Last night, a precious Godly friend spoke encouragement and blessings over me. What a blessing she was to me! She knew the struggle I am currently in, and by the grace of God, knew exactly what to say. She was a embodiment of Hebrews 10:25, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
She stirred up my heart and encouraged me with her words.
The two thoughts that stuck with me after our conversation were, “Don’t listen to the lies of Satan,” and, “Don’t doubt God’s goodness.”
Of course, I began to ponder these questions. The question that really stumped me was, “How do I know when I am listening to lies from Satan?”
This one stumped me because, my sinful SELF tells me some pretty dumb lies. I don’t know about you, but I catch myself thinking things contrary to the word of God, often. Obviously, sanctification is still happening in the area of “taking every thought captive.” (2 Cr. 10:5) Are these lies implanted in my brain by Satan himself??? I do not know. The distinction between thoughts that originated with me and those that originated with Satan is not nearly important as identifying all thoughts that did not originate with God. We must identify thoughts and beliefs, regardless of their origin, that are contrary to God’s word and combat them with truth.
Still, I wondered, what would Satan want me to believe? The answer to this question led me back to the Garden of Eden, to the very first lie.
But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:4-5)
I believe these are the same lies we still battle today.
First, Satan said, “You will not surely die.” With this lie, Satan wanted to convince Eve that God would not follow through on the judgment He had already promised. Today, we hear this lie said with different words, but it is the same lie. “God is love, so He wouldn’t send anyone to hell.” “I know this is wrong, but God will forgive me.” These are lies. These types of statements reveal a heart that does not take the judgment of God serious. Satan wants us to doubt that God’s judgment is real.
As a side note: notice that, usually, these lies are half-truths, a muddy mix of something true with something false. Satan himself used half-truth in the garden, knowing they are easier for us to swallow. We must rightly divide truth from lie!
Second, and the lie that I am currently battling, is the lie that God is keeping something good from us. I know Satan did not come right out and say this, so let me explain. Satan’s statement was, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Satan wanted Eve to believe that God was keeping something good from them, which knew good and evil. Satan wanted them to believe that they deserved to have what they wanted, and that they could get it by their own efforts.
This lie is so dangerous because it also convinces us that we are a better judge of what is good than God is. We think, “I desire ______________ so much! This is good thing, that I deserve to have. Surely, if God was good He would give this to me,” or “Why? Why, God, did you let this happen to me?” Oh dear friend, can’t you hear the selfish, me-centered way of thinking in these statements? Lord, please forgive me for thinking in such a sinful way!
So, I am calling out these lies in my life. In light of the truth, I change my thoughts. I pray, “God, You are ultimately and supremely good. You know the desires of my heart. Lord, I trust that your plan, whatever it is, is best for bringing you Glory.”
I encourage you to recognize the lies you are listening to. Maybe, your situations are prompting you to doubt God’s goodness. Maybe, you doubt God’s judgment. Or, maybe you are listening one of a thousand other lies that are contrary to who God is and what His word says. Let’s expose those dark lies with the blinding light of Jesus. Let’s repent and replace those thoughts with truth from God’s word.