Could be Satan. “And they brought him (Jesus) all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons…and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24). Satan has four devious ways to come against us. Has he been using some of them with you lately?

TEMPTATION (luring us to sin)

He tempted Jesus–and failed. Satan tries to defeat us by speaking to us. If we listen to his bad ideas, we come under his rule. He often comes when we are weak. He gave Jesus three ideas to start his ministry with a bang, but Jesus refused him. Sometimes we give in.

ACCUSATION (to bring guilt and shame)

Satan was bold to accuse Job right to God’s face. He is called “the accuser of the brethren,” because he accuses the Lord’s people day and night (Rev. 12:10), like a prosecuting attorney going after a defendant. The high priest Joshua knew firsthand of Satan’s accusations. Satan knows that some Christians will either try to defend themselves or give in and feel condemned. Often Satan’s accusation has a tad of truth to make it stick. God has provided us with a defense attorney (I John 2:1), so we don’t “fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Tim. 3:6). Staying close to him gives us confidence that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). 

INTIMIDATION (to create fear and doubt)

“Do not be afraid” is a common exhortation in the Bible, because we easily give in to fear. Satan knows it and uses scare tactics. We are not dealing with raw power but with schemes. Peter was intimidated by a servant-girl and denied Christ. We are told to “resist him, firm in our faith” (I Peter 5:9). “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might…deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14,15). Fear brings bondage. Is Satan doing that with you?

DECEPTION (to pull us from truth to lies)

Jesus says that “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). He is so deceptive that he will present to the world the most beastly character ever, and this tyrant will be followed: “Men worshiped the dragon (Satan), for he had given his authority to the beast (the antichrist), and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’” (Rev. 13:4). Jesus said that in the end times Satan “will lead many astray” (Matt. 24:5). Because the heart of humanity is “deceitful above all things” (Jer. 16:9), and because sin is deceitful (Heb. 3:13), we are in the habit of being deceived and deceiving ourselves (I John 1:8). Judas was deceived, then destroyed by the devil. Satan “deceived Eve by his cunning” (2 Cor. 11:3), and the fallout of that sin is universal. Demons have power to perform miracles that deceive people (Rev. 18:2). My suggestion–resist him, strong in your faith. We are in a war, not on a picnic!


I do, and you probably do as well. Take your cue from Jesus. When he started his ministry, he went after the strong man to plunder his goods. Deliverance was central to his work, not peripheral, as it largely is now in the church. Jesus came “to destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). When he sent out the disciples, he told them to heal the sick and drive out demons. We’re getting better at the first, but few are doing the second. It is hardly in the curriculum, even in churches that teach the gifts of the Spirit. 

When the seventy-two returned from their first campaign (get that–they were inexperienced and probably not at the caliber of the first twelve), they were excited because “even the demons were subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). And Jesus responded, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (18), in other words, stripped from the authority he had been walking in for centuries before Jesus came on the scene. The filling of the Spirit prepares us to assault the enemy. After Jesus was anointed with the Spirit, he was led by the Spirit to be tempted and to declare war on the enemy.

Healing and deliverance are both listed in the work of Jesus AND in his instructions to those he sent out (Matt. 4:24; 9:32; 15:28, 17:16). Some demonized people have physical manifestations of illness, such as blindness (Matt. 12:22). The church, and especially the western church, has been more comfortable with healing than with deliverance. The more deliverance we do, the more healing we will see. Sadly, most churches who believe in the power of the Spirit do not strongly embrace a deliverance ministry. Our lack of confidence here has led to the avoidance of it, which means that truckloads in our midst remain in captivity. Many children in the days of Jesus were afflicted with demons, and the same holds true today. It is tragic to think of them walking through childhood and into adulthood in bondage. Many Christians will not experience deliverance unless leaders embrace and practice a deliverance ministry. Believing something is true is not the same as walking in the reality. The church that is ignorant of the darkness or not confronting the darkness will be impacted by the darkness.

People who have been demonized need more than the armor of God, because they have been taken captive. While counseling can help, it is insufficient for releasing people from the power of darkness. Both are needed. The church has majored in the former and largely neglected the latter. And many evangelicals avoid it. Deliverance does not do away with the need for counseling, but it reduces it. Renewal of the mind often requires deliverance. Spiritual disciplines are still needed, but deliverance makes them attainable. I acknowledge my total lack in this area and at 75 am seeking to obey Jesus by embracing it as an important tool in my toolbox. Anyone care to join me?!


