We know that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth that will guide us into all truth. John also wrote that The Holy Spirit teaches us only what is true and there is no lie in him. Conversely, Jesus called Satan the father of lies because everything he says is a lie. Jesus said that Satan has been a liar from the beginning. (God did not create him a liar, because God cannot lie; but at some point in the beginning, Satan must have chosen to be a liar.)
It’s this foundation of Satan’s lies that I want to explore. I believe that we all “hear” with our “spiritual ears” lies from the devil everyday and are not even aware of it most of the time. Is it possible that anytime we entertain criticism of another believer; we are actually engaged in a conversation with the “accuser of the brethren”?
My point is not to overemphasize the voice of the devil because Jesus, the Word of God, is the Good Shepherd and we are his sheep. Jesus said that his sheep will 1. Hear his voice 2. Know his voice 3. Follow him (his voice and not merely a book). I simply want to highlight a few of Satan’s favorite lies that are attempts to prevent us from doing so.
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Have you ever done something controversial and heard an authority figure challenge you with the question “Who do you think you are?!?” Challenging the believer’s identity is one of Satan’s most frequent tactics. It’s an attempt to undermine the core of the person’s being and replace it with an inferior identity complex.
Consider the very first temptation recorded towards Jesus, immediately after his baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s important to always build on what God says; so we will start from the words of the Father as he blessed the Son and the Holy Spirit rested on him.
Mark 1:9 “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
God the Father declared openly that Jesus is his beloved Son. The same is true of you because God has qualified you and transferred you out of the kingdom of darkness into the reign of his beloved Son!
This is a foundational truth about you; just as it is about Jesus and the deceiver immediately attacks it! (Next verse) “12Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan…
Mark did not describe the actual temptations, but Matthew recorded the first two starting with three very devious words ~3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Even Jesus’ faith was attacked by the devil. In this case, it was Jesus’ faith in the words of God spoken by the Father about his identity. But, satan didn’t openly question the Father’s words; he did it subversively. His attack against our identity is a covert operation. Satan could’ve said ~ “You are not the Son of God.” But that would’ve be to obvious, so Satan challenged Jesus to prove who he was by his works instead of faith.
The truth about who you are is not based on what you do. That may be the way the world considers truth, but in the Kingdom, our identity is based on who God says we are, even in spite of what we do. We are sons of God because of faith and not because of works.
“Don’t try and find your destiny before you find your identity. If you do, you’ll try to find your identity in your destiny.” —Norm McLeod
ARE YOU CERTAIN OF GOD’S WORDS?
This lie is closely associated with the previous lie because we cannot be established in our true identity if we are uncertain of God’s message about us. This is what Satan assaulted in the Garden.
First, what God had said ~ Genesis1:16The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die…”
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Not only did the deceiver question whether they had really heard God’s voice, but he threw a twist on God’s words. Surely Satan knew exactly what God had said, but he wanted to do more than tempt them. He wanted to deceive them concerning “what” God had truly said, so he added to God’s instruction. God told them not to eat from one certain tree and Satan added the idea that God may (or may not have) told them to eat from any of the trees.
So the father of lies tried to create doubt about 1. Whether God had actually spoken to them. 2. Whether they had truly heard God clearly 3. Regarding what exactly God had instructed.
Satan’s tactics haven’t change much, have they? All of these lies are like branches of one deceptive tree. They all bear bad fruit in our lives when we function according to any of these ideas. However, I believe none of them are the root problem. The source behind all of these lies that Satan desires to build on is actually the true character of God.
GOD IS NOT GOOD ~
If you think about the lies that Satan whispered, they all have this one subversive theme woven into their core. They question the goodness of God.
At Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness~ “Does God truly love you like a Son? You haven’t even done anything yet! Prove you are God’s Son by doing something.”
In the garden ~“Did God really make this entire garden and restrict you from eating it’s delicious fruit? Surely, God lied about you dying! God is holding back from you guys because he wants to keep the best for himself. He doesn’t want you to be as awesome as he is, but if you disobey him; you will be…”
Every single temptation that the liar has ever concocted really attacks the truth concerning the good nature of God. The truth is that God is good and all he does is good!
Because God is love. Whenever something in life challenges the goodness of God, ask him to show you his goodness in it. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God did so by letting his goodness pass before him. Moses never saw God, but in that moment it’s like Jesus (God in the flesh) walked past Moses. Jesus said that if we have seen (perceived) him, we have seen/perceived the Father.
According to Jesus, that was his very purpose. Jesus revealed what the Father is truly like. The truth about God’s nature is that He is just as good as Jesus was.
Always was and always will be.