The Battle for Shalom

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Prior to Jesus’ statement about the abundant life in John 10:10, he says that Satan is a “thief [who] comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Jesus is pointing out that Satan will do everything he can to keep you as a believer from experiencing a life of shalom. How? By tempting you to believe his lies. Satan is the great deceiver, and deception is his primary weapon. He tempted Eve in the Garden with lies (Genesis 3:1-4); he unsuccessfully tempted Jesus in the wilderness with lies (Matthew 4:1-11); and today, Satan is attempting to deceive the whole world with lies (Revelation 12:9). The battle for shalom is spiritual warfare—it is fought and won on the battlefield of your mind, in your thoughts.

The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-12 (ESV) that every believer is engaged in a spiritual battle with Satan and his minions:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

It is important to remember that Jesus has conquered the devil and his army of fallen angels (Colossians 2:15), but it is also true that Satan is still active in this world. Peter writes: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV). Satan attempts to devour believers through deception infused with shame and fear. Jesus summed up Satan’s character by saying: “He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44, NLT). Therefore, the spiritual battle believers are fighting is on the battlefield of the mind, combating Satan’s lies with God’s truth.

The most effective way to fight against these lies is to compare them to God’s truth as revealed in the Bible. Paul refers to this tactic as taking your thoughts captive to Christ:

The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)

Comparing Satan’s lies to God’s truth in the Bible will prevent them from taking root and becoming a stronghold in your mind.

Ken Baugh
Ken Baugh

was a wildly successful pastor before a crippling experience of burnout disrupted his career and set him on a journey to better understand the dynamics of spiritual health. With a DMin from Talbot Theological Seminary, Ken is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Discipleship Training.

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