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5 Lies Satan Uses to Deceive You

Posted on: July 15, 2017


Scripture calls Satan both “the father of lies” and “the destroyer.” Last week we made the point that Satan’s main strategy in the spiritual war in which we all find ourselves is to deceive us in order to destroy us.

This week, we will look at some of the specific lies the enemy tries to get us to believe and act on.

Chris Thurman has written a book entitled The Lies We Believe, in which he compiled an impressive list of lies that people believe, based on his years of practice as a Christian psychologist. They fall into five categories.

  1. Self-lies

We are all very skilled at believing lies about ourselves, and these lies can make us truly miserable. “I have to be perfect.” “My problems are someone else’s fault.” “Happiness is impossible unless things go my way.”

These lies put self and our performance at the center of our happiness. And since Scripture calls us to a life of selflessness and grace, these lies keep us mired in defeat. As we embrace scriptural truth, the Holy Spirit will dislodge these lies and put us on the path of accurate self-perception.

  1. Worldly Lies: 

The world tells us, “You can have it all.”  “You are only as good as what you do.”  “Life should be easy.”  “Life should be fair.”

These lies put us under soul-crushing expectations. We cannot have it all. Our worth is not based on our accomplishments, but on the fact that we have been created in the image of God. Life is not easy, and it is certainly not fair. Only as we dislodge these lies can we be freed up to accept God’s evaluation of life, and let Him direct us into a life of purpose and meaning.

  1. Marital Lies

When marriages strain and fray, there are predictable lies that the respective partners are commonly tempted to believe. “This is all your fault.” “You should meet all my needs.” “If it’s this hard, we must not be right for each other.”

Scripture drives a stake into the heart of these lies. It is only as each partner accepts 100% of his/her responsibility in the marriage that the marriage can thrive as it should. Rather than trying to squeeze one’s own needs out of the other person, each one should give his/her part to the other, encouraging the other to give his/her part back. It takes two to tango in a marriage, but the partner is more likely to do his/her part if we are doing ours. This will never happen as long as we continue to believe these marital lies.

  1. Distortion Lies

“Making mountains out of molehills.” “Seeing things in black and white only.” “Taking things personally.” “Don’t confuse me with the facts.” These are distortions that keep us from seeing reality accurately.

Just as a marksman cannot hit his target if he cannot see it clearly, so Christians will not hit their life targets if their sight is distorted by lies. As we fill our minds with Scripture, the truth clarifies reality and allows us to escape the dangers of distortion.

  1. Religious Lies

Religious lies are especially deceptive, since we often stumble into them trying to do God’s will. “I have to earn God’s love.” “All my problems are caused by some sin I have committed.” “If I were a good Christian, I wouldn’t struggle with sin.” “God cannot use me unless I’m perfect.”

While zealous Christians are often susceptible to religious lies, less careful Christians can also be susceptible to them, feeling that it’s hopeless to try to live a committed Christian life, because they are so fatally flawed.

Wrapping It Up

Dealing with these lies can be a challenge because one of the characteristics of deception is that we don’t know we’re being deceived. When we see the deception, we are no longer deceived. But here are some simple steps to dealing with lies we may be believing.

  1. Notice Emotional Dissonance: We can use emotional dissonance to alert ourselves to the fact that we may be believing lies. The fruit of the Spirit starts out with peace. Whenever we experience the opposite… dissonance, agitation and distress… it may be because we are believing the enemy’s lies.
  2. Identify the Lie: When an event or condition triggers emotional dissonance, we identify the feeling (anger, fear, discouragement), and then identify what we are telling ourselves about that event/condition that may not be true. Perhaps it will be one of the lies we looked at above from Chris’s book.
  3. Tell Yourself the Truth:  We tell ourselves the truth about the event/condition, and change our perception of it.  When we recognize a lie as a lie, and replace it with truth, that can begin a process (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly) that heals the dissonance and strengthens us for more stable living.

While this simple 3-step process might be effective in a given situation, there may be other situations in which we won’t see our way through clearly. It may take additional Bible study, prayer, counsel with wise and godly people, reading books, memorizing and meditating on Scripture.

If this is an area you are struggling with, you might begin by getting Chris’s book, The Lies We Believe, and digesting it.

The bottom line is that Satan is out to deceive us and destroy us. If we are alert to his strategies and the lies he uses to deceive us, we are in a much better position to resist his deceptions and walk in the light of truth.

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