Lies, lies and more lies!
He desires for each of us to live selfish, miserable, lonely lives. He whispers his temptations in the most attractive and convincing manner. Why? He wanted to rule heaven, and led a revolt of the angels – but was no match for the Almighty. Instead, he was thrown out and doomed to eternal punishment.
So, the only way that he can get any kind of revenge and hurt the Almighty is to hurt you – the one that God loves. He cannot touch God. He cannot cause the great Creator any sort of harm, so instead, he settles for undermining your trust in your Heavenly Father and separating you from the One who loves you so. Satan will tell any lie in order to get you to do the wrong thing. However, you don’t have to fall for it …
Satan wants you to believe that he’s stronger than God. “I once heard a lady say that she wouldn’t pray out loud because she was afraid that the devil would intercept her prayer before it got to God,” writes Kathy Gates, a professional life coach, writing for the website Christian Mommies. “That’s giving the devil more power than God, and that’s a mistake. You already know that the Devil will do just about anything to get your attention. Did you ever stop to think that he’s lying to you about almost everything every day? These lies can become so pervasive, that they almost don’t seem like lies anymore.”
The enemy wants you to believe the Word of Almighty God is not true. “Think about how powerful that lie is,” writes blogger Douglas Hoff. “If the word of God is not true then there would be no need to obey God. The devil doesn’t care if you hang onto part of the truth, because he has you where he wants you if don’t have all of the truth. He doesn’t mind if people call the Bible ‘a good guidebook for raising a family’ as long as he can convince people it is full of errors and man-made stories.”
Satan wants you to think badly of God, too. If the devil can get you thinking negatively about your loving Father, he has you doubting the Lord’s loving goodness. The first recorded words of Satan as he crawled into history are, Did God really say...? “His very first words are an attempt to introduce a negative thought about God,” writes Dr. Barry L. Davis on the Mind of Christ website. “God is not a negative God – He is full of grace, mercy, and love.”
One big lie: There is no such thing as absolute truth. “There are those who hold to the position that truth is completely subjective, that truth is within the mind of the individual,” advises the website of the West End Church of Christ in Louisville, Kentucky. ”What that ultimately means is truth to a particular person is essentially whatever he wants it to be. But may I suggest to you that when it comes to spiritual matters there is an absolute and objective truth, and that truth is very must attainable and understandable. It is the truth of God’s word, and we have that truth preserved for us right here in the Bible. And please be advised that the truth of God’s Word is infallible and unchangeable. It doesn’t change according to one person’s view. It doesn’t change according to time or season. Truth is truth and will always be truth regardless of our attitude towards it or ignorance of it. Likewise, the truth of God’s Word, no matter how it is viewed, will not change.”
Another big lie: You don't have to worry about Satan. “According to a Barna poll, 60 percent of American Christians believe he is just a symbol of evil, not a real, living being or person,” writes commentator Micah Jones. “That statistic amazes me. What that tells me is that the majority of Christians do not believe the Bible.”
Satan wants you to believe that God is boring, “but the opposite is true,” writes Anna Finley on her blog Journey With the Creator. “God sits on a throne, encircled by a rainbow, with flashes of lightning and peals of thunder permeating the atmosphere around Him. In front of Him is a sea of glass that sparkles like crystal, along with four creatures, covered with eyes, who look like a lion, an ox, a man, and a flying eagle. Day and night these creatures never stop saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’ Yeah, right, and God is supposed to be ‘boring?’ I don’t think so! Read Revelation chapter four for more details.”
Satan wants you to think he’s not real, that he’s not a threat. The French poet Charles Baudelaire said, "My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!" That’s exactly where we are today, writes Jones, “We think that we have some new truth, when the real truth is that Satan wants to kill you and your family. You don’t need to deny the existence of Satan, you just need to realize the truth: Satan is defeated, Jesus already did it. You just stand strong in that and resist him – and he will flee. The Bible says so. God says so.”
