The devil can use many tactics to destroy lives, but his number-one weapon is a two-fold lie. With this lie, he can make that would seem logically likely to destroy your relationships, your opportunities, your career, and ultimately your life, to be desirable.
If you want wisdom and protection against this weapon, you need to pray for wisdom and understanding and spend time in God’s word.
The context for today’s passage is that God has created the world and humankind. He has told them they have dominion, they should be fruitful and multiply, they can eat from any tree in the garden except from one tree. But the devil enters the scene with the intent of deceiving Adam and Eve - and if he can deceive them, he can deceive us.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. Genesis 3:1a
We need to understand that the devil is smarter than we are.
We need to understand that the devil is smarter than we are. He can disguise himself like the angel of light, look you in eyes and tell you what you want to hear, entice you to do things that God does not want for you, and convince you that those things are for the best. His name is liar, destroyer, deceiver, and murderer; His name describes his character and his character tells you what he does.
1. The first half of Satan’s lie is that sin has no consequences.
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.” Genesis 3:1b-4
Eve’s first mistake was that she spoke with the devil. Satan only has one motive in approaching you - to destroy you and your relationships with God and others. There is no reason to engage with him or consider what he has to say. The moment you begin to question God’s word and listen to the devil, you have given up your number-one defense against him.
If we do not regularly read and study the Bible, we will not be able to understand it and know it well, and therefore we will not be able to distinguish a lie from the truth. The devil is smarter than we are and can twist God’s words very well. He works to convince us that we don’t need to obey God, that God is holding out on us, and that sin will enhance our lives rather than cause destruction. So we need to learn from Eve’s mistake and not isolate ourselves to become Satan’s prey; we must surround ourselves with solid Christian fellowship and accountability groups where we may grow and learn together.
2. The second half of Satan’s lie is that you can be like God and decide good and evil for yourself.
“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.” Genesis 3:5
Satan wants us to believe that we can decide right and wrong on our own without God’s authority. This message is all around us in American culture, to “Do what you want, when you want, how you want.” But God’s plans for us are always better than any plans we could make for ourselves, and certainly better than the destruction Satan has in mind for us. Everything in your life is better for you if you follow God’s will. Choosing our way over His is the difference between a self-destructive life and a blessed life.
Think of the messages you have seen on social media that look so attractive to you. Do you feel God is holding out by telling you to avoid the “life-enhancing experiences” that others are posting? You may see your friends apparently enjoying certain behavior, but trust that they are only showing you the fun parts. They are not posting the parts where the party is over and they are throwing up in the car, waking up next to a stranger, or contracting diseases! We must trust that God knows what is right and what is best for us because our own perceptions rarely show us the whole truth.
After Adam and Eve sinned, God confronted them in the garden:
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:9-13
- God calls out, “Where are you?” not because He doesn’t know Adam’s location, but because He wants Adam to evaluate his situation. Is he truly better off having defied God?
- Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent, but God holds each responsible for their own choices.
- Adam and Even try to cover their shame with fig leaves, but their wrongdoing cannot be hidden from God.
The same is true for us: we can’t blame our parents, our friends, our circumstances, or our neighborhoods for our choices. We are all responsible for our own sin, and we cannot hide it from God or cover it ourselves; it can only be covered by Jesus. We all have the opportunity to believe in Jesus and accept His gift of salvation, and we are all responsible for that choice individually. In other words, Jesus is giving you an opportunity to believe and follow Him today, and it is 100% up to you to say yes or no. What will you say?