Peter gave us a strategy for discerning and defeating the darkness when he wrote, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (I Peter 5:6-9).


Peter identifies Satan in three ways: first, adversary. We have an enemy, and he doesn’t have flesh on. Our opponent is not the pastor or the principal or the pesky neighbor. To fight against people means losing big. Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood…” (Eph. 6:12). Unfortunately, our battle often starts and stops here. Second, devil (means “slanderer”). He boldly slandered God when talking brashly to Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:4,5). He slandered Job right to God’s face. Third, he is a lion who roams and roars. He doesn’t sit in a cave. He is out and about, making noise, stirring up fear, ready to attack people who drop their armor.

What do we look for to recognize the presence of demons?  Signs of infiltration: compulsive behavior (inability to smile, to look at you, forced laugh), loss of personality (a crushed spirit, hopelessness, person is not really there), history of family lack of health (toxic parents, narcissism, alcohol), cult or occult connections, darkness, so much shame that there is no shame (offensive behavior, strong resistance, the naked Gerasene).


Peter helped us recognize so we can resist. Paul uses the word “stand” to show our posture of resistance. We stand in the character of Christ, resisting lies, immorality, pride, or anything that could compromise our position. Peter says that “we resist him, firm in our faith,” suggesting that we are believing God’s revealed truth, not a replacement. When the serpent offered an alternative to God’s clear word, Adam and Eve should have heard warning bells going off. They must have already considered some of the same thoughts. We must “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). James says, “Submit to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (4:7). The place of resistance is primarily in the mind, because this battle is a thought battle, not a physical one. When we are surrendered to God and in a place of sobriety, we can overcome the enemy.

If we are casting out demons, we speak in the name and authority of Christ. When we heal people, we “speak to the mountain,” to whatever stands before them. The mountain we speak to in this case is a demon or group of demons. We are not asking God to deal with the demons; we address the demons as living beings who can hear us, who are in the room with us, influencing or occupying a body because of walls broken down. Go ahead and yell if it helps you to walk in authority, but volume does not convince the darkness to leave; the authority of Christ does. Have at it!


Paul addressed the nature of spiritual gifts in answer to a letter the Corinthian church wrote him (I Cor. 12:1).  He said that “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (7). Then he gave a list of gifts, including “the ability to distinguish between spirits” (10), which my architect friend Roy Jones could.

A few times while a pastor at Trinity Lutheran in San Pedro, I received calls from people who said strange things were going on in their home late at night. They would hear creaking sounds, see lights go on and off. I would call Roy and we would head over. The parents showed us around and pointed out the places where these strange occurrences took place that were putting fear in the hearts of the children. I looked at Roy and he gave an affirming nod, letting me know that he discerned the presence of darkness.

I anointed with oil the doorposts of every room in the house with the sign of the cross. I then spoke to the darkness and commanded it in the name of Jesus Christ to leave and never return. I did it in a normal voice and in faith that we walked in the authority of Christ. We then prayed over the household members, closing with the Lord’s Prayer and Benediction. We never had to return to a house that had been cleansed.

On a ministry trip, a pastor asked me to pray with a gal about twenty-five who showed signs of demonization. When I spoke with her, she could not look me in the face. The presence of demons often depersonalizes people. Her speech was labored, occasionally she twitched, and she was noticeably uncomfortable. She spoke of being seriously abused by multiple men who took advantage of her sexually.

I listened to her sad story and told her it never should have happened. I shared with her that I would understand if she could not forgive them, but I asked her if she would be willing to do so. I explained that forgiving them did not mean that they had not seriously sinned against her. It meant that she would leave them to the justice and mercy of God. She said that she could never do that. It took about thirty minutes to convince her that for her own physical and spiritual health she needed to (Matthew 18:34). I told her what to say. She could not get the words out. It was as if she would start, but demons would interrupt her and make it impossible. We tried for twenty minutes, urging her to say, “I forgive them.” She would stutter, stammer, and stop. The pastor and I knew we were in a serious battle against dark powers. Finally, the words came out in a slurred sentence, “I forgive them.” IMMEDIATELY the darkness lifted, her countenance changed, and peace overtook nervousness. We commanded the powers of darkness to leave and never come back and invited the Holy Spirit to take His rightful place in her body, His temple. She was a Christian who had been traumatized and invaded through the tearing down of the walls by selfish and sinister men. Now she was free, and all the signs were present. We rejoiced with her and gave her instructions on how she could walk in the Spirit and maintain her freedom. Glory to Jesus! (Part 3 coming).


