This post is adapted from my Bible study Storms of Life
Face-to-face, eye-to-eye, one-on-one. Can you imagine standing toe-to-toe with Satan? I’d have a stroke or drop dead, or both! But that’s exactly what happened. Two people in Scripture stood in the presence of Satan: Eve, in the Garden of Eden, and Jesus, after forty days in the desert.
On the surface, these are two radically different events but, when we look closer, we can identify the tactics Satan uses today. He tempts us when we’re vulnerable and attacks us when we’re weak.
We’ll start with Satan’s encounter with Eve learn to protect ourselves from his lies. Next week, we’ll watch Jesus defeat the enemy at his own game.
Adam and Eve lived in a perfect garden. Everything they needed was within their reach. They didn’t know illness, sorrow, fear, or anxiety. Best of all, they walked with God – can you imagine their conversations?
Into this paradise, slithered the snake, to entice and entrap them. With three lies, he destroyed their perfect lives.
1. God doesn’t mean what He says.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
Satan’s intent was to throw Eve off-balance, to cause her to doubt God’s words. He bombards us with the same question. "Did God really say..."
He tries to convince us that God didn’t really mean what He said or that it no longer applies to us.
It’s dangerous when we doubt one part of what God says because it’s a slippery slope to doubting even more. Gossip, dishonesty, or immorality become easy because the question has taken root in our minds: Did God really say that?
2. God is a liar!
“You will not surely die, said the serpent to the woman.” Genesis 3:4
Can you believe it? Satan looked straight at Eve and declared that God was lying. You won’t die. In fact, there won’t be any consequences at all.
This lie is rampant today. Society chants the mantra, “It’s your life! If it feels good, do it!” We live in a world where sinful behavior is rewarded with success and happiness. Our friends live with careless abandon and they seem to suffer no consequences.
When we wade in sin and nothing happens, we feel safe to go in deeper. Often, the consequences are disastrous and can leave long-lasting scars. Listen to that small voice, “Don’t do that, it’s too dangerous.”
God’s Word is truth and we can trust Him to lead us to safe waters.
3. You will be like God!
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” Genesis 3:5
This is the most attractive lie of all. Eve was captivated by the idea that she could be her own god. It still sounds wonderful. We can set our own standards for good and evil. We can define sin to suit our purposes. We want to command our own future. Our will becomes our guide and we ignore God.
When we try to take our lives into our own hands, it usually leads to a mess. When will we learn: God is God and we are not! Selfishness leads to sorrow. Only God knows the path to joy.
How can we resist Satan’s lies?
- Know God’s Word. Spend time with Him. Read His Word. It’s a powerful weapon against doubt.
- Count your blessings. Are the things you’re tempted to do worth the risk?
- Build your life on God’s standards. Trust Him; He knows what’s best for us.
- Listen to the warnings He places in our minds. He often reminds us of a phrase or verse from Scripture that helps us.
- Run! Eve was on the right track when she exposed Satan’s lie, but that wasn’t enough. If she’d walked away, Satan would’ve been defeated. Run, don’t walk to God’s protection.
Satan’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy our peace and joy. He strives to unravel our relationships with God and to cripple our witness. He uses the same lies but, in God’s strength, we can fight back and win.
Photo credits: Thad Bergmeir via Google images ; kjvdevos.blogspot.com via pinterest; managerlink.monster.com; www.morguefile.com