It Won't Take Long
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
Satan seems to show up pretty quickly in the Book of Genesis. It reads as if Adam and Eve had little time to enjoy God, each other, and the Garden of Eden before Satan 'slithers' his way into the scene. As the drama unfolds, we are given a front-row seat to the conversation that would change the world and every member of humanity. We get to see the tactics--the strategy--of Satan as he wreaks havoc in the lives of our first parents. And if we are wise, we will learn from their tragic mistake. See, Satan uses the same strategy now as he did then. And when we decide to follow Jesus, take steps of growth, or enter into a difficult season of life, it won't take long for Satan to show up and whisper those same lies to us.
The first statement out of Satan’s mouth—“Did God actually say..?” The foundation of any believer’s life should be the Word of God. It lays out before us the pathway to joy, blessing, and honoring God. Without the Word of God, we are left to guess and speculate about the character and nature of God. Put simply, take away the Word of God and you take away someone’s ability to know and serve Jesus. It should come as no surprise to us that Satan is constantly seeking to destroy our trust in God’s Word.
He will subtly tempt us to believe that God is the one who utters lies—not him. Anyone who suggests that the Word of God is fallible and not a secure source of authority is doing the work of Satan. We live in a day where skepticism is heralded as being brave, tolerant, and intelligent. Hear this, there is nothing wrong with skepticism. It’s perfectly okay to have doubts and struggles with the Word of God. It’s perfectly normal. But our culture has stepped past normal skepticism and into something that is dangerous—pride and arrogance. Doubting the Bible because we believe we are ‘above’ it. And what causes this? Satan is standing behind every attack on the Word of God.
Pay close attention to your view and attitude towards the Word of God. It’s where Satan starts his lies. Getting someone to doubt the Word of God is the foundation Satan lays his whole strategy on.
"You will not surely die." This is a direct contradiction of what God had told Adam and Eve. Satan's strategy involves getting us to believe that God will not perform what he has spoken. When we have to labor in prayer, remain faithful as we wait for God to fulfill his promises, or wonder if a certain warning is as serious as God is making it out to be, we can be sure Satan will creep in and say, "It's not happening!" He will try to get us to throw in the towel by giving us the impression God has somehow lied to us. He whispers to us that we can get away with sin (even though God's Word proclaims that we cannot). He espouses false doctrines that contradict the Word of God. Refuse to accept anything you know is in direct contradiction to the Word of God (no matter how much pressure is put on you to do so).
Satan suggests a reason as to why God would not want them eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God doesn't want them to eat from it because, by doing so, they will become like God himself. Essentially Satan is telling them God is keeping something from them. That by listening to God, they will miss out on something.
His statement implies that God's commands are too restrictive, limit freedom, and are responsible for causing us to miss out on certain joys this world offers us.
In reality, God's commands give freedom, are the pathway to joy, and lead us away from pain and brokenness. We don't gain anything by our refusal to adhere to them. But Satan is crafty. He knows how to package his lies so we will be more likely to believe them. We see this clearly in our culture as it accuses God's commands of being intolerant. Same old lie--just differently worded.
In the Book of James, we are told to "submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee (4:7)." We don't outright do battle with Satan. Remember, he is too crafty. Instead, we run towards God. When Satan slithers into our lives, and it won't take long for him to do so, we don't spend time talking to him. This was the first mistake Eve made. When we recognize one of his lies, we don't spend time entertaining it or pondering its' supposed legitimacy. We don't wonder what would happen if we listen to it or make a 'pro's and con's' list. We focus on what we can do to honor God, where we need to submit, and run desperately into his presence.
We put as much distance between us and Satan's lies as possible.
If we don't, we are liable to end up thinking his lies are our own thoughts. If you feel as if you cannot stand against the lies of the enemy any longer, take heart. You can fall safely and securely into the presence, promises, and words of Jesus. And the devil will flee--he has to.