I leave on Thursday (Oct. 17) for Tanzania. The bishop there gave me the subject, “Discerning and Combating False Spirits.” Gearing up. What is below will be one of my messages. If you think of me, please pray for discernment (not one of my gifts) and the authority of Christ to help bring freedom to the captives.   

It’s that time of year again. Decorations are going up—large webs on doorposts, clothes of ghosts hanging from windows, and witches on brooms. People see the make-believe and smile, knowing it is as unreal as unicorns and red devils. Someone says to a squirrelly child, “You little devil.” And on Halloween kids dress up kids as goblins in this imaginary world that fascinates our culture.

It ‘s not imaginary to an abused child oppressed by dark spirits, nor to a depressed young adult who stepped over the line with the occult and is imprisoned, nor to a senior lady who has lived a life of bitterness and goes to bed tortured—every night. Our society has domesticated the darkness. We take germs seriously, though we cannot see them, because we have learned to trust the medical world and what it sees under a microscope. Some of us haven’t heard enough about the existence of unholy spirits in the same atmosphere to believe that they pose a far more dangerous threat. We would do well to read the Book!

Millions desperately need deliverance, and the Son of God came for that very reason. He said as he launched his ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18,1). His disciple John wrote decades later, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (I John 3:8). 

Jesus overpowered the darkness in three ways: 1) He cast out demons regularly, not in a rare moment. Read the book of Mark in 120 minutes and you may conclude that it happened every week. 2) He lived a sinless life, giving demon powers no place to land. He said of Satan, “He has no place in me,” meaning that he never let down his armor. Paul wrote that we should “give him no opportunity to the devil” (Eph. 4:27), meaning that if we do, he will take it. And 3) He died on the cross, devastating the enemy. He said as he approached Calvary, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out” (John 12:31). Paul wrote that “having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15).

We come against the darkness in the same way: 1) We do as he did—casting out demons who have gained entrance to people. When Jesus sent out the twelve and later the 70, he commanded them to cast our demons. When they returned, they declared, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). The response of Jesus: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (18).  2) We put on the armor of God, the character of Christ, so we are not subject to the enemy’s tactics of deception, intimidation, accusation, and temptation. One way we do this is to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). And 3) we die to ourselves. John wrote, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives even to death” (Revelation 12:11). Peter wrote, “Resist him, firm in your faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (I Peter 5:9; part 2 & 3 coming).


     We could all use regular exercise.   For some, the motivation is not there until the doctor says, “Adjust your eating habits and get exercise—or die.” How about an exercise program for the soul?  God has provided it. A temptation is a test. It’s like a good workout, and the result of consistent victories is strength of character. Temptations are often viewed as annoyances.  It’s no fun to walk on the beach anymore, because we men are riveted with temptations. How about changing the way we look at these irritations? God could have snuffed Satan, but He chose to keep him around to help us stay in shape.  So “count it all joy” and brace yourself for a workout. No one smiles while pumping iron, but they do six months later when results begin to show. The same principle of resistance puts muscle on the soul. Try out some truths about our training:


Self-confidence precedes falling: “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).  Satan has three main weapons in his arsenal–accusation, intimidation, and deception. The latter is the one most used in temptation.  He tricks us by making false promises that we are foolish enough to believe. Or he fools us before the temptation even comes–by getting us to think we’re invincible. Temptation is a mind battle.  Overconfidence is dangerous thinking, isolating us from help. Stay sober. Paul saw the possibility of falling. He disciplined himself so that he would “not be disqualified for the prize” (I Corinthians 9:27).  If the veteran apostle saw failure as a potential, then I should not think that I can easily handle any temptation that comes my way. Larry Christenson, under whom I worked for many years, once asked me how I was doing with temptation. I answered that I was doing just fine.  He responded, “I am not. I battle with it often.” I wished I could have retracted my response. I felt like a fool, realizing that my outlook would not serve me well in the war.


Paul writes that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13).  The word “seize” is a strong picture and suggests grabbing, carrying off. The RSV uses the word “overtake.”  The action is aggressive, not passive. Temptation confronts us with force, however friendly the invitation. Give the advantage to the temptation; surprise is a battle strategy that puts its proponents at the advantage.  Every temptation comes with a reward or a punishment. James writes, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial (the same Greek word is used for “temptation”—“peirodzo”), because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12)  The reward is a crown, a picture of reigning. But then he goes on to say that “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death” (15). The net result of giving in to temptation is death. Sort of looks like life at the outset. So we have the reward of life or the curse of death with each temptation.  A “no” decreases its power, while a “yes” increases its authority. Sin is aggressive, progressive, and addictive. (More truths about overcoming in part 2).


