He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. (John 8:44)
The devil is a liar.
Go ahead and read that sentence again. This time, notice the emphasis. The devil doesn’t just tell lies. He is not just a spreader of false news or someone who avoids telling the truth to spare himself (and others) pain and embarrassment. He doesn’t just lie as a part of a larger, overarching strategy of evil.
The devil lies because in his rebellion against God, his very nature has become corrupted. He has utterly and totally and fully rejected the One Who IS Truth. Truth is absent in him. In a certain sense, therefore, we can say that his very identity, his very nature is now a lie, and this nature is opposed to the nature of God. The Enemy despises God and the things of God—and particularly his children. He has set his thoughts, actions, and the power of his kingdom of lies against us, desiring most of all that, twisted and confused by the false testimony of darkness, we would abuse the gift of our free will and reject or close ourselves off to the Father’s invitation to restoration, renewal, freedom, and new life.
The apostle Paul spent time spreading awareness of, and equipping his people for, this battle between Satan and the Children of God. In his letter to the Church at Ephesus, Paul wrote: “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12) Paul understood that in our quest for holiness and justice in this life, we would face opposition not only from the natural order (e.g., from the temptations, obstacles, and wounds that come from living in a world that is imperfect and itself wounded by the Fall) but also from the supernatural realm. Principalities and powers in this passage refer to members of the hierarchy of fallen angels. Paul understands, therefore, that even though Jesus Christ has won the victory over Satan and his kingdom, the supernatural forces of that kingdom still array themselves against every believer and community hoping to frustrate, stave off, and block the manifestation of that victory in our lives.
If, indeed, we are in a battle, then it is in our best interest to understand the battlefield. On a tactical level, knowing the shape and geography of the landscape can provide a solid advantage. If we return to the Word of God, we will discover that Scripture is crystal clear about where this battle will be fought—in the heart.
Now, in our 21st century usage, the “heart” often signifies affections or emotions. The battle that we fight, however, is not primarily about feelings or emotionally charged opinions. It goes much deeper. Scripturally, the heart refers to the center of the human person, the foundation of physical, emotional, intellectual, and moral activity. We may only see the surface appearance of a thing, 1 Samuel 16 says, “but the Lord looks into the heart.” (7) In this worldview, the heart is the place of deep thought, understanding, and moral choice. That is why we are called to love the Lord with “all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37).
The Enemy has chosen the heart as the battlefield for just these reasons. If he can blind and deceive and trick the human heart, if he can bind it with all sorts of shame, self hatred, accusation, and condemnation, if he can warp our understanding of who God is and who we are—then we are more likely to bring forth the rotting fruits of the kingdom of darkness. In other words, we are more likely to sin and reject the mercy of God in our lives.
We Are Not Defenseless
In this spiritual warfare, we are not defenseless. The Lord has provided us with everything we need to persevere and prevail against the devil. In The 10 Biggest Lies of the Enemy and How to Combat Them, these weapons are explained in detail. Each of the 10 Biggest Lies the Enemy tries to bind us with is exposed, and the reader will receive tools and strategies that release the grace and mercy of God for our freedom. Each of the chapters on the lies utilize the following format, highlighting the weapons given to us by the Lord for our freedom:
Speaking the Lie
Each chapter will be titled with the general version of a particular lie. However, these lies manifest in the lives of different people in a number of different ways. This section of the chapter will list out particular examples of the lie. Although these examples are not exhaustive, reading these particular manifestations of the lie prayerfully can help reveal whether or not your life has been bound or effected in some way by that lie.
Encountering the Truth
Ultimately, each chapter will focus on the Truth of God revealed in Jesus Christ. By exploring Scripture & Tradition, we encounter the fundamental Truth which each lie seeks to confuse, deny, block, or subvert. This is more than a catechetical teaching or a knowledge dump. What the bible and the teaching of the apostles reveals is none other than the Person of Jesus Christ. Combined with the rest of the chapter sections, we hope to facilitate an encounter with Jesus that leads to freedom.
Unsheathing The Sword of the Spirit
This section contains a short reading of God’s Word designed to penetrate and cut away anything related to the lie. There is considerable power available in the Word of God for those who wish to do more than memorize verses. You might find it helpful to pray for a few minutes before reading these scriptures and ask the Lord specifically for the grace to receive exactly the message he is trying to communicate to you at this time in your life. Then, read the specific passage slowly and prayerfully several times. Take note of any words or phrases that jump out at you. When you are finished reading the passage, ask the Lord to shed more light on the word(s) or passage that jumped out at you. Ask God to reveal to you what, specifically, that word or phrase might have to do with experiencing freedom in your life right now.
Prayer of Renunciation
This isn’t a magic formula or self-help “mantra.” This section of the chapter will have a sample prayer of renunciation that you can make, intentionally breaking the power of that particular lie or wound in the name of Jesus Christ. You are encouraged to make your own, spontaneous prayer of renunciation, but should feel free to use this whenever you need. You also may find this prayer helpful to recite whenever you are particularly conscious of the lie’s power manifesting in your life.
Invoking the Saints
Here you will find the name and (very) brief history of a particular saint whose journey reveals a victory over the power of that specific lie. As the Lord begins to reveal the nature of the wound or lie you are wrestling with, you can ask this saint for his or her prayers and companionship.
The 10 Biggest Lies of the Enemy and How to Combat Them is available now from Catholic bookstores and online retailers. You can order from Amazon by clicking here.
The time for freedom is now!