Having a 5 year old daughter and a 3 year old son makes for an interesting season in life. They can both communicate, have definite likes and dislikes, and constantly vie for the attention or reaction of each other or those around them. This makes for a lot of interesting conversations in the car on our trips to and from town each day!
My son, who is the biggest reaction-lover, has begun to do something recently that really gets my daughter going. While everyone is strapped into their seat, unable to move or get away from the conversation, he begins to say things that aren’t true.
“That’s my toy.” (It’s really hers.)
“You’re naughty.” (She did nothing wrong.)
“That tree is blue.” (Obviously, it’s green.)
Maybe you and I from the outside of the conversation can hear these lies and think that it would be silly to believe such things. But to my daughter, these little lies are torture. Before long, she’s in tears, yelling the truth back at him but remaining unsuccessful at making him stop repeating whichever little thing it is that he keeps saying.
It occurred to me a few weeks ago that this is not unlike the internal dialogue that wages a quiet but powerful battle in my mind. The enemy and my flesh pick and pester at what I know to be my identity in Christ and the authority that I walk in because the Holy Spirit lives within me. Sometimes, it sounds a little like this:
“You have every right to be offended.” (Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Eph. 4:32)
“You don’t really hear God speaking to you.” (Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21)
“Well maybe God is lying to you.” (It is impossible for God to lie. Heb. 6:18)
“God doesn’t really want you to prosper. Your value is in how hard you work.” (It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Ps. 127:2; God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity. Ps. 68:6)
“There’s just no hope for ______.” (Let us exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:2-5)
So let me encourage you (and myself!) with the same encouragement I give to my daughter in the car – speak the truth back to him and then ignore what he’s saying to you. Bind up that liar with the truth of the Word! Renew your own mind to believe it and remain steadfast in it. He’s lying!