“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry” (Luke 4:1,2).  


Ask the Israelites. The desert is a place of testing and temptation. It comes to us all–between the promise and the promised land. Tests come from God to prove us. Temptation comes from Satan to take us out, so we don’t walk into our destiny. Jesus went from the Jordan (lots of water, vegetation, and people) to the desert (no water, no trees, no crowd).  His company was wild animals and angels (Mk.1:13). Sometimes we hear the voice of Satan more than the voice of God. The Israelites flunked out and never made it into their promised land. Really sad!


Just learn to say “no.” Put your tongue on your upper palate, widen your mouth, hum, shape your lips like a fish, drop your tongue, and let the sound come out–nnnno! If Jesus was tempted, then it is not wrong to be tempted.  In fact, it is a good thing. Temptation can strengthen our resolve to follow Jesus regardless, voting for God and denying the devil access. The Spirit led Jesus to the desert to be tempted, and he will do the same with us. “Submit to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Good advice!


The devil sometimes comes when we are weak, physically or emotionally. He comes before major changes or important breakthroughs. He tempts us with things that are possibilities, not impossibilities, but outside the will of God. The devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. The stones even looked like bread, especially to a hungry man. The devil showed him the kingdoms of the world that would someday be his–but not yet, urging him to rush the process. The devil tempted him to do something spectacular–but outside the will and purpose of God. The devil tempts us to be religious rather than righteous, to be self-centered rather than God-centered, to turn desires into demands. He pounds away mercilessly.  He tempted Jesus for forty days.


Three times we read, “The devil said…”  Three times Jesus answered, “It is written…”  The devil speaks to our minds, giving us ideas, suggestions, alternatives.  Jesus didn’t consider them opportunities; he responded with truth. The longer we consider what Satan suggests, the closer we are to doing them.  We need to resist him, not entertain him. When tested, it is good not to get into our emotions. The Word of God is “out there,” objective, unchanging.  Temptations are not fun. They are sometimes endurance contests. Who can outlast the other? Satan finally left. Keep resisting until he leaves you as well. You can win if you don’t give up!


…take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).  A friend at seminary asked me, “If Satan wanted to take you out, what would he use?” I said, “Pride.” Then I asked him the same question and he said, “Sex.” He was right. He divorced a godly wife who had given him four wonderful children and chose a single woman instead, leaving the ministry and a trail of suffering behind him. He knew enough to answer correctly but not enough to deal with the issue at hand. Sad, stupid and selfish. What do you tell his kids?

I wish he had a mentor that helped him to walk in the light, confess his sins, and deal with his problems. Might have saved a lot of people from a ton of pain. I ask young men I mentor to tell me their strengths and the weaknesses. Then we discuss them–in detail. I want to see if they know what could take them out and what they are doing about it now. Many of those who have good plans for their future and leadership gifts never get there. They are sidelined for a host of reasons. If they had been taking heed, maybe they could have prevented the fallout. If they had coaches to help keep them on track with probing questions, they might have learned to be on guard.

We are looking for older, wiser men and women who could help steer these young people into a bright future. Too many in their seventies think it is time for them to sit back and be spectators. Or perhaps the church they attend makes them feel that way. We desperately need mature fathers and mothers prepared to be a shining light with millennials who need their example and wisdom. Dear older friends, let your pastor know that you are available to work with young people one on one.

I am sad for every pastor who experiences a moral failure. That wasn’t on their agenda when they were ordained and took vows of ordination and when they were married and made promises to their spouse. Somehow, they didn’t take heed–and they fell. The potential is in every one of us. A man after God’s own heart created pain in his family for years through moral fallout. He was forgiven, but the consequences played themselves out for decades.

What could keep you from your God-appointed destiny? The master called three servants and gave them jobs. Two did well and were commended. The third buried his talents and had a miserable ending. The master called him a “wicked and slothful servant.” That was not a compliment. He was both mean-spirited and lazy. He didn’t take heed–and he fell hard.

“Taking heed” includes:

1) Vulnerability. James urges us: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Walking in the light means that we don’t have secrets. If we have a secret for more than a week, it has us.

2) Awareness of Satan’s sinister plans. He wants to take us out. Oh how Satan rejoices when someone with a successful ministry is picked off. Paul called it “craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14). We are called to “stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). May you stand–as you take heed!


