The Devil's Lies!
Satan has several ways in which he lies, tricks and deceives, and what is great about this for us is he does not change his game plan. He makes the same plays over and over. The hook is plainly visible and we should be able to recognize it easily. So, if you have his "playbook" (and we do), we can have a ready defense and foil all of his attempts.
Here are the Devil's Game Plan lies:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11
- The first lie is Rebellion. (Rom 1:18-23) He wants and desires for us to rebel against God, who sets the standards. He says it is fun, but all it does is lead us away from the truth and the best plan for us. Satan is acting as our accuser and seeking to make war on us, and he appears to be our friend when he really is our fiend. This is how Satan produces and constructs quarrels and battles us fervently-because we rebel at what is good and right. He seeks to destroy and mislead us into thinking we do not need God. And, if his tricks do not work, he will do all he can for as long as he can to destroy us. But, the great news in these passages is, we do not just have a great Referee, we have God on our side! Satan wants us to do his bidding while he deceives us along the way, but he can do nothing that God does not allow and he cannot do anything against the strength and resources that Christ gives us. (Question: How can we stand against this lie?)
- The second lie is Relativism. (Rom 1:24-27) What the world calls truth is not God's truth. The world says truth is relative to the individual, so if the individual say it is OK to kill 6 million Jews it must be OK because it is relative! If it feels good, then do it! Satan lets us have our way and desires, and then traps us in them, taking away what is important in life and eternity, relationships, and Christ! So, he gets us to twist our thinking and replace truth with what feels good and what we desire so we ignore goodness and godliness. He is lying to us! (Question: How can we stand against this lie?)
- The third lie is Hedonism (Rom 1:28-32) which is to exchange truth for a lie, to manipulate a sin into a right, such as homosexuality. One of Satan's favorite tools of the trade to wage war against us is to lie and to manipulate us, just as a crafty, shyster lawyer or a pool shark would! The book of Revelation tells us that Satan literally seeks to make war on us (Rev. 12:7-17). Satan is also our accuser, which is Satan's name in Hebrew. It is how he operates as slanderer; he accuses and slanders those who are God's children, whose faith is in Him. So, we take a truth of God-a precious precept-and change it or say it does not matter or it is not true; then, our lives and relationships break down because of our faulty influenced thinking. Most likely, Satan no longer is able to go before God and accuse us because he has been thrown out of heaven; however, as he is a powerful and knowledgeable being, he can cause us to rethink a truth and eventually disavow it. But, keep this in mind: in Christ, you can think clearly and ponder His Word. And as long as you do, Satan does not have any sway over a person of faith (Job 1:9-11; Zech 3:1-5; John 16:11). (Question: How can we stand against this lie?)
- The fourth lie is Religion. (Matt.13:28,30; 2 Cor. 11:14-15; Col. 2:16-23; Rev. 2:9, 19-24) Satan creates many religions with just a bare amount of truth in them, or he imitates religious function so people's focus is on traditions and trends and not on Christ. Satan's goal is to get us to miss the main Gospel message, and to manipulate people away from the one true God. If Satan cannot deceive us, he will resort to anything that works-from persecutions to being overworked and having no time for our Lord. Satan will even fill our schedule with good things to keep us distracted from the ultimate good of growing in our faith and being a positive influence of Christ to others. So, watch out how you are being used, how your time is allocated. If you think you are doing well by keeping the kids very busy in sports and all kinds of great activities, but there is no time for church or the things of faith, how good are your good works? When the main call and work is misplaced and forgone, you may be experiencing Satan's deception and rationalizing it. Be in prayer that your deeds are lined up to biblical character and precepts and not to your will and the ways of the world. Or else, Christians will become advocates of Satan rather than ambassadors of Christ. The devil is in the details; are you in our Lord (2 Cor. 5:20)? (Question: How can we stand against this lie?)
We don't want to become preoccupied with Satan, or live in fear of what Scripture reveals, what we see in media, or of false teachers. We can benefit from knowing about him so we will be better prepared and equipped to stand against him by what Christ has done. If you have been dipping into anything having to do with the occult-séances, tarot cards, crystals, astrology, ouija boards, or palm reading-stop now! This is strictly forbidden in the Bible, and for good reason-to protect you (Deuteronomy 18:10-13)! However, Satan does not limit himself to just the occult. Some of his other favorite domains for dealing his deadly deceptions are politics, education, and the media. He uses good things to bring us down too, such as church growth trends. I have seen them destroy rather than help because people focus on a fluff and not on Christ. Anything that gets in the way of Christ and your growth in Him can be from Satan, including sports, education, friends, TV, movies, or cars, etc. Too much of a good thing can be very bad! We have to beware of his lies and strategies; thus, we have to pay careful attention to what we hear in public schools and from the news and the entertainment industry. All we have to do to combat spiritual warfare is to be in Christ, in the Word, and refuse all beliefs and practices that give the devil a foothold in our lives.
- How would you describe Satan's power and destructiveness?
- How can you benefit from knowing about Satan's lies? Do you think you can be better prepared and equipped to stand against him by what Christ has done?
- Look over each of these strategies carefully. How can they help you see how and when he may come after you?
- How are you comforted that Satan can only do to you what God will allow for His glory?
- With all that is at Satan's disposal to attack, thwart, harass, and mislead you, how much can you stand? Now, consider that Christ is beside and within you for this fight?
- How can you succeed in spiritual warfare by relying on Christ and not yourself? How do you feel that this is all about His mighty power at work in us?
- Do you realize that Satan hates those who live their lives for Christ, thus he may wage war upon you? How will you deal with this?
- How does the devil get a hold on you? How does he discourage or sway you away from God and His ways? How does he twist your mindset? How can you form a defense to him?
- What do you think that you need to pay careful attention to with Satan's lies in your life?
- Satan also seeks to destroy those who are doing a good work, those who are faithful and being used in service to Him for His glory. What can your church do to prepare its people better?
© 1999, 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org