I was scrolling through Facebook recently and saw this:
Can I tell you how much I despise this meme? This saying? This thought – concept – idea?! I detest it because it’s a lie.
So let’s just clear this up right now. The enemy doesn’t care if you carry a Bible. That doesn’t affect him. Neither does opening it. And I can assure you he hasn’t fainted because you’re reading it. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s very active when you’re reading the Bible; sitting right next to you, whispering lies, harassing you and working to distract you.
And while he hates to see you living in obedience to God’s Word, it will not make him flee. If that were true, we would never fight any battles, right? If that were true, then living in obedience to God’s Word would prevent the enemy from ever being able to get near you. If this saying is true, then you would never encounter the enemy when you live in obedience.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that some of the fiercest attacks come when I am living in obedience to God’s Word and following His directives for my life. I find that when I am living out the will of God and applying Truth to my life, the enemy comes at me full force.
So the saying on this meme just doesn’t make any sense. None of it has any scriptural basis to it. And the thought of the devil having a headache is just silly.
I’m pretty sure the enemy wrote this clever, little saying in an attempt to deceive us into thinking that carrying and opening the Bible would be enough to restrain him. Or that obedience is what it takes to evict him from our life.
The enemy’s purpose in this catchy tidbit is to cunningly influence our thinking. he wants us to question and accuse Abba for the difficulties we experience as we live obediently and never give him a second thought – because he should have fainted and been inactive long ago – right? And, as often as some of us read the Word of God, the enemy ought to stay perpetually woozy, moving in and out of a state of consciousness. So the complications, difficulties, frustrations, problems and chaos must be God – right? Because the enemy is out cold……
he drops these little, deceptive nuggets into our thoughts so that we never do what is actually needed to evict him and drive him away. So that we continue to adhere to an ineffective method of dealing with him. So that we never recognize his activity in our life. So that we assume that he has been dealt with.
And obviously he has succeeded because this witty saying has circled the globe because we have shared it. And we would never share anything we don’t believe or think is true. And what we believe or think is true shapes our actions and choices. How we think determines how we live.
The Truth is, two things must happen with consistency in order for the enemy to flee. And we find both of these things in James 4:7 (Amp) So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
- Submission. The first step to evicting the enemy is to submit to God. We’ve got to live in humility. Living humbly means we recognize and acknowledge that we must have Him at the center of everything we are and everything we do. It means we are constantly looking to Abba for wisdom and direction. It’s knowing that we can’t do anything without Him.
Obedience is important – but let’s be real; sometimes our obedience is simply going through the motions. It’s only when we obey from a submissive and humble heart that an impact is made. It’s all about the position of our heart.
- Resist. This means we actively push back against the enemy, standing firm in the position of Truth, refusing to be moved. In order for the enemy to flee, we have to fight back. It’s more than obedience, it’s aggression. he flees not because we passively live in obedience but because we aggressively address his activity in our circumstances.
And this aggressive behavior is done by speaking the Word – out loud. The enemy cannot read your thoughts. So if you’re going to evict him and drive him away, you’re going to need to pull out the Sword of the Spirit and use the authority of Jesus to address the enemy’s activity in your life. Speak verses that directly apply to your situation – relentlessly. Speak them with confidence and authority. As you do this, you’ll find the enemy cannot stay in the atmosphere you create and he will run. he can’t live in that environment. (Matthew 4:4)
So let’s reject this lie, change how we think and apply Truth. This will be the new meme:
Why don’t you share this one and spread it around? As followers of Jesus, we’ll be much better equipped and successful if we live this way.
I think I’m going to start a new blog category “Can we stop saying that?!” and debunk all the silly, un-Scriptural things we as followers of Jesus say. Be on the look-out.
NOTE: When I write, I always use lower case letters for the enemy’s name and the pronouns referring to him. I can’t bring myself to dignify his existence with a capital letter.