Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
Satan is a deceiver.  In the Bible we find that Satan is often described as a serpent who is, according to Genesis 3:1, “more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.”  Jesus Christ said that Satan “is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn.8:44).  When Peter admonished Ananias for lying about his offering, he asked, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit…?” (Acts 5:3).  In his rebuke of a sorcerer named Elymus, the apostle Paul said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!  You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery…” (Acts 13:10).  In the book of Revelation, Satan is referred to as “the deceiver of the whole world” (12:9; see also Rev.20:2-3,10).

But Satan’s lies are not always blatant or absolute.  Sometimes Satan’s greatest deception is a partial or muddling of truth.  For example, Satan would have you believe that “God is all mercy” rather than the truth that “God is all-merciful.”  Or, Satan could whisper in your ear that “God loves you just the way you are” rather than the truth that “God loves you just the way you are, but loves you too much to let you stay that way.”

This makes Satan’s deception especially difficult to discern.  For an outright lie can be met with a straightforward attack, but a lie that is mixed with truth can be much harder to fight.  Thus, Satan is quite a formidable foe for followers of Christ.  However, as we saw last week, Satan is no match for God, and Christians are strong and secure in the sovereign power of God’s saving grace.

Scripture assures us that even though Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” (2Cor.11:14), “we are not unaware of his schemes” (2Cor.2:11).  As we abide in Christ, through the sanctifying power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are able to discern the deception and schemes of the evil one (Jn.16:13).  Therefore, we must be faithful in our studying of God’s Word and in our praying according to His will.  “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph.4:14-15).  The Christian’s defense against Satan’s lies is knowing, believing, and practicing the truth of God’s Word (see Matt.7:24-27; Jn.17:17).

When Christians think about the spiritual battle going on around them, and within them, the first thing that comes to mind is aggression. More often, Scripture exhorts believers to a more defensive posture and mindset.  As Christians, we are never called to hunt, chase or bind Satan.  Rather, we are commanded to resist him and to pursue God (Jms.4:7-8, cf. 1Pet.5:8-9).  Scripture commands us to:

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes… Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13)

Apart from the presence and power of God, we are no match for Satan and his deceptive schemes.  As we abide in the presence and power of God, however, Satan is no match for us.  God has promised to lavish His wisdom upon us if we sincerely and humbly ask Him for it (Jms.1:5-8).  God has already defeated Satan, and as we abide in Christ (and Christ abides in us) we will be able to discern God’s truth from Satan’s lies.

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #25):
Leviticus 4-6; 1 Kings 14-18; Psalm 72-74; Proverbs 5-6; Ezekiel 7-12; Luke 13-14; Ephesians 4-6

Recommended Reading:  “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis

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