In Genesis 3 the Bible refers to Satan as “crafty” (NIV, ESV, NASB). The HCSB and NKJV translates the word “cunning.” This means he is creative and good at what he does. So, what does he do? According to John 10:10 his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. Since Genesis 3 and fall of humanity, Christ-followers have been in a war – a war against Spirit and flesh. The apostle Paul wrote about this to the church of Rome when he said, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15 ESV)
Satan at the core is a masterful deceiver. He manipulates and lies to get you to fail and fail miserably. He is not for you. He will tell what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear. Let’s look again at the fall of humanity in Genesis 3. Satan’s lies were, “Did God actually say…” “You won’t surely die…” “You will be like God- knowing good and evil.” All of these things sound good, right? Of course, they do. Who wouldn’t want to be like God? At the end of the day though, they were lies, full of deceit.
As a pastor, I hear this phrase often, “Satan made me do it.” We play the blame game. Adam and Eve did the same thing in Genesis 3. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed Satan. (Genesis 3:9-13) While Satan is the masterful deceiver, we believe the lies; we sin, we fall short. I often want to look at people who blame it all on Satan and say, “God gave you a brain to use it” or “God gave you intellect for a reason.” We do have the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. We don’t set the standard though – God has.
It is a battle, a hard struggle no doubt. Satan is destroying the family unit. We are “redefining” everything these days, and it will only get worse. Absolute truth is viewed as “narrow-minded” and arrogant. Christ-followers are laughed at and mocked.
So what tends to be Satan’s four biggest reoccurring lies?
1. The Lie of Independence: You don’t need God; you can do it on your own.
“You got this…”
2. The Lie of Conditional Love: God’s love for humanity is based on what we do or don’t do.
“…so what does God think of me now?”
3. The Lie of Secrecy: Sin isn’t that big of a deal; no one will notice.
“No one even knew about it…”
4. The Lie of Time: Live the life you desire; you have all the time in the world.
“There’s always next Sunday…”
The bottom line of all four of these lies is false hope. So where is hope? Where can we turn to find Truth? The Truth can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What Jesus says is true. Always. Romans 8:37-39 HCSB says, “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
So what is the best way to know Truth?
1. Relationship: An intimate relationship with Jesus. (Philippians 3:10, John 3:16-17)
2. God’s Word: If it contradicts or goes against the Word, it is wrong. Period. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 119:105)
3. Sanctification: Growth and maturity as a Christ-follower. (Colossians 2:6-8)
Satan is a masterful deceiver. Jesus is greater. Jesus is better. Christ followers DO NOT live in defeat! Why? Because through Him we have life. Eternal life. This does not mean we will never mess up, but in the mess ups, we have a higher perspective that Jesus is doing great work in and through us.