Why were Adam and Eve so easily deceived? Why did Eve believe a lie so easily and Adam went along with it? My dad used to say, “…tricked hook, line, and sinker.” Adam and Eve were in perfection, face to face with God himself. The snake was able to twist things around and Eve believed his lie. And the enemy of our soul, the devil, has been lying to us ever since. Lies, deception, twisting words, and false beliefs are all tools of the enemy. 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 says, “For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
The same battle still exists. Even today, the enemy of our souls can trick you and me into believing lies. So, what is the pathway to victory in overcoming the lies that we believe? The first step is realizing that we fall prey to lies. Whether they are from outside of ourselves, or our own inner dialogue, we have to realize that we can be deceived. The biggest deception is to believe, “I can’t be deceived!” Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
If we are so easily deceived, and if we are “beyond cure” then what is the solution? Jesus said in John 14:16, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus testifies to the truth and teaches the truth because He Himself is Truth. Jesus did not deceive, He didn’t mislead, and He was never fake or uncertain. Jesus is the only one who can legitimately claim to be Truth. Truth is a person. As we walk hand in hand with Jesus, we can know the truth and the truth will set us free. John 8:31-32 says, “So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’”
One of the battlegrounds against deception is our own thoughts. We deceive ourselves. This is called “self-deception.” I don’t know anyone who is free from the struggle of negative thoughts and self-deception. Don’t fool around with this. Do a quick analysis of the negative thoughts floating around in your mind. Pick one negative thought and ask yourself, “Does Jesus agree with this statement?” That is a powerful tool to help you realize lies cause the negativity in our thinking.
Dr. Daniel Amen has introduced some language in his books that explains what happens. The term he coined is “Automatic Negative Thoughts” (or ANTs) as we like to call them. They are the kind of thoughts that sound like:
- “I’m not worthy.”
- “It will never work.”
- “I’ll never have enough money.”
- “I can’t get this done.”
- “I don’t have enough time.”
- “I’m too tired.”
- “They won’t understand.”
- “It’s not safe.”
- “It’s too risky.”
- “There is something wrong with me.”
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “Nobody cares anyway.”
- “Things will always be this way”
- …and, the list goes on and on.
Those types of thoughts are Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) and statements that Jesus does not agree with. So, squish those ANTs! Deny the lie and walk in freedom.
My husband and I have devoted several years of our lives to detect these thoughts in our minds and prayerfully replace them with new, truthful, scripts. Brain research shows that it takes 140 repetitions of the new script to burn a new neural-pathway. A good friend calls this “motto therapy.” Jesus Christ said, “The truth will set you free.” Why does the truth set us free? Because He sets us free from the thoughts that hold us back when we ask Him for the truth. We are free to pursue all that the Lord has for us without the boat anchors of deception weighing us down.
What does “truth that sets people free” look like? It is following Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 10: “We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Does Jesus agree with my negative self-talk? Does he agree with my false belief? No. He wants me to deny the lie. When I think “I am not worthy,” I replace it with the truth statement “Jesus says I am worthy, He died for me.” When I think “They won’t understand me,” I replace it with the truth statement, “Jesus always understands me, He knows my heart.” Those are just two examples of how to take your deceptive thoughts captive.
Sometimes you need the help of the Body of Christ to get breakthrough. James 5:6 encourages us to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” There are ministries that use Biblical models for inner healing such as: SOZO, Theophostic Prayer Ministry, Elijah House, Global Awakening and others. The “inner healing” movement is growing, because it’s needed and Biblical. For more information, refer to the inner healing resources at the Megamorphosis Magazine website.
Denying the lie and replacing it with truth takes consistent effort. But it is worth it. I pray you pursue and apprehend the freedom that is available in Christ, and base your life on Truth, the Solid Rock. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Deny the lie, receive the Truth. It’s a powerful exchange.