Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Lie v. Truth," By Kelli Zaniel

“Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Gen 4:7).

The Bible reveals God’s character as he relates to his people. From Genesis to Revelation we see godly people mess up and break God’s commands. We hear stories of how God’s people actively pursue the will of God but then something happens to slip them up. What happens? Satan’s distortion of God’s truth happens and then ultimately our sin.

Satan entered the scene as he hissed and slithered his way through the tranquil Garden of Eden. His deceptive fabrications of the truth caused Adam and Eve to ultimately usher sin into the world. Satan speaks to us today the way he spoke to Eve in the garden. He knew her soft spot the way he knows ours. His lying whispers offer an easier, more comfortable solution to today’s problems. This makes it difficult to discern whether we are hearing our voice or his? That is why God warned Cain in Genesis 4:7, that Satan was crouching next to his accomplice, sin, ready to pounce at all times. When sin is in crouching position, we have two choices. We can either be dominated by it or we can resist it.

Satan is the master deceiver and is fully aware of our weaknesses. He cracks open his “little black book,” to see what slipped us up last time… then tosses the same temptation our way again. Have you ever been deceived by someone? In the past when I have been deceived, it is usually by a person who is very familiar with all my insecurities. Satan operates the same way.

The dictionary defines, “deceiver,” as to lead another into error, danger, or a disadvantageous position by underhanded means. Deceive involves the deliberate misrepresentation of the truth. That has Satan’s handprints all over it. His actions are very subtle, never obvious and always underhanded. That is why the Bible warns that Satan is crouching and lurking in the shadows like a coward waiting to pounce in a surprise attack against us. Even in the midst of our daily duties, we must be armored up and ready to go.

Where there are rules, Satan wants to break them. He worms his way into our thoughts causing us to second guess our decisions…. Did God really say not to do that? Maybe you misunderstood. This very thing happened to David in 1 Chronicles 21. God continuously poured his divine into David’s life. David had a history of radical obedience to whatever God required of him. With God’s guidance he defeated many armies and witnessed the abundant blessings of his undeniable obedience. David always gave the glory to God, “God did it, God defeated the armies” (1 Chron. 15:11-12)! But you guessed it, Satan swooped in and interrupted David’s love story with God.

“Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel” (1 Chron. 21:1). God had previously instructed David not to count his men; “do not be pre-occupied with numbers.” Even David’s side kick, Joab, asked him, “why do you cause Israel to sin?” Satan played on David’s insecurities which made him question whether or not they had enough men to defeat the rising army. David was no longer operating on faith but on his ability to control the situation. Unfortunately, Satan trapped David in disobedience which angered God. Just like Satan tripped up Adam and Eve causing God to curse the ground in the Garden of Eden, he tripped up David in a similar way causing the angel of the Lord to draw a sword reaching out over Jerusalem.

God was so angry with David that he told him he could choose one of three ways to be punished. Three years of famine; three months of war; or three days of a severe plague. Honestly, none of the above sound good. Because of David’s one act of disobedience, a plague fell on Israel wiping out 70,000 people. I am sure, if he survived the plague, old man Joab was pointing his finger and shaking his head saying, “I told you so…you should have listened to God!”

Hebrews 13:8 says that, “Gods character does not change.” God relates to us today the way he related to his people in the Old and New Testaments. We serve the same God that David served. He desires our obedience and will discipline us when necessary. Satan throws his filthy rotten temptations at us the way he has always done. His tricks and schemes haven’t improved. Satan underhandedly works to trip us up today just like he tripped up the heroes of the Bible thousands of years ago.

Satan tried to trip up Jesus when they battled in the desert. How did Jesus combat temptation? He resisted by clothing himself with the armor of God’s Holy Word. That still works today! This is how:

Satan’s voice says: Get all you can from whoever you can; God’s voice says “give to everyone who asks” (Matt. 5:42);

Satan’s voice says: Put yourself first; God’s voice says “love others more than yourselves and think of their interests above your own” (Phil. 2:3-4);

Satan’s voice says: you can’t do that, just quit; God’s voice says “stay committed” (Matt 5:37);

Satan’s voice says seek instant gratification; God’s voice says “be self-controlled” (Gal. 5:23);

Satan’s voice says God doesn’t love you; God says I loved you so much that I gave my only son to bridge the gap between heaven and earth (John 3:16).
So if this week finds you being attacked by Satan's shouts of doubt, armor up with God's Holy Truth. Call on the Lord and he will come to your rescue.

1 comment:

  1. One of the blessings that I've come to count on from the Lord is that with each lie Satan tries to get me to believe, God is ever faithful to reveal the truth to me as long as I'm looking for it. I've learned the hard way that our emotions often lead us into embracing the lies of the devil. I'm starting to get it... a little... praise God! When my emotions are flaring they produce sort of a cloud around me, the truth is still there, but I'm so puffed up in my own flesh, feeling justified, that I move in the moment. However, if I wait for the clouds to clear, breath, evaluate my emotions then I will see His truth. I really do want more to be blameless than to sin because of a lie that I chose to believe. Psalm 119:1 says "Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the way of the Lord."