The Victory of Jesus Christ
According to the Scriptures, Jesus appeared to"destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3:8). He disarmed and "made a public spectacle of them (the powers and authorities), triumphing over them by the cross." (Colossians 2:15). This means that Satan is a defeated enemy and that "he who is within us (Christ by his Spirit) is greater than the one who is in the world (Satan)." (1 John 4:4).
Satan's ultimate - and total - defeat lies in the future and for now he still is granted a limited amount of power over the world, "the whole world is under the control of the evil one." (1 John 5:19). That's the world, but how does Satan influence believers? He cannot possess them, but he does oppress us: how does that work?
Satan's chief influence upon believers is through deceit and LIES.
Satan tells us lies.
We know this because the spiritual weapons of our warfare given in Ephesians 6 include the "belt of truth" and "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." We know this because he stumbled our first parents with lies (Genesis 3). We know this because Jesus answered him with truth (Matthew 4) and we know this because Jesus called him "the father of lies." (John 8:44).
Satan tells believers lies.
And if we believe those lies, we shall find ourselves "under his spell." Understanding this fact is truly liberating. Because immediately then you are equipped to evaluate all the lies you have been listening to and equipped to respond with truth, "it is written."
Some of Satan's Lies
LIE 1: "Your sins of the past have not been forgiven"
THE TRUTH? "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." (Is 43:25)
LIE 2: "You will never be able to change!"
THE TRUTH? "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3)
LIE 3: "God doesn't love you!"
THE TRUTH? "For we know, brothers, loved by God, that he has chosen you.." (1 Thess 1:4) "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1)
LIE 4: "If you do that, it will be good"
THE TRUTH? "In the day you eat of it you shall surely die!" (Genesis 2:17 ) "sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:15)
LIE 5: "This Gospel advance will never succeed!"
THE TRUTH? "All authority has been given to me... Go and make disciples... I am with you always." (Matthew 28)
Examining our hearts
When Satan whispers a lie in our ears, and we find ourselves falling for it, it always produces a negative feeling in our hearts. It may produce guilt, fear, loss of courage, whatever. This is a major way to recognise his lies:- what's the effect upon our hearts?
When Paul was writing about the spiritual battle in Ephesians 6, he owned up to one of his own feelings - fear. His task was a preacher, so Satan would whisper dark thoughts into his ears, "You're not a good preacher" "You'll get in trouble if you say that", and so on. And so twice, right at the end of this letter Paul asks for boldness. Instead of believing the lies of the evil one and backing off preaching, he wanted to preach with courage.
Examine those dark emotions. Where do they come from? Are they the result of believing the lies of Satan?
Overcome them with Truth!