She walked nervously onto the brightly lit stage with instrument in hand ready to perform. There she stood, a beautiful girl with long thick hair in the prime of her youth. She announced the title of her song so quickly that I didn’t understand what she had said. Apprehensively sitting down she began to strum her mandolin. She played the piece well looking the whole time like she didn’t want to be there. When the song was over she bowed looking relieved that it was done. She anxiously waited to hear comments from the masterclass, a class where people perform and then have their performance evaluated by a master in that field. She never once smiled, her dark eyes barely peeking from behind the curtain of hair she had allowed to partially cover her face.
I wanted to enjoy her performance. Yet, I felt nervous for her and was afraid
she was going to start crying and run away.
Several in the audience gave opinions on her performance. She listened holding back tears. Next the director of the class stepped forward, and they began to discuss what worked and what didn’t. As the director began to speak words of truth and encouragement the girl’s countenance changed. The young girl was asked to walk back onto the stage and reintroduce her song. This time she managed a few nervous smiles. Her face lifted as she spoke, and the curtain of hair she hid behind was now pushed back allowing the audience to see her beautiful face. She practiced her walk onto the stage and introduction several times, each time gaining confidence. Thanks to the coaching she received, her newfound confidence now matched her skillful playing ability and she was able to present an enjoyable performance.
As I watched I was struck by the number of individuals who played skillfully, yet presented a performance that no one outside of the masterclass would take time to watch. Time after time a person would take the stage and struggle. Their struggle was not in their ability to sing or play their instrument. Their struggle came with their thoughts. All it took was one whisper of “You are not worthy,” “You are going to mess up,” “They are going to laugh at you,” or “You aren’t as good as the other performers” to destroy the years of work each person had put into learning their craft. I sat for two hours that day watching and becoming angry at the enemy of us all.
The masterclass ended and I hurriedly gathered my belongings and headed downstairs to meet my children. The rest of the day I thought about that girl, the stage, and the way the enemy tries to destroy us. The more I thought about it, the more emotional I became. I thought about my own children and their struggles, about my life and my own struggles, and the lies we had believed.
You may not be honing your craft as a musician on stage, but I know the enemy of the sweet girl that day is the same enemy we all have. He uses the same tactics to try and destroy you just as he did her. We know that Satan is a liar.
John 8:44 tells us. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
I know in my own life I have had to deal with lies, doubt, and fear. Many times the areas I hear the most lies about are the ones God desires to use the most. Too often I have listened to the lies that Satan has whispered. Lies such as: “People aren’t going to like you,” “No one wants to hear what you have to say,” and “You don’t spend enough time praying and reading the Bible to write – you are a fake”.
These lies from the enemy lead to fear, and fear begins to paralyze. Before you realize it, you are knocked out face down on the mat just like a fighter who received a vicious punch to the head. Often the fight is over before it even starts. However, the fight doesn’t have to end that way.
In the class that day, I witnessed the master speak truth to the girl on the stage. She began to hear words of encouragement such as “You are doing a great job,” “You can do this,” and “Everyone in this room is for you and we want you to do well.” The master asked her what was scary about being on stage and then refuted those fears with the truth. When the truth was believed instead of a lie, the girl was able to play skillfully and face her fears of performing. What lie is the enemy whispering to you?
Maybe he is attacking your parenting with:
“You are a terrible mom; everyone else has it together better than you.”
“If you really loved your child….”
“If you had done a better job parenting they wouldn’t be in this situation right now.”
Or maybe He attacks you personally:
“You will never have a good marriage so why even try.”
“No one appreciates what you do. Why don’t you just quit.”
“You don’t need to help that person. You will just be bothering them.”
The lies of the enemy aren’t just used on the young. They are whispered to those who are in their senior years as well. Lies such as “You don’t matter any more” and “You will never be useful again.”
The way to combat these lies is the same way the master combated the lies that were believed that day by the girl in the music class. They are combated with truth. John 8:31-32 tells us “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I want to encourage you to begin to recognize the lies of the enemy. He doesn’t need a 12 step battle plan to stop you. Often he just needs one spoken lie to make you give up. Many times, we listen to the lie and are stopped before we even begin. Let the Lord replace the lies with the truth so the enemy can be defeated and the glory of God can shine through you!