministry. I believed this lie for several years in the early part of my ministry. I have since come to realize that my devotion and personal time with the Lord is what affords every other tentacle of ministry. DO NOT BELIEVE THIS LIE. YOU CAN DO NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT IN YOUR MINISTRY THAN SPEND TIME WITH GOD!
12. You need to busy your life with hundreds of responsibilities. Busyness is the plague of our society. Do not commit yourself to every fellowship, every engagement, every opportunity. Abide in your calling and stay busy trying to please the Lord, not everyone else.
13. Put your family on the back-burner, they will understand. The very first words of Satan not only destroyed the soul, it divided the family. Your family is your first priority. Your family actually qualifies you to be in the ministry. Spend time with them, and don’t neglect their needs in the attempt of building your spiritual empire.
14. The Bible has flaws. If he can get you to doubt the Word of God, he has in essence stunted your effectiveness as a servant of God.
15. You’re tired, you need to lighten up. Don’t be weary in well-doing. Although you should not over-extend yourself with frivolous responsibilities, neither should you be tempted to throw in the towel when fatigue sets in. Keep going, guard your heart, and cover your ears to the lies of Satan.