All Star Wars fans are familiar with the Jedi mind trick used to target those of weak mind in the galaxy. Obi-Wan Kenobi used the trick on the storm troopers who were looking for C-3PO and R2-D2. All he had to do was wave his hand and say, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Instantly the trooper responds, “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.”
The sad thing is I run in to a lot of people in the Christian universe who are just as susceptible to stupid mind tricks. Instead of a Jedi waving his hand around, the devil makes simple and repeated suggestions and believers, failing to reflect on the source and content of what they heard, buy in to and act on those suggestions to their destruction. This confusion is a device of the enemy to introduce deception through multiple or contradictory voices that distort God’s voice or drown it out. What’s amazing is how open God’s people are today to the distortion of the enemy – even people who have been trained to know better.
Like the Jedi mind trick, all Satan has to do is suggest something and too many Christians will follow him like the pied piper. Very quickly, those believers assimilate the thought and suggestion as if it were their own or coming from God. The devil must sit back and laugh at how gullible God’s people are at his stupid mind trick. I can almost hear the drone-like automatic responses of Christians to the devil’s suggestions:
“Nobody cares about you…Nobody cares about me…”
“You want to kill yourself…I want to kill myself…”
“You need to dump your spouse…I need to dump my spouse…”
“God just wants you to be happy…Yes, God just wants me to be happy…”
“You don’t have any friends at church…I don’t have any friends at church…”
“You want to quit your ministry…I want to quit my ministry…”
“You should leave your church…I should leave my church…”
“You should be offended by that…I should be offended by that…”
Gehazi, the protege of Elisha and prophet in training, accepted the thought of the evil one that he knew better than his master, and Naaman should have to pay for the supernatural healing he received from God. Instead of rejecting the contradictory word, Gehazi was moved by the stupid devil mind trick, received clothes and money from the recently healed leper, was exposed by the prophet Elisha, and was consequently stricken by leprosy. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the servant of Elijah, stood to walk in an anointing even more powerful than Elisha or Elijah, but lost everything because he acted on a stupid devil mind trick.
The cost for believers is just as high today. Acting on the stupid devil trick causes separation – separation from our faith community and family, separation from our destiny, separation from vital relationships, separation from our blessing, separation from our anointing, separation from our covering of protection and wisdom, and separation from our inheritance (spiritual and natural). The simple suggestion of the enemy is responsible for countless believers failing to walk in and experience God’s best. Sadder still, the devil convinces believers they are perfectly justified and right to act on the stupid devil mind trick. Imagine carrying out the agenda of the enemy convinced it’s Gods will (John 16:2). God’s people are truly destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Gehazi’s story reminds us the stupid trick works on seasoned leaders as well as babies in the faith.
The good news is the confusion of the enemy caused by stupid devil mind tricks can be overcome. First, you can defeat the deception by laying a foundation for clarity in your life by saturating your mind daily with the Word of God. The best way to tell a counterfeit thought is to be immersed in the truth of the thoughts of God (Romans 12:1-2). We can’t identify the will of God (what is true) until we offer up our bodies as living sacrifices and transform our thinking by the the Word of God.
Second, test or challenge everything you think you hear following the admonition of Paul to hold on to only that which is true (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It’s comical how many people mindlessly repeat or repost things they found on Facebook or other social media. Just because we saw it or heard it does not make it true. We need to be especially sensitive to the suggestions of the enemy.
Third, close the door to confusion by ridding your life of envy and strife, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16, KJV). We are predisposed to the deception of the enemy when we are envious of others or have entered in to strife. These things always produce confusion and help to explain how good Christian people can become destructive forces in their families, churches, and places of work.
Fourth, become Spirit led instead of emotion driven (Romans 8:14). Too often, when we hear something, including the lie from the stupid devil mind trick, we have an emotional reaction before we evaluate the thought biblically. Emotion ruled living intoxicates the believer, and much like the drunk driver, impairs the believer’s judgement and responses. We need to make decisions from a position of spiritual peace instead of emotional intoxication.
Finally, submit what you think you heard to spiritual leadership early in the process for there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 15:22). Godly leaders are anointed to sniff out the stupid devil mind trick and deception but the believer must submit the situation to leaders early and quickly instead of coming to them just to inform them of what they have already decided.
The time is short and the stakes are very high. Don’t be like the weak minded stormtrooper easily duped by the Jedi, but become strong in mind able to identity and reject the stupid devil mind tricks that come against your mind. We simply can’t afford to lose any more Gehazis to the dark side.