By Gena Barnhill @BarnhillGena
I grew up thinking the devil wasn’t real but instead was a fabricated excuse people used to place blame outside themselves when they did something that caused shame or embarrassment. Comedian Flip Wilson reinforced this belief every time he jokingly said, “The devil made me do it.”
I later learned the devil is a real entity. The devil attacks us through temptation, accusation, or deception. John 8:44 states that he is a liar and the father of lies. We do not need to fear the devil (our enemy) because Jesus said in Luke 10:19: “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
However, we need to be aware of the enemy’s tactics so that we do not fall prey to them. The devil and his demons lie to deceive us. They aim to destroy us and separate us from God. The enemy uses lies and partial truths to create doubt about God’s promises. He convinced Eve in the Garden of Eden that God was holding out on her.
By choosing to ignore that the devil exists, we set ourselves up to fall victim to his ploys. In Hosea 4:6, we read that the Lord said: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We need to arm ourselves with knowledge and stay close to the Lord and His protection. The more we draw closer to the Lord, the more we will recognize His voice, and His truth will set us free.
In Chronicles 18:22, we read about God putting a lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets. God does not lie, and He abhors lying. The Ten Commandments address lying by stating we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor. God punished Ananias and Saphira for lying in Acts 5. Matthew 24:24 warns us that false prophets and messiahs will arise in the latter days to lead us astray. First Timothy 4:1 says there will be a release of lying spirits in the last days.
It can manifest in the following behaviors:
Have you met people who frequently lie? Each day we hear of some scam, fraudulent activity, or dishonesty on the news. I often hear people say, “What is this world coming to? Who can I believe?”
The good news is that we do not need to be weighed down by corruption and negative events. The Lord never promised an easy, conflict-free life, but we can live a life full of joy when the Lord is at the center of our lives. James 4:7 says, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
An understanding that there are negative spiritual forces that work to separate us from God and each other is essential so that we can discern when spirits of deception and lying spirits are operating. However, we do not need to be overly focused on demonic forces. Not everything bad that happens to us is the result of demonic activity. Sometimes we make bad choices.
Lying spirits also can work in conjunction with other spirits, such as shame, to cause harm. Again, seek the Lord daily, and ask Him to guide you in truth.
S– Stay close to the Lord so we can discern His voice from the world’s distractions and the enemy. Stay away from people who habitually lie and deceive. We may sense the Lord’s voice as a whisper, a thought that comes to our mind, through a dream or vision, or from another person or the Scriptures.
T– Test what we hear and see. First John 4:1-6 tells us not to believe every spirit but to evaluate them. John warns that there will be many false prophets, and we need to assess if they are from God. If what we are sensing does not line up with the Scriptures, discard it.
E– Examine our hearts and minds. Are our hearts guided by the Holy Spirit? Are our minds alert? The enemy takes a kernel of truth and twists it, so we need to be alert to recognize when truth has been distorted and disregard it.
P- Petition the Lord for His truth. He never lies. If we have lied, we can ask the Lord for forgiveness. If others have lied to us, we can forgive them with the help of the Holy Spirit.
S– Surround yourself with others who hear clearly from the Lord and seek wise counsel. Put on the full armor of God described in Ephesians 6 each day. Our battles are not against other people as the enemy would have us believe, but against spiritual forces.
What thoughts do you have regarding the spirit of deception/lying? Be sure to share them in our Facebook Group Healing Prayer Discussion.
We are all stronger when we learn from each other. Looking forward to your input.