One of the most important aspects of fighting spiritual warfare is the ability to recognize Satan’s voice when we hear it. And by voice I am not referring to an audible sound that resonates through our ear canal and bounces off our ear drum. I’m referring to a thought strategically placed in our minds. The same place where our own thoughts originate, like, “I want pizza for lunch,” or “I’m tired, I think I’ll take a nap.” (Click here for a more in-depth discussion on the Voice of the Flesh)
Satan’s voice: Incomplete truths, deceptions, schemes, tricks, lies, temptations, partial Scripture quotes taken out of context to support a view that is opposed to God (see Matthew 4:1-11).
“He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies he is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44, NLT)
Did you catch that important phrase? When he lies he is consistent with his character. In other words, it is impossible for Satan to tell a complete truth. Maybe he can spew some half-truths, but as we know, a half-truth isn’t really the truth. It is a lie or a deception. Just as God can only act according to His character (holy, loving, just…etc.), Satan can only act according to his character (lie, deceive, accuse…etc.).
“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10, NLT)
Any thought Satan (or his demons) place in your head has this purpose, to destroy you, steal from you, or kill you (physically or spiritually). While Satan cannot snatch us from our Father’s loving hand (see Romans 8:38-39), he can render us spiritually dead, or ineffective for the cause of Christ. Nothing pleases our enemy more than seeing us stumble around in a fog of confusion over our purpose and place as children of God.
“The world around us is under the power and control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19, NLT)
We know from passages like Job 1 that Satan is limited in power to only what God has allowed him to have. So we need not have an exceptional, hysterical fear over what Satan and his minions can do. However, we should take note of and respect the power that he does have over world forces. Why else would Satan be able to offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world (see Matthew 4:8-9) if they did not belong to him? He controls the world (as God allows)—albeit temporarily. Nevertheless, until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom on earth, binding Satan for a thousand years, we will continue to see the work of the devil not only in our own lives (as he tempts us, speaks to us, accuses and oppresses us) but also in the world systems controlled by unbelievers.
“Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9, KJV)
One of Satan’s chief purposes is to deceive. Of course, one of the subtleties of deception is the deceived usually don’t recognize that they’re being deceived—hence the term, deception! If we think it will be easy to detect demonic influence, we are wrong. It won’t always be easy, and once Satan sees in our behavior that we are on to his schemes, he will try new ways to trick us. This is one of the reasons why putting on the armor of God daily is imperative to our spiritual health.
Life is not a joke to Satan. He knows what the Bible says, in fact, having been around for thousands of years we can be certain he knows the Bible better than we do. He knows what it says about his future, and he knows what it says about us, as God’s creation. We have authority over Satan, and he knows it. Rest assured, he’s not looking at us and laughing it up. A book I read recently says this: “Satan has you in his cross-hairs, and he’s not smiling.” He wants to destroy us in any way possible.
So, the first step in recognizing Satan’s voice is in understanding what his character is. When you hear “thoughts” you can test them against what we’ve already discussed (God’s Voice, the Flesh, or Satan) and see which voice the thought seems to line up with. For example, one thing I often hear, almost daily, is a thought that goes something like this, “God can control everything, and yet He is allowing this to happen. He’s not listening to your prayers anymore. He gets pleasure in seeing you suffer.” Sometimes it is easy to entertain such thoughts because there is partial truth to them. (God does indeed control everything and certainly could stop whatever is happening even though He has chosen not to.) However, it’s not enough to ignore these thoughts—we must rebuke them and reinforce the truth in place of that lie. If we fail to take this step, we are only leaving ourselves open to new attacks of a similar nature. (More will be discussed on this in the next post.)
I’m sure you can think of similar thoughts too. What sort of deceptions has the enemy consistently hounded you with over the years, either through your own thoughts or the words of others?
Still have questions? Check out these posts for more:
What’s the difference between the flesh and Satan?
Can Satan’s influence affect children?
**If you enjoyed this post and others, please take a second to enter your email address into the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!**
Rebecca Aarup has written devotionals/studies/articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. She just released a new Bible Study The Word: Six Lessons from Psalm 119 which is available as a free download on her website or in print form from Amazon. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and 5 year old, Samantha. You can read more from Rebecca by subscribing to her blog (it’s free) and following her on twitter and facebook.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this information. Satan sometimes attacks and I go into a deep depression that’s hard to turn around. I need to be able to distinguish between the voices in my head and stop satan dead in his tracks sooner. Before he has stripped me of all my defenses. I’m hoping this information will give me insight and hope for future battles.
I’m glad you found this article helpful, Dawn! Thanks for reading!
Pingback: THE POWER OF THE BELIEVER | Inspirational Christian Blogs
Reblogged this on djweeks2r1 and commented:
I discovered Rebecca Aarup recently and from what I’ve read (several postings on spiritual warfare, including knowing Satan’s character and his tactics, dealing with our flesh, and living in victory) I think she has a message worth considering. Tell me what you think.
I really like your idea of putting out a bio on Satan. Thanks, too, for your faithfulness to the Word. On my blog, djweeks2r1.wordpress.com, I have a study on Satan that I did with the men at the Syracuse Rescue Mission. I’ve changed it a little for a more general audience. I thought it might serve as an addition to the fine work you have done. Doug Weeks
Pingback: THE POWER OF THE BELIEVER | Believing God Today
Pingback: The Real Warfare is Spiritual | Inspirational Christian Blogs
Pingback: Liar, Thief and Killer! | SingleFocus
Pingback: Rebuking the Devil’s Deadly D’s (Part 1) | Rebecca Aarup
Pingback: The Difference Between… | life of a female bible warrior
Pingback: The Difference Between… | life of a female bible warrior
Here you go, Rebecca.
Oh an that “Anonymous” comment was from me…just forgot to log in first!
Well done once again, Rebecca. As I read yesterday via Kevin De Young’s wonderful book on Holiness: “… that’s essentially what spiritual warfare is: believing the truth from God instead of the lives from the devil.” (I reckon you’d like Kevin’s book, Rebecca)
I’ve held onto too many lies in my life, and the scary thing is for so long I didn’t realise that’s what they were. Hence, why it’s so important to fill up on the Word and spend time communing with God in prayer.
Ian, you’re always so encouraging to me! I threw this post together on a whim without editing it so I’m glad it made sense! I re-read it later and thought, “Wow how dreadful. I really missed it on this one.” Glad the message came through the poor editing. 🙂
What is the name of the book, I must get my hands on it!