That’s what we said as kids when we thought someone was not telling the truth. Then say it to Satan,  because as Jesus declared, “He is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). As a father, he facilitates the birthing of lies–all over the planet.


Don’t know what we meant about the “pants on fire” part.  I do know that the devil will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur” to be “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Knowing that “his time is short” (Revelation 12:12), he wants to ruin as many Christians as he can with lies before he heads to the tank. He uses four primary weapons: accusation (bringing guilt and shame), intimidation (producing fear), temptation (luring in sin), and deception (replacing truth with lies). If we believe his lies, we come into his realm. He rules as prince of “this present darkness” (Ephesians 6:12). “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).


Have you fellowshipped with Satan by believing lies?

“You don’t have what it takes.”

“You are not going to get victory over this.”

“You’re in financial trouble, and it doesn’t look good.”

“It wouldn’t hurt you–at least not that much. Just don’t tell anyone.”

“God seems to be blessing others more than you. What’s that about?”


Satan comes at us with the goal to change two pictures: how we view God and how we see ourselves. If he is successful, he keeps us from walking into our God-appointed destiny.


“Now the serpent was more crafty [read “sneaky, sinister, deceptive”] than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Which interpreted means, “God sounds a bit immature, maybe even insecure. What’s he worried about? Why is he withholding from you?”


“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’” (3). Eve wrongly added the last phrase to the inhibition, maybe thinking God was a bit picky. So Satan went for it: “You will not surely die (in bold defiance). For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (5). He made it clear, at least to Eve, that God was withholding from them, not a kind thing. Why shouldn’t they be able to decide–like God? Buying the lie, they bit the fruit.


They were convinced that it would improve their condition in the garden–and it destroyed them. Satan was happy in a devilish sort of way. They were devastated. They gave up innocence, a great marriage, and number one son.


Arm yourself with the belt of truth. Men, expose your struggles. Only good things come from the truth: “If we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, the the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7). Two gifts: living connections with people so we are not isolated by Satan and the lifting of shame and guilt through forgiveness.


The father of lies has an idea of which ones I might accept.  Some have enough truth to make a believer out of me.  He wants me to accept his lies, because he hates Christ with an unholy passion and doesn’t want me to find freedom in Christ and bring Him glory. This mental warfare is more about Christ than about me.

“Keep trying–but it probably won’t help.”

“You sure aren’t very talented. God passed you by in that department.”

“God has abandoned you.”

“The only thing to do now is to run.”

“You’re far better at that than he/she is.  Only problem is—people don’t know it.”

“You aren’t appreciated much.  You are being neglected.”

“God isn’t hearing your prayers.  And He doesn’t speak to you like He speaks to others.”

“You should probably tell Martha about that problem with Jane.”

“If you just tried a little harder, you would be more worthy of God’s grace.”

“You don’t fit in anywhere.  Why try?”

“You make people uncomfortable.”

“You’re demon-possessed.  You’re going crazy.  You’re getting more nervous.”

“You’re going to lose your job.  Just watch.”

“Your spouse is having an affair.”

“There’s no harm in it.  It won’t hurt you—at least not one time.”  “Everybody’s doing it.”

“You’ll never have a good devotional time with God.  You’ve tried before. It doesn’t work for you.”

“You are a failure and you’ll probably die that way.”

“People notice that there’s something wrong with you.  You’re just not like other people.”

“Church members sometimes talk about you—and it’s not complimentary.”

“God speaks to people.  He just doesn’t speak to you.”

“You’ll never get victory over that sin.”

“God is usually disappointed with your performance.”

“You’re too old.  Let the young people do it.”

“You’re the only one who can do this the right way.”  “If you don’t do this, no one will.”


.I get locked into a way of thinking and find it hard to break the mental cycle. (“I’ve always been afraid of heights”…”of getting up in front of people”…”of praying aloud.”)

.I often learn the habit early in life.  I may have been thinking this way or doing this for many years.  It seems so much a part of who I am that I feel helpless to change.

.I can trust God for many things, but I find it difficult to trust Him in the area of my stronghold.  I have little faith because I have experienced defeat so often.

.Demons sometimes attach themselves to strongholds, making me a prisoner to the enemy.

.Wounds from the past often accompany strongholds, which heighten the pain and the shame.


“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).  “…be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God…” (Romans 12:2). Dear brother and sister, renounce the lies about you and about God and embrace truth! Take every thought captive to obey Christ!