At the end of the movie, “The Usual Suspects,” Kevin Spacey’s character states, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” I think that just as insidious, though, are the tricks he still pulls on those who do believe he exists. This post isn’t to give credit to the devil, but it is to address the common tactics he employs against us. We’re engaged in spiritual warfare, not wrestling against flesh and blood, and our enemy is not being passive; he’s like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8). That’s why we have to put on the whole armor of God to withstand the enemy’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11).
We are in battle and we can’t afford to listen to our enemy’s intel. He won’t give us accurate information; he’ll craft lies to combat every truth that would otherwise set us free (John 8:44) When I examine the common voices vying for attention, I can come up with a few “usual suspects,” a few common lies used to attack our faith. I believe the most common lie is that God’s promises are not for you. This lie comes in many forms and threatens to eclipse the many truths found in God’s Word ― that His grace is not for you, that you’ve gone too far, done too much, strayed too long, that you’re too broken, too damaged, too dirty, that too much has happened, you’ll never be okay, you’ll never recover, never fully be restored. Your enemy knows that if you instead believe the precious promises in God’s Word, you’ll know the Truth, you’ll be completely devoted to the cause of Christ, completely set free (John 8:32; John 17:17).
Another “usual suspect” is when the enemy tells you to look at yourself, look at your situation, look at how long you’ve been waiting for change. All of these ideas are antithetical to the Word of God and the exact opposite of where we find victory. We’re constantly reminded to look to God, look to the completed work of Jesus Christ, crucified, never to look to ourselves. Our enemy wants to keep us from looking to the God from where our help comes, keep us focused on our trials, not on the Truth. Recognize the usual, suspect voice that tells you you’re alone, tells you it’s useless to keep trying, or any of the other usual lies. Partner with a friend and confront each lie with God’s Word of Truth; lies have no power where Truth is spoken and embraced.