This one’s a biggie in America: The main thing that God wants for you is to be happy in this life and in this world. “I hate to break it to you, but that sentiment is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Bible,” writes Jones, “That’s one of your American rights, but not necessarily one of your Christian rights. Don’t get me wrong, God wants you to be happy. ‘The Joy of the Lord is your strength,’ (Nehemiah 8:10). In fact someone who is truly seeking to know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering is happier than anyone else on Earth. It’s just not God’s main goal for you. It may not even be on His top-ten list of goals for you. As Americans we are repeatedly reminded that it is one of our country’s main purposes, giving you a place to pursue happiness. As a Christian you should be happy, you should have Joy. Too many Christians are worried, troubled, depressed, and drugged. They wouldn’t be if they would stop pursuing happiness and instead pursue the ‘unsearchable riches of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:8).”
Church is not important. “Our nation is full of people who refuse to go to church because they don't want some guy in a suit telling them how to live,” writes Davis. “They want independence and autonomy, and that's what Satan promises them. But Satan is a liar – He never quite delivers on his promises. He told Eve she would know good and evil, but he didn't tell her what that knowledge would do to her soul.” This lie manifests itself in many different ways, writes Jones. “This lie subtly creeps into a Christian’s heart. It blows my mind how many Christians just don’t show up at church because ‘My relatives are in town and they didn’t want to come.’ Hello! Maybe you could bring them to church and get them saved.”
Another lie: If you’re going to attend church, once or twice a year is enough. The lie goes something like this: “You only need to go church every once in a while – maybe on Christmas or Easter,” writes Hoff. “Other excuses include: ‘You deserve a day to rest after you’ve worked so hard to provide for your family. No one there cares about you anyway so you might as well stay home. You certainly don’t want to go to that boring Bible class.’” In fact, “The devil knows if he can keep you out of church, he can keep you out of heaven! The church is like a human body. “It needs every part to function properly and if he can keep you away from the rest of the body, not only does he get you, but he also weakens the church.”
Satan wants you to think God is a tyrant. “Satan wanted Eve to think of God as being severe; he wanted her to believe that God was cruel,” writes Davis. “There are many people in our world who are going to hell because they think God is unfair. They want to blame the evil men do on God, and they reject the Lord due to Satan's deceit. The devil wanted Eve to view God as a cosmic killjoy, so straight‑laced that He had forbidden any type of enjoyment. Satan still wants people to think that, so he propagates the myth that the fun things in life are illegal, immoral, or fattening. He wants us to believe that every time God sees someone having pleasure, He moves to break it up.”
Another lie: Following God’s Word is just too hard and you’ll never have any fun, writes Hoff. The lie is that “if you try to live up to God’s expectations, you will be the most miserable person in the world.” The devil argues with you: “Think about all those commands that God wants you to follow! God likes watching you struggle because he doesn’t want you to be happy. So, go ahead and enjoy life – he will still let you into heaven.” Not so, says Hoff. “Do you see how sneaky the Devil can be? No wonder Peter said in 1 Peter 5:8 ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’
Satan wants you to believe God will make an exception in your case. The Bible is full of examples of people who did not think God’s commandments applied to them, writes Hoff. However, Matthew 7:21-23 warns "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Another sneaky lie: There isn’t going to be a Judgment Day. After almost 2,000 years, Jesus hasn’t come back (yet!) “This lie was being spread in the first century as well,” writes Hoff. James 5:7-8 advises us: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” There will be a Judgment Day but it will come when God has decided.
