The father of all lies hates us. He’d love to see us burn in an eternal hell, and he’ll do anything he can to make it happen.
Here are three ways he might try:
1. Get us to doubt God’s Word.
Satan’s words to Eve in the Garden were “Has God really said . . . ?” (Gen 3:1). The first step he takes is to undermine the authority of the Word of God in our lives. God clearly told Adam and Eve His Word, and the first thing Satan did was try to cast a little doubt on it.The deceiver’s doubts might come to us a little differently, but with basically the same intent. “Maybe this just wasn’t translated well.” “Well, God couldn’t really mean we should actually love our enemies.” “There’s no way God could really hate divorce. That’s such a strong word!”Once we have doubted God’s Word, we’re right where Satan wants us–unstable, and ready to be tossed to and fro by another wind of false doctrine.
2. Create a false reality.
“You will not surely die . . .” (Gen 3:4). This is the part that’s a flat out lie. Satan loves denying the truth of God and encouraging people to “exchange the truth of God for a lie” (Romans 2).Satan will do whatever it takes to convince you that the consequences of sin aren’t as bad as God has said they would be. The pain won’t be that bad. There isn’t anything after this life, so live it up! Sex before marriage doesn’t cause distance and emptiness! You won’t feel remorse or have life-long issues after you abort your baby! Hell isn’t real!A false reality results in faulty actions. If the tempter can get you to dilute the consequences for your actions, then you’re pretty close to hooked.
3. Cast doubt on God’s good intentions for you.
“God knows that when you eat of it, you will be like God . . . ” (Gen 3:5). Here Satan convinced Eve that God didn’t have her best intentions at heart. She believed there was something she was missing out on; something God was holding from her that would have made her life better.This is exactly what happens when Satan tempts us. When we hear a command of God and are tempted to disobey Him, we think, “I’m missing out on all the fun!” In this moment what we’re really telling God is, “You don’t really care for me. You’re holding out. You don’t have my best intentions at heart.”What we don’t realize is that fullness of joy is in the presence of God. He is a well that does not run dry, and everything that could ever satisfy us is God Himself. God’s ways are for our good! Not exactly like medicine (although His good discipline is painful), but because they actually result in our happiness and flourishing!