How do we as Christians discern the traps, tricks, and lies Satan uses against us? Well, throughout the New Testament; whenever someone like Jesus or Paul was confronted with the lies and deception of Satan and his demons; they would use the Word of God as a shield against him. As Christians, we are to learn how to discern the tactics employed by Satan in order to hear God’s voice instead of the lies. In 1 John 4:1-3, the Apostle John tells us how we can know the difference between the lies Satan tells us and the prodding of the Holy Spirit.
1 John 4:1-3
“1. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3. and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
I like this verse because the Apostle John is telling us exactly what we as Christians should do when we are confronted with what could potentially be the truth or deception. Whenever we are faced with what could be the Holy Spirit or Satan’s lies, John says that we should test the spirit and we should; because if we don’t test the spirit, we could end up believing the lies of the Devil than the truth of God’s Word. In his blog post entitled, “How Deception Works”, SpaniardVIII of Spiritual Minefield speaks on this very subject. In the blog post, he said, “Satan works by blinding a person’s mind which is understood by convincing them that his message or his version of the truth is the correct one.” I think this is a very interesting quote because, as our enemy, all Satan wants from us to believe his lies over the truth of God’s Word and if we don’t study and read the Bible; we will become susceptible to his lies. Throughout the post, SpaniardVIII gives several quotes that I feel we as Christians should hold onto when we read God’s Word.
“Once a person is persuaded by a false message as the truth, when that which is The Truth comes to them, they will perceive it as false and thus reject the Biblical view of the person of Jesus Christ.”
“… the person of Jesus is in question here because if you get Jesus wrong, it doesn’t matter which other parts of the Bible Satan allows (without attacking you in those areas) for you to get right because it won’t save you.”
“Whatever you read online always check them with Scripture to make sure it is Biblically sound”
“Do not allow yourself to be deceived in some areas of Scripture but meditate on His Holy Word every day to be equipped with a special filter which captures everything that’s harmful to your faith.”
SpaniardVIII said, “Do not allow yourself to be deceived in some areas of Scripture but meditate on His Holy Word every day to be equipped with a special filter…”
While reading the Old and New Testament, you and I can start to see how Satan deploys his tactics; for instance, twisting the Word of God and making it appear to be truth. One of the most famous stories told on Satan’s deception and lies would be in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3:1 and 4-5, Satan uses his weapon of choice; deception in order to cause Adam and Eve to disobey God’s instructions. In Genesis 3:1, it says, “1. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This one question employed by Satan causes doubt in Eve. But, it’s his response to Eve’s reply that cements Adam and Eve’s decision to eat the fruit of the Forbidden Tree saying in verses 4 and 5, “4. Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die, 5. 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.”
Satan’s greatest tool is his use of deception and life, where he will use his knowledge of God’s Word and twist them to destroy us and our relationship with God. However, God wants us to know and discern Satan’s tactics so that we don’t fall into temptation. Another great example of Satan utilizing his cunning and deception when trying to tempt Jesus Christ. In Matthew 4:3, the Apostle Matthew writes, “3. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Whenever Satan wants to cast doubt onto something God has already promised, he will sometimes use the “if”-clause.
One of Satan’s best weapons is the word “If” because anything that comes after it can cause doubt in our hearts. In order to counter the “If” clause, we as Christians need to know the Word of God for ourselves, just like Christ did.
One way that we as Christians can discern the tactics, lies and deceptions that Satan and his demons employ is to study the Word of God and ask that His Holy Spirit guide us in understanding what the author is trying to say. We should, as Christians, ask the Holy Spirit for spiritual insight into gaining wisdom from the Scriptures, ensuring that we don’t fall prey to the temptations within Satan’s lies. But along with asking Christ for spiritual understanding of Scripture, we as Christians should also be willing to learn from the scriptures as well because it will give us an insight into the tactics used by Satan.
If we as Christians don’t study and read God’s Word for ourselves, we will be susceptible to false doctrine and teaching that are counter to God’s Word. As Christians, we should also be willing to go out into the world and spread the Truth of God’s Word to all people because Truth is the nature of Scripture and those teaching the Bible should make every effort to handle His truth accurately. Satan can and sometimes will employ false doctrine to discourage us from knowing and accepting the truth that is in God’s Word because false teaching has an intoxicating effect that dulls the mind to God’s truth.
False teaching has an intoxicating effect that dulls the mind to God’s truth.
In the end, though, reading the Word of God is the only way for us as Christians to discern Satan’s tactics and recognize the voice and prodding of the Holy Spirit against the lies and deceit of Satan because if we don’t read God’s Word; we fall susceptible to the false teachings of the world and the lies of the Devil.
What do you do to discern the lies of Satan against the truth of God?
Will you continue to listen to the deceitfulness of Satan or ask the Holy Spirit for guidance?
Or, Will you continue to reject God’s teachings and remain in sin?
I had such an amazing time writing this blog post and pray that something that is said on this blog post impacts and changes the way you read God’s Word. You can check out Bible Blogger Girl’s post Satan’s Traps on this subject on my blog Taking Up My Cross.
SpaniardVIII. “How Deception Works”, 1 Mar 2018, spiritualminefield.wordpress.com, https://spiritualminefield.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/how-deception-works/ . Accessed 05 Apr 2018.
Hodge, Frederica. “Christ’s Temptation”, modified over 4 months ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/12205744/ . Accessed 05 Apr 2018.
Jackson. “Genesis 3, Humanity’s Fall”, 27 Sep 2015, https://www.slideshare.net/SammieGSmith/09-september-20-2015-genesis-3-humanitys-fall-53235416 . Accessed 05 Apr 2018.
Richard, Imogen. “To Whom Are You Listening?”, modified over 2 years ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/9498825/ . Accessed 03 Apr 2018.