The bible calls the devil the Father of lies (John 8:44 NIV). The devil is an expert at lying. He lied to Eve to get her to eat the fruit in the garden of Eden and has been lying to people ever since. He lies to keep us from believing in Jesus Christ, and to keep us from walking out our true identity in Christ. The devil has had a lot of practice at lying to the church as a whole, and to us as individuals. He knows what lies hit us the hardest. He knows what lies cause us to shrink back, and stop taking ground for the Kingdom of God.
For me personally, there is one lie that the devil has been attempting to speak into my life for years. It is a very simple lie with huge ramifications. The devil tries to tell me that “It doesn’t matter.”
What does that mean? Well, when I am in the midst of what some people would refer to as a “mountaintop” experience with God, it is usually characterized by a deep level of connection and intimacy with Holy Spirit that leads to action. During these mountaintop seasons, I find myself much more excited to spend time with the Lord. I thoroughly enjoy things like giving money to someone in need, or buying a coffee for the stranger behind me in line at Starbucks. In these seasons I am not only willing, but excited, to pray for healing for strangers at the grocery store. I am much faster to turn off the TV and turn my full attention towards my wife. In short, I look much more like Jesus during these seasons.
For anyone who has experienced a season like I am talking about, you also know that they come with intense persecution.
The more we step out, the more opposition we face. For me, when the persecution comes is when I become more vulnerable and susceptible to the lies of the enemy. For example, I may have just stepped out to pray for someone to be healed, and they don’t get healed. I might feel disappointed and start questioning God’s will, and that is when the enemy steps in with his fiery darts:
- “Why are you doing this? It’s not having any REAL impact.”
- “You are just going through all this pain and rejection for nothing. It’s not making a difference for eternity anyway.”
- “IT DOESN’T MATTER”
Every time that I am about to take the bait, God steps in and reminds me that His truth is far more powerful than the lies of the enemy.
Just when I am tempted to believe that my attempts to walk like Jesus don’t matter and I should give up, God ALWAYS steps in and refreshes me. He takes me back and reminds me of the things He has done through my life in the past that have yielded lasting fruit. He sends someone into my life to just thank me for a previous prayer or encouraging word.
A couple of months ago, a friend and I went to Africa to help build a church and a well. It was something we knew that God had told us to do, so we went. The trip ended up being very difficult and was met with all kinds of opposition. Things didn’t turn out exactly how we had planned while we were there. I never really told anyone, but the whole way home the enemy was attacking me with the lie that what we had done didn’t matter. The enemy tried to convince me that I had not really heard from God, and that our time in Africa had not changed anything for eternity.
He tried to convince me that I had just wasted my time and resources, along with the resources of everyone who had supported the trip.
I had been battling that for months. Then, just this past week, I received a message from the pastor in Africa stating that the tank for the well was completely full and that they were getting ready to do baptisms in the community. I also learned that 85 people were already signed up to get baptized! That’s 85 people making a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ!
Related Post: What we see is not what we get
I don’t say that to impress anyone, or pat myself on the back. I just got done saying how I was having a hard time believing that any fruit was going to come of this. I’m share that story because I have no doubt that the enemy is trying to tell others the same lie and I want to squash that lie right now. IT DOES MATTER. The way that we live matters! Our prayers matter, our encouraging words matter, our listening ears and loving attention matter! Financial giving matters! Fighting that sin on our knees behind closed doors when no one is watching matters! Stopping for just one minute to smile at someone and tell them that Jesus loves them matters!
Friends, Jesus died to redeem us. If it didn’t matter, why would God have sent Him to do that? You matter, and the way you live matters! Don’t let the father of lies ever tell you any different. Keep pressing forward, keep pressing into God, and keep stepping out. It is making a difference…
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).