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Several years ago I faced the spiritual battle of my lifetime.  What I experienced some people would call crazy or maybe just my imagination.  I struggled intensely for a year with subtle yet voracious voices in my head that constantly berated me and told me that I was never  going to be good enough for God.  These voices told me that nothing I could do would get me to where I needed to be, and the words I heard were full of accusation and condemnation. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)  It was a year of darkness and a valley that was filled with shadows.  Nevertheless, HE was with me, leading me to the still waters of His presence. (Psalm 23)

That year I learned an important lesson.  I discovered firsthand that Satan is the Father of Lies (John 8:44) and he is also the Great Accuser. (Revelation 12:10) He wanted me to believe lies that would keep me trapped in self-righteousness (always trying to earn my way to God) and condemnation (overwhelming guilt that constantly nagged at my heart and mind); lies that would keep me from Truth Himself.  There was no freedom in this way of living and thinking. (Ephesians 6:12)

I learned that year that much of the battle for my spiritual freedom was in my mind.  I had to learn the difference between the lying and condemning voice of the enemy, and the truthful and kind voice of My Savior.  The way I could discern such a difference was to know the WORD of GOD.  I learned to know the voice of God through scripture and to then hold that up to what I was thinking/hearing.  (John 10:27)  If my thoughts were contrary to the Bible, I knew it was The Accuser trying to discourage me and defeat me with patterns of thinking that kept me living according to legalistic requirements, religious duty, and spiritual perfectionism.  Christ wanted relationship with me and made a way for my freedom from those chains of guilt and strife.  As He tuned my heart to know His voice, I began to allow the Holy Spirit to wash my mind with the Words of God and with His tender affection; His love that is strong enough to break the bars of anyone’s prison.

I realized that, in Jesus, God had delivered me from my enemies as soon as I called out to Him.  He came for me with dramatic strength and splendor…He thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice, He bowed the heavens and came down, He sent out His arrows and scattered my foe…the foundations of the world were uncovered at His rebuke…and He took me, He drew me out of those high and overwhelming waters of deception, and He delivered Me the way only the Savior of the world could deliver me.  All this not because He had to, but because He delighted in me (Psalm 18).  Although this poetry is beautiful, it is truly the internal and spiritual experience I had with God that shook the lies out of their settled places in my heart and mind and ushered me into a new realm of freedom that I have walked in ever since.

He delights in me and He delights in you.  He displayed His strength and deliverance in a personal and life changing way to me that year of trial, but the eternal and tangible truth is that He delivered the entire world once and for all at the cross.  The battle is over. Satan, the Liar, has been defeated, but we must claim our freedom and walk it out until He returns.

Jesus came to set the captives free. (Isaiah 61:1-4)  He set me free.  I still hear lies and voices of condemnation from time to time, but they don’t carry the power they used to.  The Truths of God have disarmed my adversary.  I no longer stay trapped under the strength of those voices, but rather I have learned to literally call them out for what they are- LIES – and speak TRUTH that replaces those lies. When I sense condemnation or fear or accusation echoing in my heart, I stop in my tracks and remind myself (sometimes out loud) of scriptures that affirm truth and replace those thoughts with God’s word.  We learn from the Bible that we can find freedom in spiritual battles as we take every thought captive that does not line up with the truth of Jesus and submit our thought life to His authority.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

One truth that is essential to know and live out of is that in Christ we are ACCEPTED.  We belong and He calls us His own beloved children- (1 John 3:1) with no strings attached.  Even when we were far from Him, He offered His deliverance, forgiveness and truth. (Romans 8:6) His love and acceptance is not based on our performance, behavior or religiousity.  It is based on a heart to heart connection with our Maker.  He wants relationship and He made the way for us to come back to have that closeness with Him.

He chose us before the foundation of the world to be His. (Ephesians 1:4)  He paid a dear price for us (1 Peter 1:17-19) and we are His precious treasure (Deuteronomy 7:6).  Allow God’s words to arrest the lies of the enemy and to set you free.

Do not think that negative thoughts and “voices” are no big deal.  Take truth seriously and be renewed in your mind with the TRUTH that brings FREEDOM.  Your spiritual life really does depend on it.  You don’t have to live under the bondage of accusation, fear, condemnation and lies.  You’ve already been ransomed by the blood of Jesus.  You’re covered by His love.  Step into Him by faith and He will meet you there.  As we approach the Easter reality that we have LIFE because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, reflect and receive the Truth of your inheritance as one of Christ’s own.

Speak these scriptures out loud and if there is resistance in your heart or disbelief in your mind, go directly to God and ask Him to set your free from the lies of Satan and to give you faith to see and know the truth.  Practice holding up your thoughts against scripture and ask God to help you align your thoughts with His.  It’s not about recitation- its about relationship. These verses are meant to lead you to the heart of God, and into new understanding about life in this world as a one of His own.  Open your heart and connect with Him through His word.  He longs to speak truth to the tender places that only you and Him know about.  The lies that you have suffered under; the devastation that needs restoration, the brokeness that needs healing.  He wants to meet you in those places and bring you to freedom and wholeness.

I  am accepted…

I am God’s child ~ John 1:12

As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ ~ John 15:15

I have been justified ~ Romans 5:1

I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit ~ 1 Corin. 6:17

I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God ~ 1 Corin. 6:19-20

I am a member of Christ’s body, the church ~ 1 Corin. 12:27

I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child ~ Ephesians 1:3-8

I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit ~ Ephesians 2:18

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins ~ Colossians 1:13-14

I am complete in Christ ~ Colossians 2:9-10

I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ ~ Hebrews 4:14-16

Scripture list take from Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ by Neil Anderson

May you allow the Holy Spirit to wash over your mind with the affection and affirmation of your Creator and Savior through His word. (Ephesians 5:26)  May you know your place under the shadow of His wings and as the apple of His eye. (Psalm 17:8)

~ Wrapped in His Affection ~