We should never underestimate Satan’s power to lead us into a lie because even self-deception can start with a tale told by the devil. Jesus said that when Satan lies, he’s speaking on his character because he’s a liar and the father of lies. Satan inspires fear, which is typically based on lies. If you’re a Christian, Satan’s primary goal in his attacks is to take down our faith.
Indeed, we fall prey more easily when we ignore Jesus’s truth, which is our defense against deception more easily when reading our Bibles regularly. People will lie to us, and we must use discernment. It’s not good to blame Satan for our foolishness. He doesn’t have to do all the work if we ignore the wisdom that starts with knowing God, as detailed in Proverbs 1:7. Still, Satan is crafty and wants us to go down the wrong path.
What’s worse is that his lies often mimic the truth. How do you know when Satan is working, lying to you? Here are some signs that Satan is deceiving you. Once you start thinking about the devil’s strategies for taking your peace, you’ll see more and more of them, creating a long list of evidence against Satan and, not only that, a defense against his evil schemes.
Overlooking that God’s teaching is different.
Jesus never lied, so if you’re worried about your choice, ask yourself, could Satan be deceiving me? Perhaps it’s a lie wrapped up in a truth? For example, in Matthew 28, Jesus told the disciples to go out and make disciples worldwide. This verse has motivated thousands of Christians to become foreign missionaries, who go where women, men and children haven’t heard about Jesus. However, what if you’re going overseas thinking that you must go overseas to share the gospel?
What if you think you should embark on foreign missions to be saved? What if you aim to be a hero, not a servant of Jesus and His people? Ask yourself: Who is it for, why am I going, and what makes me think this is God’s plan for me? This is one of the times when Satan lies by emphasizing half the truth. Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples, but there are unsaved people all around us to hear His Word.
Overseas work isn’t every person’s path. As for salvation, Christ bought it, so we cannot earn it. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that we’ve been saved through faith as a gift from God. If we believe Christ is leading us into foreign missionary work, it’s for His glory, not our own.
Believing it’s ‘too good to be true.’
Everyone has heard the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Proverbs 27:6 tells us that a friend’s wounds are faithful while an enemy’s kisses are profuse. In one sense, it means that while an enemy will tell you what you want to hear, a friend will tell you what you need to hear. What you want to hear is too good to be genuine and too appealing to be correct. Satan’s deception echoes the serpent’s question in the Garden of Eden, specifically in Genesis 3:1. What if Satan whispered in Judas’ ear, “Is He the King of Zion whose power shall be from sea to sea?” His greed made him an easy target for Satan’s lies.
Did David, Jesse’s youngest son, long for power and recognition? Indeed, Saul showered him with attention and love, as detailed in 1 Samuel 18. However, Saul’s rage and jealousy put David’s life in danger. The pleasing impression of safety, welcome, and significance was a deception facilitated by David’s willingness to believe. If David were paying attention, he might’ve noticed that Saul sought glory for himself through David’s success, not glory for God.
Ask yourself if God will be glorified in the direction you’re choosing. Ask what motivates another person’s offer and what motivates you to accept. Proverbs 29:23 says your pride will bring you low, but those lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
The world agrees with you.
The 21st-century Christian is battling public opinion that wants everyone to live, let live and not interfere with anyone’s truth. Right and wrong and truth all change. They’re subjective, and the culture defines them. However, God says that for those who follow Christ, His teaching differs from that of the world, and it doesn’t change. First John 12:15-16 tells us not to love the world or worldly things. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in them, for all that’s in the world isn’t from the Father.
Satan would love Christians to think God isn’t against it if it feels good. He wants us to be happy, but that’s not biblical. God hasn’t suddenly decided that gossip, vigilantism, and defacing property are okay with Him. His views on lying, slavery, and rape remain the same. When we love God with our entire beings, we love our neighbors. When we love our neighbors, we respect their minds, bodies, property, and hearts. When your inner defense says, “Everyone does it,” that’s Satan deceiving you. Instead, hear God reminding you to love your neighbor as yourself. Unlike Satan’s deceptions, that love isn’t the same as live and let live. It’s much more profound than that.
Ignoring the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit nudging you to run away, turn back, or not believe what that person is saying? When we feel that urge to change directions, there’s a chance Satan is involved. Jesus promised to send help in the form of the Holy Spirit. God knows how easy it is to fall for Satan’s lies, so He lives in us by His Spirit. He’s entrusted us with spreading the Good News, growing in Christ, and glorifying His name. These tasks are essential but challenging. However, Christ’s Spirit can defend us against Satan’s deception if we know the Spirit well enough to differentiate their voices.
In John 10:27, Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. He knows them, and they follow Him. We must immerse ourselves in the Bible and spend time in His company, listening and praying. Otherwise, how will we recognize the fake?