How do you choose your phone apps? It can be a challenge with over 2 million available.
Imagine that someone who hates you has the power to secretly install a malicious app onto your phone. All of a sudden, weird things start happening. Your friends start receiving nasty messages from you. Your phone begins ringing in the middle of the night for no reason.
The bad news is that we are all targets of a gigantic hack, an app planted in us by the enemy of our souls. It is why we feel frustrated, angry, anxious, always want more, and need to be right.
We want to close out of this app, but it keeps re-opening! Old thoughts, old feelings, old habits persist.
Why does this happen?
Whatever you think of Satan, or the devil, there is most certainly a source of evil that is out to harm us. God tells us that “he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 NIV). He is also called the thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10 NIV).
The enemy hates God and hates us, so he created this Evil App to lie to us. His game plan is to deceive and mislead us, stealing the opportunity for us to grow spiritually and become one with Christ. He does this to destroy our souls.
His deception is like the sort of clever trick you may see on stage at a magic show. The illusionist masterfully draws our attention to one thing, while something else more important is going unnoticed by the audience.
The Evil App convinces us to pursue all sorts of things that we don’t even need. Things like wealth, power, fame, importance, success, physical beauty, or excess material things. Desire for these things exists only in our heads. They will all disappear as soon as we take our last breath, if not sooner. God’s Word tells us that “the world is passing away along with its desires” (1 John 2:17 ESV).
To make matters worse, when we don’t succeed in getting what we want, we can become frustrated, leading to such things as complaining, anger, jealousy, greed, lust, fear, anxiety, and pride.
The Enemy App keeps our souls so busy that we barely focus on connecting with God, the source of all that is real, permanent, and good. Consciously or unconsciously, we trade God for a bunch of temporary things that in the end amount to nothing.
God wants to replace the Enemy App with His Truth App.
Thankfully there is a solution.
Jesus tells us that we may “know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NIV). He is promising to install the Truth App in us for free if we ask for it, seek it, and will use it. It will overpower and delete the Evil App.
Let us ask Him for the truth. To know Him and to know ourselves. Once you ask, live in anticipation for it. Open yourself to it. Receive it bravely when it shatters your illusions and compels you to change. Seek it through His Word and prayer and just quietly listen. Give it time.
The truth He wants us to know is that our true deep-down desires and yearnings can only be satisfied by Him, and in Him. He wants us to leave the pursuit of the many empty things behind and pursue Him instead. Jesus tells us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 ESV).
It helps when we remind ourselves of how desperately we need God. We can’t even take our next breath without Him, much less achieve true fulfillment, satisfaction, and peace. God’s Word asks, “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” (1 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)
God wants to use everything for our good.
What is the purpose of all the tough circumstances in our lives, the struggles and the ups and downs? Is it all “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?” (Shakespeare, Macbeth, act 5, scene 5.)
Thankfully not. One of the wonderful things about God is that He takes what seems bad and somehow morphs it into an opportunity for good. But only if we do our part.
God’s plan is for us to turn each of our circumstances into a vehicle to be used to grow spiritually and make progress on our journey to become one with Christ. He illustrates this by telling us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness…that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4 ESV).
How do we do this? By cultivating a sense of joy. Our experience of joy, regardless of how good or bad our circumstances are, will grow with practice and discipline. Just like strength training does with muscles.
God can also help us reprogram our minds. He tells us “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 KJV).Tweet
Here is what typically happens. We face something not to our liking. The Evil App has us responding with thoughts, words, and perhaps actions that we know are not God’s best. We recognize our response is not the best, so in our minds we then defend and justify ourselves, blame circumstances or others, or feel guilty.
There is a better way.
God tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). Here are steps we can take:
- Start by thanking God in spite of the circumstances.
- Be real and admit to Him that you don’t like it.
- Decide not to battle it in your own strength.
- Make a quick confession by simply admitting and acknowledge if our thoughts, words, and actions are not His best for us. Do it without beating yourself up.
- Mentally drop the situation at the feet of Jesus. He is an expert at disposing of sin and everything impure.
- Give Him thanks again for the situation and for your life in Him.
- Move on in a cloud of worship and appreciation and positive energy.
To wrap this up, we can decide to no longer accept the lies that the enemy is feeding us. With help from God, we can see them for what they are and gain victory over them. We can be confident that the Lord is faithful and will set us free to love and connect and unite with Him.Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks