Even from the garden of Eden, it’s our identity that satan targeted first. In Genesis 3:5, the serpent entices Eve, telling her “for God knows that when you eat from it (the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” In this statement, it’s implied that God was keeping something away from man, withholding something good, something that was keeping him inadequate. It worked, causing Eve to doubt in God’s goodness, thus disobeying him and eating of the fruit.
With every statement of inadequacy, the devil seeks to convince us to go it alone, that God is not really good, and that he is withholding something back from us. He is called the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) because once he has enticed us to sin, he is the very same one that then turns around to accuse us of the sin he enticed us into committing. And even if he didn’t succeed in getting you to commit the sin, he will still keep finding ways to get you to doubt your worth. If allowed, he will sit on your head day and night, yelling obscenities and screaming at you. He will attempt to drown out every other voice so that his voice becomes the loudest, if not the only voice you hear.
Yet if you listen carefully, you will hear our father telling you to come to him, just as you are. ‘Come as you are…’, we hear him whisper to us day after day, night after night. Revelation 22:17 contains this open invitation “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And the one hearing, let him say, “Come!” And the one thirsting let him come; the one desiring, let him drink freely the water of life.” There are no conditions attached to this invitation, just come as you are, right here, right now.
Satan will do anything to keep you from partaking from the river that flows with living waters. He knows that once you do, it will be game over for him. So he makes it his priority to keep you away from the fountain of life by telling you that you are not worthy, that you’ll never be worthy, that you went too far, that you’re irredeemable, that you are undeserving of forgiveness, that if only ‘they’ knew… the lies keep coming, whether he’s using someone to taunt you or if he’s just dropping seeds of condemnation into your mind. As long as you stop to listen to his venom, your mind will be entrapped and you will succumb to his wiles -he will troll, toy and trifle with your life, doing exactly as he pleases, with his usual finishing move of killing, stealing and destroying.
I now understand why in my own journey this was the first battle I had to fight. Lasting well over two years, it was also my longest battle and the stronghold that satan let go of the last. The insults and name-calling were vicious, deliberately cruel, and endless. The enemy kept the pressure up, and it only weakened as Christ’s mind was formed in me more and more. There is an antidote to the pain the enemy can cause through others, and it does not involve fighting for yourself. Rather, you win the battle by laying down your weapons and letting Christ show you a better way, a more excellent way -that of love.
For you who are in your valley of the shadow of death, your first battle will be that of your mind too, for satan will seek to steal and corrupt your identity to keep you shackled and chained up. He will throw guilt your way, shame, doubt, fear, insecurity, rage, outrage, name it, it’s all part of his arsenal. Whatever you have or haven’t done, however viciously the enemy continues to attack you, however long he keeps up the pressure, deny him that pleasure and turn away from him. Run to the father instead, for his arms are open wide, waiting for you. Walk away from the enemy’s voice of condemnation, for Christ has made you new. Fight the lies from the enemy like your life depends on it, and it does. Fight my love, fight for your life. Fight with all you’ve got. Reject every thought of shame or unworthiness he tries to plant in your mind. It’s not over for you for Christ has made you new. God knows what you have and haven’t done and he loves you just the same. He has embraced you, just as you are. He loves you just as you are. So come as you are…