Here are three lies of the devil to watch for in the New Year, courtesy of a kind reader.
The first is “It’s not for you.” The way this one works on me is that I see a Christian who is walking in the Spirit, who is being greatly used, and I say to myself, “God has blessed him and favors him. He is a special case and I cannot hope to have the same victories.” There is nothing the devil likes better than to see us exclude ourselves from the possibility of certain blessings. We can affirm every doctrine in the Bible all day long without him minding it in the least—as long as we do not believe the doctrines for ourselves. A length of perfectly good chain is rendered useless by a single rotten link.
The second lie is “It’s not for now.” The way this one works on me is that though I read in the Bible about how Christ has come that we might have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10), I find my expectations lowered by those who keep wanting to put a ceiling on those expectations. And though I read that Jesus has scattered abroad his gifts (2 Corinthians 9:9), I am unsettled by the voices that say these things were for the old days, and are for heaven, but are not for now.
The third lie is “It won’t last.” When I fall for that one I tend to compare the joys given by Christ with past joys I have known that have not lasted. And so I treat the holy as the common. I knew a woman who was happily married and had two beautiful daughters, yet who would not allow herself to be joyful in her present state because she was always “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
“It’s not for you,” It’s not for now,” and “It won’t last” are Enemy propaganda. They should be easy enough to spot because Satan’s “wisdom” is always negative and depressing rather than uplifting. The only hope of escape from its sometimes-subtle poison is to do spiritual warfare at the first whiff of them. And the way to do spiritual warfare is to immediately and robustly counter the lies with the truth.
And you and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.