Teaching on Satan and his power to subvert God’s intentions for our lives, Phillip Keller wrote this:
“The terrible truth is he is very real, very active, and exceedingly deceptive. While appearing to give us liberty by allowing us to do whatever we wish in response to our own inherent selfishness or sin, he watches us actually enslave and destroy ourselves.
Many of us have been under the wrong management most of our lives. We have been in the wrong hands. We have been so mishandled that all of the original, superb purposes for which we were created have been totally distorted and misspent. We are virtual slaves to sin, to ourselves,and to Satan.
Yet the Stranger of Galilee comes into our lives. He looks upon us with love. He touches us with tenderness. He sees beyond our sins. He extends His knowing hands to take us into His understanding care.
We are not always keen to go.
We are afraid He may have sinister motives.
We recoil from His control.
Life under the old master has made us very suspicious. We are not at all sure things will be any better now.”
It’s here that I ask readers to pause and meditate. Think on those times when you were not keen to go into God’s care. Times when you wondered—because of your current circumstances—if God did indeed have sinister motives for you or your loved ones. Our memories can be our worst enemies, because they so often twist the truth, making events and injuries seem much worse than what we experienced in real time. This is another of Satan’s evil machinations concerning us.
Try to dig deep and be honest with yourself when answering these questions.
When have we recoiled from God’s control over us?
I can attest to not being keen on God’s plan for me at times. I’ve been suspect concerning God’s motives or His plan. I’ve experienced times when I recoiled from the Bible as it called out to me from the shelf, beckoning me to pick it up, read, digest its truth, and be comforted.
“No,” I’ve said aloud. “I won’t pick you up!”
Admittedly, I’ve had my moments of stubbornness, rebellion, and self-will run riot—all to my personal detriment, I might add. These only delayed my recovery.
Keller goes on to write:
“In our human ignorance and suspicion, we are convinced that to come to Christ’s care can be even worse bondage than before.
It takes some of us a lifetime to learn that Christ, our Good Shepherd, knows exactly what He is doing with us…” [emphasis mine, ljh]
There it is again–the suggestion that we might be suspicious in our dealings with God. That we might doubt his sincerity and goodness…that we cannot be sure when dealing with Him that we are getting the right guidance, being moved in the right direction, or being loved for who we are and not anything we do.
Oh, Christian, I have been there and I know the pain of his sulfurous warmth breathing down my neck.
I have dwelt in that dark land for longer than I wished. I have been the one who publicly said of my Savior that I loved him, while privately I resisted him and wondered how He could find anything in me that might be attractive to Him or anyone else.
THIS is the terrible truth about Satan that every believer needs to know:
Satan is a liar.
Satan is a deceiver and a destroyer.
Satan robs, kills, maims, and mocks.
Satan has no love in him—in fact, he is the absence of love in all that he does.
Satan wants our worship.
Satan calls to us in our vulnerabilities.
Satan whispers doubt into our anxious ears and causes our hearts to faint toward God.
Satan hides in our secrets, our shyness, our sheltered and fiercely protected offenses.
Satan has a hard time working his magic in the life that suspects him, and trusts wholly in the Lord.
Did you read that last none? It’s the most important one of all.
Today, I’m fully aware of how much Satan has done to distort my view of God, and I’m fighting back against his scandalous assault on all things holy.
These are the things I’m doing to wage war on the enemy:
I’m fully surrendering myself to God, to do with my life as He wishes.
I’m leaning in to God, getting close enough to hear the smallest whisper of his Word to my heart.
I’m believing that God is in the restoration business and does his best work in broken people.
I’m trusting God to erase the memories that Satan’s left in my mind; memories that are based on nothing but lies, distortions, and clever schemes to mask the purity of the Mighty One’s desires for us.
I’m hiding God’s Word in my heart, that I might not ever again forget His Majesty and love for me.
I’m chasing Joy, and grabbing hold of Love, and clinging to Hope.
Won’t you join me?
What lies about the enemy have you discovered this year? What have you done to break free of the distortions Satan has put in your path?