This is the title of a sermon that a missionary friend of mine preached one Sunday at our church, Good News. He and his family serve in a very dangerous country where your life can be taken at the drop of a hat, especially if you convert to Christianity. The sermon really spoke to me and I would like to share the main truths of the message with you in this article.
Stan attacks our weaknesses
The main passage for the message is Genesis 3.
The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the LORD God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, “Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?” The woman answered, “God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden, except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die.” “No, you won’t!” the snake replied. “God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does.” The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves. Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees. The LORD called out to the man and asked, “Where are you?” The man answered, “I was naked, and when I heard you walking through the garden, I was frightened and hid!” “How did you know you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat any fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden?” “It was the woman you put here with me,” the man said. “She gave me some of the fruit, and I ate it.” The LORD God then asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The snake tricked me,” she answered. “And I ate some of that fruit.” (Genesis 3:1-13)
Satan began with a simple conversation. Maybe he chose the woman because women are more likely to sit and discuss things than men are. Maybe he chose her because she was not with the man when the commands about the trees were given. She had been given the information by the man but she did not hear it from the mouth of God. Maybe he chose her because he thought if he could convince her to eat then she would convince her husband. We do not know the reason why he chose to attack the woman but he chose her and he did it when she was vulnerable. She seems to be alone with Satan during this conversation.
Satan wants you to doubt the Word of God
Look at how he phrases the questions. He begins with, “did God really tell you . . . ?” He wants her to doubt. She was not yet created when God gave the command to the man. So, are you sure that God really said this or maybe your husband just made it up? She immediately responds with confidence, yet there is a problem, she adds to God’s Words, “we cannot eat, or touch it”. God never said anything to Adam about not touching it. Satan pounces on this mistake.
Satan wants you to believe his lies about God’s Word
First he tries to cast doubt and then he comes out directly and lies, saying that what God has said is not true. So doubt opens the door to lies. He has a very well organized plan and he works according to it. Has Satan tried to get you to doubt the Word of God so that you will be vulnerable to his lies? How did you handle his attacks? Do you doubt the authenticity of the Word of God? Do you claim that It is just the words of men? If so, you are in danger because by doubting the Word of God you open yourself up to all kinds of lies and you will begin to believe them.
Satan promises what he cannot deliver
Satan wanted to be God but there was no vacancy in the Holy Trinity then just like there is not one now. He could not raise himself above God. In fact, he fell to the lowest of lows. Yet, he promises Eve that she and Adam can be like God if they will just disobey Him. He could not make himself like God but he promises to do the same for others. It is a clear lie but because there is doubt in Eve’s mind, she has opened herself up to Satan’s lies. She has been enticed and she is not thinking clearly. She needs the plumb line of the truth of God’s Word to help her discern between right and wrong, truth and lie.
Satan wants you to follow the three simple steps to sin
All sins that people commit follow the same pattern. This pattern can be seen over and over again in the Bible. This is the first example, in Genesis 3, but we see the same pattern over and over again in every generation. Verse 6 says that Eve “saw the fruit, thought about the results of taking it (the lies Satan had put in her head), and then finally she took the fruit and ate it as well as giving some to her husband. This same pattern is used on people all over the world in every generation. King David did the same thing when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He saw her, he thought about her until he desired her, and then he took her. Achan does the same thing in the book of Joshua. He saw, thought about until desire, and took.
Satan wants you to be ignorant of the consequences of sin
God told them that they would die if they ate of the fruit of the tree. They did die the moment that they ate. They did not die physically, that was to happen later, but they did die spiritually. Death means separation and at the moment that they sinned, they were separated from God. In fact, God had once walked with them and now when they heard Him coming, they hid from Him. Sin also causes shame. They were ashamed of each other. They were ashamed to stand before God. Sin destroys relationships. Their relationship with God was destroyed. Their relationship with each other began to suffer. They began to blame each other for their mistake. Arguments in marriage are a result of sin. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve and had the gall to try and blame God too. Suspicion and chaos reigned.
How can you protect yourself from Satan’s tactics?
The Scriptures say, “If you hear his voice today, don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled.” (Hebrews 3:15)
Do not be stubborn, thinking that you cannot fall victim to Satan’s traps. Do not think that he cannot fool you. Hear the Word of the Lord and obey so that you will not be susceptible to Satan’s lies and evil tactics. Remain strong in God’s Word and you will be protected because you will be able to spot Satan’s lies very easily and then you will be able to avoid his traps and obey God.
How convinced are you of the truth of the Word of God? Is there any doubt in your heart (it may be covered up very well)? You need to be fully convinced of the truth of the Word of God so that when Satan attacks (not if) then you will be able to recognize his tactics and lies and be victorious. May the Lord help us be faithful to Him at all times, standing firm against the attacks of the enemy.