Satan tells us: You have plenty of time to obey God. “The devil had a meeting in Hell on how to deceive the people,” writes Hoff. “One demon said, ‘Let us tell them that the Bible is not true.’ The devil replied, ‘That will work but only up to a point.’ A second demon said ‘Let us tell them that Jesus is not Lord.’ The devil replied, ‘That will only work up to a point as well.’ An older demon suggested, ‘Let us say that the Bible is the word of God and Jesus is Lord but let us convince people they have all the time in the world to obey him.’ The devil loved this idea. The truth is that we ought to obey God right now. Acts 24:25 tells us “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’ And 2 Corinthians 6:2 says ‘Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Satan wants us to think God hates us. “Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth,” writes Davis. “In Genesis we have the account of a loving God creating a beautiful abode for his created children Adam and Eve. The Lord tells man to freely eat of any tree in the garden, with one exception. God isn't a vengeful deity hurling thunderbolts at mankind to make him squirm. He is good and loving, even sending His own Son to make atonement for us. God didn't give us laws to be mean, but to express His love and concern for us. He wants to protect us. A loving father creates rules to protect his children, not to antagonize them. That's why the Psalmist could write: ‘For the LORD God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right’ (Psalms 84:11)/ The Christian life is not a life of negativity, but a life of joy and glory. God loves you and wants what is best for you.”
Satan wants you to be skeptical about God. In the very first recorded conversation anybody had with him, the devil is intent on planting doubts in the human mind, writes Davis. Genesis 3:1-4 records: “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit of the garden?” “Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.” “You won’t die!” the serpent hissed. There is a battle continuing today “that began in the Garden of Eden,” notes Davis. “Satan was trying to plant doubt in Eve’s mind, and he is doing the same thing today. Satan wants you to doubt Scripture, for then he has caused you to be skeptical of God's source of revealing Himself. Instead, Satan wants to offer an alternative to the Bible. There are a number of alternatives he throws at us that have been prevalent since Satan first started temping humankind. That are those?
One of Satan’s sneaky counterfeits: Relativism, a philosophy that claims truth is always changing, writes Davis. “Morality is by majority; if everyone says pornographic movies are good, then they simply become good.” Another of the enemy’s sneaky alternatives: Subjectivism, “which suggests that something may be true for you but not for me,” writes Davis. No, truth is truth.
Another is Empiricism, writes Davis, “which requires us to measure or test everything for it to be true – if you cannot see God, He must not exist.” Satan also pushes Existentialism, writes Davis, “which argues that the only truth is that which you can experience. The Bible can only become the Word of God if you get an experience from it.”
Another alternative to biblical truth is Rationalism, which makes a god of logic, writes Davis. “This allows a man to decide what he will deem true or untrue; substituting ‘Thus saith the man’ for ‘Thus saith the Lord.’
“Perhaps the most dangerous alternative to Scripture is Pragmatism,” writes Davis, “where we forget all about truth and simply search for what works. If the Bible doesn't seem to work, we junk it for something else that does. All these philosophies have been introduced to cause men and women to be skeptical of God. We have a generation of people who have been told there are no moral absolutes; no fixed standards of right and wrong. And because they have no final authority, they have no compass upon which to make moral decisions. For example, if you ask a Christian, ‘Is it wrong to steal?’ she will say, ‘Of course it's wrong. God said it's wrong.’ It's wrong to commit adultery. It's wrong to dishonor your parents. It's wrong to take the Lord's name in vain. But to a person who has rejected the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, who lives without a baseline of truth, those decisions are much tougher. ‘Perhaps there are times when it's right to steal,’ they'll argue, ‘and there is no such thing as committing adultery.’ Satan loves that sort of confusion. He encourages skepticism, because it plays right into his hands.”
Satan wants you to think lightly about God. “Satan promised Eve: ‘You won’t die!’ He was telling her that, ‘you don't have to worry about God – you don't have to fear what He said – you don't have to stand in awe of the Almighty,’” writes Davis. “Satan is behind the idea that you can get away with sin. He wants you to believe that God won't punish sin. He wants to turn the Ten Commandments into the Ten Suggestions, since a law without penalty is merely advice. The fact is, there is a God, and He will punish sin, whether you choose to believe it or not. Your lack of belief doesn't change the facts. Satan can claim that Eve won't die if she eats the apple, but that doesn't stop God from following through on His promise.”
