Growing up, I was the kind of girl people would call a “church kid.” My best friends were almost always from my youth group. I loved going to church, and I always tried to live like a Christian, as I knew it. I did my best to follow all the rules and stayed away from what I learned was “bad.”
Looking back, I’d say I was a pretty good kid. However, I have absolutely no idea how much power I had through the Holy Spirit until I went through Unveil with my roommate in college. Even though I sat through hundreds of sermons and Bible studies, I never once learned how to really deal with sin or temptation. I was totally blind to the constant spiritual battle occurring around and within me. I bet Satan was pretty happy with where I was at. Even though he knew I had a relationship with Jesus, I was powerless when it came to sexual or emotional temptation. I simply had no idea how to fight spiritually, so when Satan would accuse me of lies like “you aren’t as pretty or thin or smart as her” or “he would never be attracted to you,” I would just believe the lie every time, weakening my self confidence with each lie.
Consequently, when I started dating my boyfriend in college, I gave into plenty of lies and compromised in my physical relationship with him. Over and over, we would cross the physical boundaries we had created, because all we knew how to do was try really hard not to break a rule, and then beg Jesus to forgive us when we failed. Believe Satan’s accusations became so exhausting, and I never felt complete freedom. It turns out trying to follow rules without the power Jesus gives us through the Holy Spirit doesn’t work very well.
Luckily, after finally agreeing that I actually did struggle with lust and temptation, my roommate and I started to through the unveil book and be accountable to one another with the temptations we were facing. The chapter on Spiritual Warfare was especially life changing for me. The concept of using the power that I have through the Holy Spirit to actively fight against Satan’s accusation was profound. At first praying against lies out loud seemed worthless because I didn’t believe it would work.
But the more I prayed with confidence, the more power I gained to be able to deal with Satan’s lies. It was silly for me to fear Satan because I knew since I have the Holy Spirit, the battle was already won. Even now, Satan will tempt me to believe the same lie over and over, but I know with the Holy Spirit I have the power to reject the lie before it turns into a stronghold.
I know experiencing freedom in Christ is a process, not something you feel once and then always have. I still hear Satan’s lies daily, but I’m so thankful for the knowledge I now have to actively fight spiritually against them, instead of just believing Satan’s accusations over and over again.