Did you know Satan is environmentally friendly? Not really. He just hijacks what God designed first, twists it, and sells it to anyone who will buy. He repurposes situations and thoughts to see his own demented schemes play out. If you find yourself lost in discouragement, depression or confusion, keep reading. I have good news.
I used to listen to a song from the Curious George soundtrack with my little boy, called “Reduce Reuse Recycle”. I recently found that CD again and for some reason, those three R’s came to mind in a new, spiritual way. Satan’s ways are far from environment-friendly. He has a set of R's he wants to try on you, maybe even today, to change your mental environment until you feel useless and defeated. So buyer, beware! He will try to:
Reduce your power to diminish your potential
Reuse your failures to keep you discouraged
Recycle the same old lies to hold you in bondage
When he does, it is fight time. Are you ready for the good news? You, friend, can have a 3-R strategy too:
1. Reduce him back to his actual status. The Devil may be the “prince of the air” influencing airwaves since the fall of man, but next to our great God, there’s no comparison. Remind yourself who is who.
Who is Satan? He is an "angel reject" and a liar. Being booted from heaven, he was left to roam earth, and whisper his will in our ears. He’ll use anyone he can by speaking his native language of lies. Don’t you listen. Let that red flag rise up in your soul and name its source. Say boldly, “I will not let you, a reject from heaven, determine what I do. Greater is he within me, Jesus Christ, and I’m walking in his power!”
Who are you? My identity go-to list is one packed with powerful statements and it might be familiar: Who You Are In Christ. Every one of them is backed by God-breathed scripture. Here are those twenty-seven different reminders that you, my friend, are accepted, secure, and significant. You cannot afford to think a single thought about yourself that Jesus isn’t thinking. But you must have a right view of Him to begin with. Which leads me to the next “who”...
Who is God? If your perception of God keeps shifting with unsurety, I’ve found the best ways to uncover what He’s like. Dive deep into the names of God (I found this one. I love its simplicity and pronunciations) or the names of Jesus, like this one. Then on a more practical note, pick your favorite gospel and learn what Jesus was like - what he did every day, how he reacted to people face to face. I promise your eyes will open. A veil will even be lifted for you to see who the Father is, only with touchable skin and compassionate eyes. “He is the exact living image...of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]”.
2. Reuse lessons you've learned to build "GODfidence".
Focusing on how you have overcome and what you’ve learned in that process is so valuable in gaining spiritual momentum and what I love to call not confidence, but GODfidence. Our enemy, that demoted cherub who Christ defeated centuries ago, needs you to keep dwelling on your failure. The shortcomings, the poor decisions, the stupid mistakes that make you feel never quite good enough. But the blood of Christ speaks a higher, more powerful truth. It covers all of that. His resurrection and gift of the Spirit assure us that not only are we good enough (acceptable in his sight), we are conquerors.
So what if instead of accepting a thought Satan throws at you, you caught it and threw it back, confessing, “that’s not my thought. I’m set free. And I’ve come so far! Sure, I have room to grow, but the Holy Spirit in me is at work all the time.”
Realize that past failures and mistakes are God’s stepping stones to victory. Then just take a moment to jot down things you used to do and ways you used to cope, but you don’t anymore. Now, isn’t that the perfect lead-in to worship? Reusing lessons learned should take you right to a place of worship, thanking Him with a full heart, for all He’s done.
3. Recycle the promises that God has spoken, and watch freedom show up.
When lie after lie after partial truth / partial lie keep pounding your mind like a hammer on a windshield, it’s very hard to see what truth looks like after a while. Right perspective can seem so fragmented. Here are some ideas that will help you rise above discouragement, depression or confusion:
Do a search on the Promises of God related to the exact topic with which you’re struggling. Is it addiction or bondage that has you in its clutches? Here’s one on freedom. Is it anxiety or stress? Here are his promises about peace. Read those things out loud, believing them! Re-state them with hope, starting each one with “Thank you that…” This re-stating strategy positions you in a place of thanksgiving for what he’s already done. At the same time, it dislodges you from a place where focus was set on what’s wrong, lacking, or not happening how you thought it would. How about entertaining the idea of turning your prayers for the rest of this year into prayers primarily of thanks - thanks for what’s been done, and thanks in advance - in faith - for what you haven’t yet seen?
Something else that can give you a boost is to Recall a Trusted Prophetic Word spoken over you in the past. I’ve grazed through old journals and found myself out of discouragement fast, and in tears, thinking, “Maybe there’s still something to this. It was an anointed moment in my history with God.”
To sum up, when the enemy of your soul aims to REDUCE your power in order to diminish your potential, Reduce him back to his actual status. Remember who is who. When Satan tries to REUSE your failures to keep you discouraged, Reuse the lessons you've learned and write out how you’ve grown. And when he attempts to RECYCLE lies to hold you in bondage, turn right around and Recycle the timeless promises that God has spoken. There’s only one thing to do at that point...feel His freedom release, and walk in it.
There are plenty more strategies available to us. What is one that works well for you in fighting mental battles?
Chelan works in Prevention and Communications for RBI, as well as being a part of the Speaker's Team. Her passion is to see freedom released by the power of God's Spirit. She is in this fight joyfully and for the long haul. Other than writing, Chelan loves to sing her heart out and hang with her family of four in their Newberg, Oregon home.