And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” Genesis 37:33
On March 7, 2020, my husband and I boarded a plane for an island in the Caribbean to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Some dear friends joined us for their 30th, and we enjoyed a fantastic week together sharing in the wonder of God’s goodness. We returned on March 14th to a world turning upside down in fear of Covid-19.
International travel restrictions compelled me to stay home in self quarantine for 14 days. By the second day, I began to feel ill. Although I had no cough or fever, a dizzy head and aching body unsettled me. A nagging fear began to whisper that I had picked up the deadly virus and was putting my family at risk.
After 12 days with no change, I called my doctor. He confirmed my suspicion that I likely didn’t have Covid-19 but had picked up some other virus which should soon work itself out.
The achy, viral feeling eventually ended, but I didn’t return to feeling normal. Dizziness continued to plague me in waves, along with a strange, floaty feeling in my arms and legs. A new fear slowly emerged from my history, “Your thyroid has stopped functioning properly again, and you’ve come out of remission.”
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. An overactive thyroid caused my systems to operate in overdrive and was particularly threatening to my heart. Medication and a radical diet change brought me into remission, allowing me to avoid the looming options of surgery or radiation. Praise Jesus, He healed me! I have been medication free for well over a year.
Until the voice began to whisper that what God had done had been undone.
As the symptoms continued, I became more and more convinced that was the problem, and I called my doctor to get a new prescription to carry me through the next few months of pandemic lockdown. He refused to give me the medication without checking my blood, so I made the journey to a lab. Two days later, I received the call that my thyroid was operating in normal levels, and he would not give me the medication.
Why do I share this with you? Because our enemy is a deceiver who manipulates our hearts and minds through fear.
He works to separate us from what God has spoken, and he even fabricates evidence to substantiate his lies. He is the ruler of the kingdom of the air, playing at our hearts with suggestion. And over those weeks while fear oppressed this nation with increasing power, I allowed the enemy to convince me that a lie was true. Had it not been for a conscientious doctor, I would’ve created a greater problem by taking unnecessary medication.
Beloved, our enemy fabricates evidence to convince us to agree with him instead of God. He uses fear to persuade us that the worst is true.
Our opening Scripture offers a perfect illustration of his tactics. Jealous over their father’s affections, Jacob’s sons had sold their brother into slavery. To cover it up, they took Joseph’s robe—a gift from Jacob—and coated it in animal blood. When they presented the bloody robe to their father, they didn’t utter a word. They simply presented the evidence.
The deceiver then led Jacob to a false conclusion. “A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”
Jacob was certain of the conclusion he’d come to. Without doubt. Unfortunately, he was convinced of a lie. Joseph was alive and well, repositioned by God to Egypt where He would use him to save and bless a nation.
Our logical conclusions often lead us away from truth. I wonder, dear one. How often does the enemy author your conclusions, convincing you that his lies are true?
Another lie crippled a nation and kept Israel from entering God’s promises. When Moses sent spies to check out the promised land and bring back a report, they returned with evidence proving the land was bountiful, just as God had said. They also brought back a lie based in fear.
And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them. Numbers 13:33
The spies saw the evidence presented to them—giants possessing the land God promised them—and came to the conclusion that those giants saw them as insignificant insects. But who told them that the inhabitants of Canaan thought of them as grasshoppers? Where did that perception come from?
Decades later, when Joshua would finally lead Israel into that very land, God exposed the truth. Joshua’s spies found refuge from Rahab. I’ll let her tell you why she helped them.
“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. 11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Joshua 2:9-11
While fear had told Moses’s spies that the people of the land saw them as grasshoppers, reality was quite different. Their hearts were melting in fear of the God of Israel, and they were convinced of their own destruction. They were still convinced of it, 40 years later.
If only Israel had entered the land at God’s command to claim their victory! Instead, they partnered with the lies of the enemy—rejecting both God and His promises—and lived out the rest of their lives in the scarcity of the wilderness.
Wilderness beliefs can’t enter God’s promises.
Oh, dear one. Let’s stop letting the enemy convince us his lies are true. Let’s stop settling for the devil’s wilderness when God offers a land flowing with abundance.
We need to know the Truth to recognize the enemy’s lies. His name is Jesus.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Invite Jesus to show you the way into Truth that leads to life. He won’t disappoint you. He can’t.
His perfect love will cast out fear and lead you to the Father’s abundance.