Satan says you’ll have another lifetime in which to try again. “I have watched the New Age religions grow in numbers over the last couple of decades and shake my head at the lies of Satan,” writes Davis. “New Ageism is just a repackaging of the same old lies, dressed up in modern clothes. They have the lie of reincarnation: that you can keep coming back to earth until you get your life right. That's a lie Satan tells to keep people from believing in a personal God to whom we all must give an account. The Bible teaches us that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). But Satan doesn't want you to believe that. That's why he has worked so hard to develop the idea that judging sin is wrong. Try criticizing wicked behavior publicly and you'll be branded a bigot. It's become un-American to ever judge sin. People think God is too good to punish sin – but they have forgotten that we have a holy God who is too good to fail to punish sin. Take Him lightly at your peril.”
The enemy wants you to be suspicious of God. “Look at the suspicion Satan tries to plant in the mind of Eve,” writes Davis. “‘God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.” The devil is saying, "Eve, God is holding out on you. He's being unfair. He's trying to cramp your style. Why should God get the monopoly on godhood? Why doesn't He want you to reach your full potential? You can never be all that you can be by going God's way. Wouldn't you rather be in charge?"
Satan wants you to think God isn't really good, that He can’t be trusted. That He is doing something to keep you from personal fulfillment. “It's amazing the tack the devil takes,” writes Davis. “Eve had heard the Word of Truth from Almighty God, but here she is talked into disobeying by a snake! Satan hints that God's word can't be trusted, that she should make her own choices, and that she needs to experiment if she is really going to live. That's the same argument that has destroyed our moral base. We have a generation of people experimenting with drugs, sex, and the occult because they were told to reject God and step out on their own. When you think suspiciously of God, you act independently of Him.”
Satan wants you to believe that God doesn’t heal or perform miracles anymore, writes Finley, “but the opposite is true. When my son was nine, he broke his arm. The X-Rays showed the break, and he was in severe pain. We agreed in prayer, right in the ER, asking God to heal him, and God did just that! My son suddenly stopped crying as he thrust his arm up into the air, over and over again, which he couldn’t do only seconds before. A second set of X-Rays showed that his arm was no longer broken! After looking at the second X-Ray, the doctor was ‘confused.’ Yet, we all witnessed a miracle that day.”
Satan wants you to believe that God is unapproachable, but the opposite is true, writes Finley, “Don’t fall for the lie that you aren’t ‘good enough’ or ‘righteous enough’ to call on God.”
Satan wants you to believe that this world is all there is. “He wants you to believe that you’d better spend all your time getting everything you can while you’re here,” writes Gates. “That people here are more important than the eternity in Heaven. He wants you to get caught up in the material side of life and forget about your spiritual side.
The devil wants you to believe that you’re all alone. “He knows that this leads to feeling helpless and depressed, and then he can plant discouraging, and hateful things in your mind,” writes Gates. “When you know you have people who care about you, then you can fill your mind with hope, and love, and giving, and there’s just no room for the Devil’s darkness.”
Satan wants you to believe that free will is a myth. “He wants you to believe that you have no control over how you think, or how you feel,” writes Gates. “When he wins this battle, it leaves him to push you in any direction that he chooses. It lets him use you to work for him by the feeling that you can’t fight difficult thoughts, and difficult attitudes, and even difficult circumstances.”
Satan wants you to think you have to be perfect. “Don’t allow Satan to convince you that God is so displeased with you that He won’t hear your prayers unless you ‘get your act together’ first,” writes Finley, “The only way your life can improve is by first calling on God, who will help you to overcome whatever you’re struggling with. Psalm 145:18 says, ‘The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.’”
The devil wants you to believe that what you do can’t possibly matter in the long run. “He wants you to not be aware of how your attitude, or your thoughts, or your words or actions might affect other people,” writes Gates. “If you believe you’re not a tool of God, then you won’t monitor or safeguard your mind, heart, and spirit, from the junk the Devil dishes out every day. Then the devil can use your thoughts, your voice, your actions to work for him.” You can make a massive difference in the world.