Like slick, conniving snake oil salesmen of days gone by, modern-day sales reps and advertisements
Satan was the original snake oil salesman, promising Eve one thing, but giving her quite another (Genesis 3:1-6).
Though his words were partially true, he meant something entirely different. His premise was selfish and a terrible reflection on God. And the devil's promise was false too.
Here are some EXAMPLES of how our enemy works:
- He uses lies to blind the spiritual eyes of people so they will not understand the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he hinders our gospel witness to them (Matthew 13:19).
- He keeps people in bondage to sin (the "gods" we set up in our lives) so they will not respond to the Lord (Galatians 4:8).
- He lies about and slanders God, casting doubt on His words, and ultimately, His goodness (Genesis 3:4-5).
- He uses "sons of the evil one" (even "fake" Christians) to deceive people and create disunity in the Body of Christ (Matthew 13:38-39; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
- He encourages us to believe false doctrines (lies) and compromise biblical theology (1 Timothy 4:1-3).
- Our adversary prowls, cleverly using our weaknesses (and even strengths) to set us up for ultimate failure and destruction (1 Peter 5:6-8).
- He tempts us to deceitfully impress people, rather than live authentically for the Lord (Acts 5:3; John 8:44).
- The evil one outright tempts us to do wicked things (Matthew 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), because he's a destroyer of all that is good and holy.
- He slanders Christians before the Lord (Revelation 12:10), especially after he "sifts" us to see how committed we are, and we give in to temptation (Luke 22:31).
- He uses emotional turmoil—especially discouragement, doubt, depression and despair—to attempt to cripple us (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
- He instigates persecution for our faith and godliness (Revelation 2:10).
- He tries to confuse our minds and steer us away from the simplicity of Christ and power of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11;3).
- He subtly suggests we ignore (or even thwart) what God desires to do (Matthew 16:21-23).
- He promises thrills outside God-given boundaries for sexual intimacy (2 Timothy 2:20-21; 1 Corinthians 7:5).
- Our enemy constantly fights our progress in Christ (Ephesians 6:12). He attempts to rob Christians of joy, peace, happiness, purpose and a host of other things the Lord wants to bless believers with in their walk with Christ.
At the base of all his other agendas, Satan wants us to worship and serve anything and anyone other than our Father in heaven, and to believe anything other than the pure Word of God.
He wants us to find satisfaction in things other than what God provides for us. He lures us to value anything or anyone more than Christ.
When we succumb to our enemy's temptation to yield to misplaced—even addictive—desires, we will likely end up broken or damaged, maybe even destroyed.
Basically, the enemy uses false premises and promises to make us FUNCTIONING IDOLATERS.
Dr. Tim Keller wrote:
"Sin isn't only doing bad things,
it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things.
Sin is building your life and meaning on anything,
even a very good thing, more than on God.
Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us.
Sin is primarily idolatry."
Beyond Satan's lies, he uses other means in his attempts to destroy us. He is a murderer (John 8:44). He uses fleshly afflictions and diseases to harass us and try to shut down our effectiveness (Job 2:7; 2 Corinthians 12:7). And Satan tempts believers to find quick fixes—unbiblical answers—for their problems. Then he robs them of joy, peace, happiness, purpose and a host of other things God has for His children.
So how are we to deal with Satan's agenda to conquer us?
We must never take Satan or his agenda to destroy us lightly.
- We resist Satan's lies by not being "ignorant of his schemes" (2 Corinthians 2:11b).
- We submit to the Lord and soberly and persistently resist Satan (Ephesians 4:27; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8).
- We take up and wear the Armor of God daily—both defensive and offensive weapons (Ephesians 6:11-18)—and stand against the devil in all his wiles. His false premises and promises do not need to take us captive (2 Timothy 2:26).
- We stand strong in our identity in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17; Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:1-2).
- We REMEMBER: Greater is he who is in us (Jesus) than he who is in the world! (1 John 4:4)
What lies of the enemy are you believing today? What are the false premises and promises that may have ensnared you and hindered your worship and service for the Lord?