"Now the serpent"
That is how Genesis chapter 3 begins. The great deceiver clothed himself as a serpent and slithered up to Eve with a game plan to destroy God's image bearers.
People think that the enemy comes with a sword or a gun, or even a knife for his attack - but he only wields one weapon, LIES.
When the devil approached Eve in the garden he began by posing a question:
"Did God really say...?" (Genesis 3:1)
A simple invitation to enter into dialogue...
Any time you have a thought that begins with the words, "Did God really say..." you need to stop and ask yourself, "Where did that thought come from?"
The devil can't take away the promises of God. He can't change the truth of who you are and what you have in Christ. But He can put a question mark at the end of those promises to cause you to question if God's word is really true for you.
He can put a question mark at the end of God's commands in an attempt to get you to question if His promises apply today.
Most of the decisions that lead us in a path away from God's perfect plan begin with this question.
Dear son and daughter of God, we have got to know who the enemy is and understand how he works.
Today the devil uses the same strategy he used with Adam and Eve.
He takes the promises of God, such as, I am holy and dearly loved, and twists it around in your mind to become, Am I holy and dearly loved?, Can I do all things through Christ who gives me strength?, Am I free of condemnation?
Friend, when you sense that question mark at the end of any of God's promises GRAB IT WITH BOTH HANDS AND YANK IT INTO AN EXCLAMATION MARK.
I AM HOLY AND DEARLY LOVED! I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME! I AM FREE FROM CONDEMNATION!
Satan cannot dwell in a true believer because a true believer is sealed by and inhabited by the Holy Spirit. (Watch out for that question mark, BELIEVE THIS TRUTH)
However he can taunt, tempt, and trouble a believer. He masks his thoughts as our own thoughts. But the devil cannot make us do anything,. He can only make the suggestion. And God always provides a way of escape.
"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)
When it comes to the devil, you don't have to outmuscle him, outsmart him, or outshoot him to be free of his influence. You just have to "out-truth" him!
Part of the problem is we often don't recognize the lie OR the liar.
Your enemy is not your mother who hurt you, your father who abused you or abandoned you, your friend who betrayed you, or your employer who belittled you.
Christians often operate like blindfolded warriors. Not knowing who our enemy is, we strike out at each other.
If we don't know who the real enemy is, then we can't win the battle.
A man in the Arizona desert came upon a diamondback rattlesnake. With a tool from the back of his car trunk, he cut off its head. Amazingly, the headless snake continued to shake its rattle and lunge at him. "What's worse", the man said, "even though I knew its head was cut off, that he was dead, I still flinched."
Satan has already lost the battle , but he continues to shake his rattle to draw our attention away from the truth of his defeat.
He knows you are chosen, accepted, adopted, appointed, valued, justified, reconciled, redeemed, righteous, free from condemnation, holy, sealed, complete, and completely forgiven.
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11)
As you go on with your day, and the enemy tries this old strategy on you...I want you to hear God's voice asking you, "Who told you that? Who is saying those things to you? Is it the echoes of the world? Is it the whispers of the past? Is it old flesh patterns ingrained in your mind? Is it the devil disguising his voice as your own? WHO TOLD YOU THAT?
We defeat the devil every time we choose to listen to God's truth rather than the enemy's lies. We defeat the world every time we believe the Bible's words rather than culture's ever-changing belief system. We defeat the flesh every time we act in a way that lines up with our new, born-again identity rather than our old, self-centered programming.
The purpose of this blog was to expose Satan. HOWEVER, the enemy is never to be our focus. Our focus is on Jesus Christ--the truth giver, the way-maker, victorious Savior, God's only Son, who defeated the enemy on the cross!