Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Truth is the pathway to freedom. Those who walk in truth walk in freedom.
At the very root of captivity is deception. Every stronghold that we find ourselves bound up in can be traced back to deception…a lie we have believed…about God, about someone else, about ourselves.
“He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44b
Deception is the enemy’s specialty. If we ever find ourselves being deceived, we can be certain whose fingerprints are all over it. In the very same chapter of Scripture, we hear Jesus tell us that truth is the pathway to freedom AND that Satan is the Father of Lies. Jesus identifies Himself as the Truth who sets us free. That’s His name. It’s His character. It’s who He is, and it’s what He does. He then goes on to identify the enemy as a liar. That’s his name. It’s his character. It’s who he is, and it’s what he does. When he speaks, he lies. It’s his native language.
The enemy’s deception operates in lots of different ways. I’m not sure it matters which approach he takes, just so long as the end result is someone bound up in deception, and if you and I aren’t rooted in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and well-versed in His Word, we’re delicious prey for the enemy’s lies. He’ll lie to you about your identity. He’ll lie to you about your past. He’ll lie to you about your future. He’ll lie to you about God. And all you have to do is bite his bait.
I believe that there are MANY believers who are bound by the stronghold of deception…people who love Jesus and love His Word. Why am I so certain? Because I have been one of them. If there is anything true about me, I hope that it is that I LOVE Jesus Christ with every fiber of my being. I am passionate about His Word. I’m fervent in my pursuit of His presence. And still, I have found myself captive to deception on more than one occasion, and it’s a form of slavery that is utterly exhausting. It robs you of joy. It strangles abundant life. It confuses and distorts reality. It causes you to question and doubt what you KNOW to be true. It makes you unsteady and uncertain. It makes you weary and burdened.
And it’s time to be set free in Jesus’ name! It is time for us to start walking in truth in every area of our lives. Do not mistake appreciation for application. Do not mistake being touched for being changed. It is time to apply the Word of God and to be changed by it! Let’s get to our knees and pray God’s Word to defeat for good the stronghold of deception in our lives.
Below are a few Scripture prayers taken from Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word from the chapter Overcoming Deception. Again, I would encourage you to pray these out loud. The enemy can’t read our minds, but be sure of this: He will flee with his tail between his legs at the sound of God’s Word being directed at him.
Lord God, surely You desire truth in my inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. (Psalm 51:6) Please expose to me the deeply embedded lies I’ve believed and replace them with permanently engraved truth.
Father, Your Word exhorts us to buy the truth and never sell it, and to get wisdom, discipline, and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23) Help me to understand that sometimes truth is costly but not nearly as costly as deception. Truth will never fail to return enormous dividends.
Father God, according to Your Word, if I’m really going to be one of Your disciples, I must hold to Your teaching. Then I will know the truth, and the truth will set me free. (John 8:31-32) Help me to see the vital link between Your truth and my liberty.