“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44.
When Jesus began his earthly ministry, He was led by the Spirit to the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan. In the wilderness, Jesus teaches us an extremely important wilderness skill: He shows us how to stand against the lies and deceptions of the enemy. ”… For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:1-4)
Each of the three temptations by Satan in the wilderness seem to come back to creating one thing: doubt. If you read Matthew 4, you will see that Satan uses the word “if” in all three temptations. “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” and “ “If you are the Son of God, jump off!” and “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
Satan uses the same tactics, lies and deceptions on us. When we are in a wilderness season: i.e. hurting, lonely, sad, depressed—you and I make one easy target for his lies. Satan wants to deceive you about who you are. Satan wants to deceive you about God’s character. Satan wants to deceive you about God’s plan and purpose for your life. “If God really loved you why would he give you an appetite for gambling?” “If God is really good why is your cholesterol so bad?” “If you are really a Christian then why do you have that sinful craving?” “If you will worship me, you won’t have all those restrictions and a whole lot more fun.”
Satan is oh-so subtle and knows when and how to attack us when we are in the wilderness. But in this interchange between Christ and Satan, we see a snapshot of how we should respond when encountering Satan’s lies and deceptions. Just as Satan said “if” in every temptation, Jesus countered each time with the words “It is written.” And then, Jesus spoke a truth from Scripture in response to the lies of the enemy. Finally, Jesus took authority over and commanded Satan to leave.
God’s word is truth. The truth is a simple. yet powerful tool. The Bible is our most powerful weapon. But where do we begin? We must start by taking inventory of our thoughts and making certain we aren’t listening to or believing the lies of the enemy, but rather living our lives in God’s truth.
- How can we reject the lie and embrace God’s truth?
- Read 1 Peter 5:8. Why do you think it is important we recognize the power of the devil in our lives? Read 1 Peter 5:8-9: What does verse nine say we are to do with the devil? How do we do this?
- Read 1 John 4:4. Why is it so important we understand the truth found in this verse? How can we apply this truth to our lives this week?