There is a battle that has been raging since the beginning of time. It is the battle for the soul of the believer. The battle for your eternity first played out in the Garden. With all that there was available to them as true gifts from God, Adam and Eve chose to give in to the enemy. It was a conscience and free choice that they made. They knew the truth, yet chose to abandon the truth in an attempt to gain more than what they had… which was EVERYTHING.
This battle has not changed much over the thousands of years. Know this and understand it well… IF you are a believer, there is an enemy whose sole mission is to destroy you. He doesn’t’ want to physically kill you. He wants to destroy your eternity.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
How will he (satan) do this? Lies. He will convince you that God’s words are not true, that God is not good, that sin has no consequence, that you are not good enough or the best yet… that you can be god!“…he (satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding of the truth, for 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 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44 NIV), the accuser of the brethren (Zechariah 3:1-2 NIV), the author of confusion (Matthew 16:23 NIV), the tempter (1 Corinthians 7:5 NIV), the deceiver (2 Corinthians 11:3 NIV), the destroyer (John 10:10) and the adversary, (Ephesians 6:11-16). He will do anything and everything in his power to oppose God and those who follow God. However, Satan’s destiny is sealed in the eternal lake of fire (Revelations 20:10 NIV)
For the believer filled with the Holy Spirit we know that we are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit and that is precisely what he wants to take from you. He wants your fruits and your gifts. He does not want to kill your physical being; he wants to kill your inheritance and your eternity.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23(NIV)
This enemy, satan, wants to steal your LOVE and replace it with hatred, apathy, indifference, misery and sorrow.
He wants to steal your JOY and replace it with anger, sadness, sorrow, depression and gloom.
He wants to steal your PEACE and replace it with discord, distress, frustration, worry and discontent.
He wants to steal your PATIENCE and replace it with indifference, agitation, intolerance, violence and anxiety.
He wants to steal your GOODNESS and replace it with evil, indecency, meanness, animosity, and spite.
He wants to steal your FAITHFULNESS and replace it with dishonesty, treachery, disloyalty, apathy and disbelief.
He wants to steal your GENTLENESS and replace it with cruelty, fury, rage, hostility and aggressiveness.
He wants to steal your SELF-CONTROL and replace it with indulgence, agitation, chaos, negligence and wrath.
He got hold of Adam and Eve with the lie that God’s is a liar; that His word isn’t true. He planted a seed in Eve … “Did God really say…?” (Gen 3:22 NIV) This made her pause for just a second. That’s all it takes. Just a second of second guessing. Second guessing the Truths and the Word of God.
He wants to replace your truth with lies. Lies that you are not good enough. Lies that your sins are so heinous that you could never be forgiven. Lies that there is no God, that you are your own god… you determine your own eternity… you determine your own right and wrong.
Satan is NOT a “cartoon-ish” little red man with a pitchfork that sits on your shoulder urging you to sin and he will NOT go away if your ignore him. There are those that say if we speak of him or study about him or merely acknowledge him, then we give him power. To reject the reality or existence of satan is to reject the Bible as God’s inspired and infallible revelation to man. The Bible is our absolute teaching about the reality of satan. His existence is taught from Genesis to Revelation. Seven Old Testament books and every New Testament writer refer to his reality and activity. Satan is also affirmed by Jesus Christ as a personal being.
And while he is a creature actually created in the beginning by Christ, the creator of all things, he is also a spirit being (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). In as much as he promotes himself to be god, he has limitations. He is NOT omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. He cannot be everywhere at once. What he is though is the commander of a large force of demons so numerous that it makes it seems as though satan is everywhere at once. However, he is limited. He personally cannot tempt us without God allowing it. So why would God allow anyone to be tempted by satan? The answers to that go back to satan tempting Eve and his attack on Job to name just a couple. Even Jesus was tempted after His 40 days in the desert. Trials and tests on Christians allowed by God are used to bring glory to God, to grow the believer, and be a comfort to others. But know this, no matter how severe the attack, we know that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
We can take it as comfort that “greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NIV. There are common lies that satan uses on believers. Since he has nothing new to use; he has nothing new in his playbook.
Lie #1 – We cannot trust God’s Word. The Bible is just a bunch of stories made up by man. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
Lie #2 – God cannot be trusted. If God says He loves you, but does He really? “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Ps 37:4-6
Lie #3 – We are our own god. You don’t need Him, you are good enough all on your own. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me” Exodus 20:1-26
Lie #4 – Your past is unforgivable. There is no such thing as forgiveness. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.” Ps 40:1-17
Lie #5 – satan doesn’t exist. If he doesn’t exist then you don’t have to think or worry about him. “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” Rev 12:9-12
We know that each of these lies are just that…. Lies! So what is the strategy? What is our defense?
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV)
- Submit yourselves to God.
Yield to His authority and will, commit your life to Him and His control, and be willing to follow Him. Be in obedience to His authority over us. Cultivate a heart of humility and surrender to His will. Keep in communion with God. Study and keep His Word in your mind and in your heart. Continue to learn and grow spiritually. Commit yourself to following Him daily. Be fervent in your prayer life so that you will recognize His voice and not be fooled the voice of satan.
- Resist the devil.
To resist means to withstand, strive against or oppose, don’t allow satan to entice and tempt you. Go on the offensive against satan with the weapons of our warfare (Ephesians 6 13-18). But most of all stay in the Word of God; plant its truths deep in your heart. Using the scriptures to expose satan’s lies and temptation is the most effect way to defeat him.
It is important to read the whole verse, submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil… resisting the devil cannot be accomplished without submission to God.
As Christians, we have a full life when we are aware of the reality of the presence of evil. We must stand firm in our faith; we must realize that the enemy we are up against is a real force that come from the power of darkness. A disobedient or un-submissive believer will not be victorious.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV)
There is nothing more frustrating to satan than a believer who is fully equipped with his spiritual armor – Ephesians 6:11-17 – who walks in the truth of the Word and is in constant communion with God through prayer and fasting and study.
Remember, the very words Jesus spoke to the devil when He was tempted were the Words of God…. “It is written…”. Satan cannot stay where the Word of God is spoken. Just as he did in that desert, he must flee. It’s time for God’s people to open or re-open your bibles. Read, study, absorb, and devour the Word of God. Re-dedicate yourself to the Word. It is your weapon against the tactics of the already defeated satan.