Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-10,
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.’”
This series is about positioning ourselves to bring about God’s will here on earth as it is in heaven, to bring about perfect health, perfect peace, perfect power.
Last week we learned that God made humans in his image and gave us authority over all earth. This week we will learn how we lost that authority as the devil used his number one weapon against us. He wanted the authority we had and his goal was (and is) to deceive us into giving it up.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field
which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said,
‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may
eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is
in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you
touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:1-6
Any time you question God or contemplate sin, you are having a conversation with the devil or considering his influence.
While the devil cannot make us sin, verse 1 says that he is cunning, much smarter than you or I will ever be. Eve’s first mistake, one made by all of us, is that she engaged with the devil. Reasoning with the devil can have no good outcome on our lives. His intentions toward us are never good; he has no desire or ability to bless us. His only intention is to destroy us and he uses his intelligence to deceive us and distort what we believe. Any time you question God or contemplate sin, you are having a conversation with the devil or considering his influence.
THE NAMES AND FUNCTIONS OF SATAN
- Enemy - Matthew 13:39
- Accuser - Revelation 12:10
- Father of Lies - -John 8:44
- Wicked One - 1 John 3:12
- Murderer - John 8:44
- Tempter - 1 Thessalonians 3:5
- Evil One - Matthew 13:19
SATAN’S #1 WEAPON IS A TWO-FOLD LIE:
1. Sin has no consequence.
Romans 6:23 tell us, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This death happens all around us every day in our practical lives. Because of sin, we experience death in our relationship with God, in our joy, our opportunities, our vision, our hope, our health, and our relationships with others.
THE penalty of sin IS DEATH
Five things that died in the garden:
1. Innocence before God and each other (v. 7)
2. Intimacy with God (v. 8)
3. Spiritual authority (v. 9)
4. Sense of security in our relationship with God (v. 10)
5. Trust by God in us (v. 11-13)
The devil wants us to think that we can get away with sin and that we will not experience consequences for sin, but this is a lie. And the more we believe the lie that we are "getting away with something", we are trained to do it more and more until the consequence grows larger and larger.
2. You can be like God in total control of your life.
Every time you make your own decision and deny God, you are choosing to do your own thing, deciding what is good and what is evil on your own. Your job is not to decide good and evil, but to obey God.
Think about the broken relationships in your life – you’ll likely be able to trace the cause back to one or both people doing what they want to do individually, rather than obeying what God wants them to do.
The devil wants you to believe that you are ultimately in control. His motive is never to set you free, but to keep you in bondage. He will keep telling you the same lie as long as you fall prey to it. When a person is tempted to try drugs, the devil can see the whole picture of addiction and destruction ahead, but he only needs to deceive the person into trying it once, and then into trying a little bit more. Once the addiction has taken hold, the person can’t stop.
Don’t ever talk with the devil by questioning God’s faithfulness. You can’t know scripture unless you read and study it, and if you don’t know scripture, Satan will gladly distort it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew
that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:7-8
Having disobeyed God and experienced the first consequence, Adam and Eve’s inclination is to hide from God, just as it is our inclination every day to hide sin in our hearts. The truth is that we cannot hide our thoughts or our intentions from God. God brings about consequences for us out of love. He disciplines us to protect and guide us.
Ultimately, being deceived by the devil is not about our environment or our circumstances. We must be aware of the harm that is waiting to befall us and prey upon us. We must decide to study God’s word, listen to His voice, and resist engaging with the enemy.