FAKED OUT BY THE DEVIL (Adam & Eve 2)
In the previous blog we started looking at lessons we can learn from Satan’s attack on Adam and Eve in Eden. He didn’t come at them in power and force, but in friendly persuasion. He didn’t try to pressure them into anything. He got them to do what he wanted by simply twisting the truth so they believed something untrue. He deceived them. He’s been perfecting that special weapon for thousands of years and uses it today to cause more damage than we can imagine. The dangerous thing about deception is that the one being tricked doesn’t realize it until after the harm is done. Read Genesis 3:1-7 and look at the lessons below:
LESSON FOR TODAY 1: Having gotten her to dialogue with him and having planted doubts about God’s goodness in Eve’s mind, Satan then denies the truth of God’s Word (Genesis 3:4). Eve misquoted God, saying they couldn’t even touch the fruit, when all God said was that they could not eat it (Genesis 3:3). Satan took advantage of her lack of correct understanding of the Word of God. From this we learn that knowing and believing God’s Word is totally essential for our victorious living today. We must know it completely and totally (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Also, we must believe it, especially the part about God’s holiness and hatred of sin. Mistaking patience and grace for approval of sin is very wrong. God will judge sin. Sin does bring death. Satan is a liar and deceiver (John 8:44). Unless a thought lines up with God’s Word it is wrong.
LESSON FOR TODAY 2: Sin, and demonizing, all start in the mind, in our thoughts. Actions result from mental choices we make. The majority of demonizing consists of demons putting thoughts into a person’s mind or snatching thoughts out of a person’s mind. While they don’t have access to our minds and thoughts to the same extent that God does, the Bible makes it clear that there is some access. Jesus said this in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed: “Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown.” (Mark 4:15). David’s thought to take a census was demonic (I Chronicles 21:1ff; II Samuel 24:1ff). So was Ananias & Sapphira’s greed (Acts 5:3) and Saul’s jealousy/anger (I Samuel 16:14-23). That’s why, when talking about spiritual warfare, Paul says we are to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Not only can Satan’s forces put wrong thoughts into our minds, they can snatch right thoughts out of our minds (Mark 4:15) so that we forget them.
LESSON FOR TODAY 3: Eve was deceived by Satan because she acted according to her feelings and emotions, putting them over the truth of what God had clearly said (Titus 2:13-15; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Feelings and emotions are fine, important and necessary. They are icing on the cake of life, adding color and enjoyment, and indeed God created them for this purpose, but He didn’t create them to be the source of our decision-making. Our feelings should depend on our rational thought. When our feelings get ahead of it or away from it then trouble comes. You know in your mind that you are an OK person, yet fear you will be a failure and rejected. When feelings aren’t founded on truth they go wrong. The truth is that you are who you are because God created you that way (Psalm 139), but your emotions reject that truth and try to do the ‘thinking’ themselves. We must let our mind explain reality to our emotions. When we place feelings over fact, we are wrong.
LESSON FOR TODAY 4: How can God’s people, who have His truth in the Bible, be so deceived by Satan and his demons? Do you remember the children’s story about the emperor’s new clothes? Some thieves convinced him they were making fine garments which only the enlightened could see so he pretended to see them. Everyone else did also. Then in a parade, a little boy spoke the truth and everyone realized they had been believing a lie and deceiving themselves. Satan deceives us into believing a lie. But how can we be deceived if we know the truth? We always have a free will choice and are never forced to believe a lie.
- We can be demonized. Like a drunk is influenced by alcohol, so can we be influenced by demons.
- We can prefer to be deceived because we don’t want to face the truth or don’t like the truth, so we convince ourselves that a lie is true. We start to really believe it because we want to.
- We let ourselves be controlled by our emotions instead of our mind. When we let our feelings explain reality (for example, reacting out of fear), we replace the truth with deception.
- Our mind can be deceived, too, when we use it as the final determining factor and think absolute truth comes from within us. Without the anchor of God’s Word to form our mind and correct our errors we can truly believe something based on the facts as we interpret them. But we may not be interpreting them correctly. Only God has all the facts and perfect insight, seeing the future as clearly as the past, so when we reject His truth, we are open to any kind of deception.
- Satan and demons try to get us to believe their deceptions. Of course, they don’t ‘sell’ their product as a black lie, but make it look as appealing and good as possible. We sometimes fall for the bait because the black appeals to us. They show the immediate benefits, not long-term consequences of the sin.
- Even aside from the enemy, our own natural tendency is to sin (this is called our “sin nature”). Because of this we prefer sin, for since the fall, we humans are often more interested in what is easiest and most enjoyable, instead of what is best in the long run. Our ‘flesh’ desires instant gratification and we can ‘want’ something so much that we leave all reason and balance behind.
Sin entered with Adam and Eve and therefore spiritual warfare entered the human arena. God was quick to assure us who the ultimate winner would be. While the ultimate Victor is clearly know, the battle that started in Eden continues even though today.
What have you learned about deception that you didn’t know before? Pray and ask God to open your eyes so you can see the truth and not be misled by deception.