Not Today, Satan: Battling the Enemy’s Lies

man standing in front of fire
“What are you going to do with your life?”

Satan: Success is found in money and status.

I was a bright-eyed college freshman. On move-in day, I walked onto the campus of South Dakota State University wearing a shirt that proclaimed “JESUS JESUS JESUS till the day I die!” God had changed my life that summer, and I wanted to speak out for the cause of Christ. I believed I could do anything. But my motivations were misguided.

So I declared civil engineering as my major and planned to rebuild South Dakota’s aging infrastructure upon graduation. But as I sat in a general engineering class, flipping through my future course schedule, I realized I had zero interest in learning about fluid mechanics, water supply or concrete theory. My only interests were the status and expected salary.

“What are you going to do with your life?”

Holy Spirit: You have certain gifts that God has given you to use for His glory.

As I sat in my room, alone and far from home, I wrestled to answer this question. After numerous phone calls with my parents, I switched my major to communication studies, taking a step of faith toward ministry and my dream of public speaking.

“What are you going to do with your life?”

Satan: You will ultimately fail.

I’ve been asked that question more times than I can count and it’s frustrating. I’ve chosen to major in communication studies at college, but it’s a path that many see leading to an unsuccessful end — failure.

Failure, my biggest fear, stares me in the face as I walk to class, speaks to me when I’m discussing the future, and haunts me as I lay in bed.

Satan: Communication studies won’t bring you success. It’s a shame God called you to ministry merely to settle. There is so much more that you could be doing with your life, talents and abilities that would bring you social status and wealth. Plus, there isn’t money in ministry. Look at your peers, their careers will provide plenty of income. Women are looking for security, especially financially. How will you support a family?

I’ve been beaten over the head by every single one of those lies until eventually I began to believe them.

The Battle

We were born into a vicious war. Satan is real. He roams the world speaking lies and deceiving whoever will listen. We must be willing to battle.

1 John 5:19 says, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

Jesus referred to Satan as “the father of lies.” He deceived Eve back in the garden of Eden, and he continues to deceive each of us today. I’ve had to break the agreements I’ve made with Satan’s lies and instead listen to God’s truth daily.

Growing up we were told we could do anything. Disney preached “follow your heart.” The internet has only accentuated this reality. We can scroll endlessly through job listings, research different careers and dream of studying whatever our hearts desire wherever our hearts desire. But instead of providing clarity, it provides confusion. So many different options, either I choose one or I choose none at all. (See the battle?)

I recently read through the book “Killing Lions” by John and Sam Eldredge, and they address that having limitless opportunities is not freeing at all but rather suffocating. They wrote,

A limitless universe of options is not a gift, not even an opportunity to dream; it is overwhelming. Paralyzing. And untrue. You can’t do everything.

Fortunately for us, our choices are limited and that is a great thing.

Truth to Battle Satan

God has created each one of us uniquely, gifting us in different areas. It’s easy to feel lost and confused, but we have been given the Holy Spirit as a counselor. In  John 14:15-31, Jesus comforts the disciples by informing them that Holy Spirit would come as a helper and teacher. Have you consulted Him?

The Holy Spirit has often spoken to me through wisdom of mentors that are older than me. Do not let arrogance or a desire to do life on your own keep you from seeking out guidance from those around you who are older.

In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul describes the epic spiritual battle we are engaged in, encouraging us to put on the whole armor of God. He specifically refers to the Word of God as a sword. We must go into battle with our sword in hand — which means we must not only be reading Scripture, but more importantly we must be memorizing it.

When we listen to the enemy, we become confused and hopeless in our current situations. But when we listen to our commanding officer, we gain clarity for our life and move forward.

 “What are you going to do with your life?”

I will …

  • Follow God at all costs.
  • Relentlessly pursue my gifting.
  • Seek out counsel from those wiser and older.
  • Stop believing the lies of Satan.
  • Listen to the truth of the Holy Spirit.

About the Author

John Begeman
John Begeman

John Begeman is a small-town kid who interned with Boundless the summer of 2018. He’s attending South Dakota State University, majoring in communications and minoring in broadcast journalism. He stays busy at college, working with admissions, the college newspaper and an elementary school. He’s also involved in campus ministry, leading Bible studies and helping organize events to reach the lost on campus with the gospel.