Tag Archives: lies

July 21; Subtle Sin and Satan. It’s Serious.

Isaiah 56-60

I wish the devil really did wear a red suit, had horns and a tail, and carried a pitch fork. It would be so much easier to recognize him and resist the temptations he throws my way. It would be so much easier to recognize Satan’s lies ands distortion of God’s Truth if a bull horn blared or thunder crashed when people spoke anything other than Truth.

But the truth of the matter is, that serpent is not so easily spotted. That’s why we need to be actively engaged in the study of Scripture. We have got to know what God has said, so we know what He does not say.

Isaiah tells us God is absolutely 100% able to save. (chapter 59). He is able and ready to accomplish His will, which is to redeem lost people. But we, who are His arms, legs, and voice, prevent Him from reaching the lost when we don’t address the sin in our own lives. Our iniquities separate us from Him, our sin hides His face from us, so that even our prayers fall on deaf ears.

Our hands, our fingers, our lips, and our tongues are useless to God when sin exists in us. (verses 1-3). And not just the blatant, “I’m having an affair” kind of sin. It’s pride, and jealousy, and laziness, and compromise, and tolerance, and whatever else Satan dresses up like truth, or however he helps us rationalize our evil. God can’t use blood-stained hands.

When we speak lies, when we live a lie, we conceive trouble and give birth to evil. A lie, whether spoken or lived, or just believed, takes on a life of its own. It becomes a poison that kills, a spider web that traps. Whoever is caught in those lies will die. (verses 4-5)

People caught in the web of lies, may wear that web like clothing. But Isaiah says the truth is, they wear the covering of evil, of violence, ruin and destruction. There is no peace in the life of the one who has put on a lie and tried to pass it on as truth. (verses 6-8)

They live in darkness. They try to feel their way around, they stumble and fall because they have no light in them. They are blind to the Truth, and they live without hope. (verses 9-11)

It’s a pretty bleak picture that Isaiah paints here in this chapter. And it’s serious business. It’s nothing to blow off, or minimize. All of us are subject to Satan’s lies. All of us have sinned. It’s easy to read the “they” of this post and of what God inspired Isaiah to write, and think, “Well, that’s not me.” But I wonder.

In fact, Isaiah tells us that God looked for one righteous man who would be able to intervene, someone without sin who could stand up to the lies. And there was no-one. Not even one of us. Your sins, and mine, have driven a wedge between us and God. That’s a fact.

So God, knowing that there will never be one of us able to set things right, did it Himself. He gave His own life. God, in human form, paid the price I deserve for following Satan’s clever lies. Jesus died for my sins.

The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins. (verse 20)

I started this post by saying I wished Satan was easier to spot. When the truth is, if I am in God’s Word, if my heart is pure, my sins forgiven by the blood of Jesus, Satan’s not as clever as he thinks. Greater is God in me, than that snake who is in the world.

I pray that each of us will deal with sin in our lives, even the sins we’ve labeled, “no big deal.” I pray that we all will want to be God’s hands, fingers, lips, and tongue to proclaim the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are souls God died to save out there that are yet walking in the darkness of sin.

God went to the cross alone, died so that we can be forgiven. He did that Himself. But He is depending on us to carry the light of His Truth to a world of people living in the darkness of sin. Let’s get out there and shine that light.

 

Feb 9 – You Can Fool Some Of The People Some Of The Time

Exodus 30-32

Really Aaron? “This is the god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt”? (32:4) A statue you yourself made from gold, and you want to pass it off as a god? Did you really think your brother Moses was going to believe that you threw some gold earrings into a fire and out popped this idol all by itself? Do you think anyone in his right mind would believe such a story? Are you saying you believe it? Seriously?

Ok, friend. How many times have you (have I) rationalized our own bad behavior? Ever say, “He made me do it”? Ever try to convince someone that God’s ok with you not going to church because you’re working extra hours to get that promotion? Ever try to talk someone into agreeing with you that getting drunk on the weekends doesn’t mean you have a drinking problem? Ever look at Playboy for the great articles?

What was God’s response to Aaron and the sin committed by the children of Israel? Don’t kid yourself into thinking He’s any less angry with us when we disobey.

I can read these verses in Exodus and shake my head at Aaron’s audacity. Then I look in the mirror and realize I look an awfully lot like Aaron.

Maybe in some parallel universe we might get someone to believe a gold calf emerged from a fire on its own. Maybe you might convince someone that the sin you are committing isn’t really a sin after all.

But you will never fool God.

Dear Father, I hate it when I recognize myself in some of the Bible’s accounts. I know there have been times when I rationalize sin in my life, and I am sorry. You have a right to be angry with me. But I don’t want You to be. God, may I identify sin in my life, call it what it is, and repent of it. Stop me when I try to convince myself or someone else that any sin is ok. I lay down all my defenses. Guilty. And forgiven. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name.

November 21

Acts 15&16

Paul and his new partner Silas traveled from city to city sharing the gospel and encouraging believers. Barnabas and Mark took off in another direction to do the same. God turned the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas into two missionary teams and the gospel reached twice as many towns. Satan may have thought he could stop the gospel by causing a rift. God turned it around for his glory.

Satan doesn’t always use anger or tragedy to fight against Christians. His weapon isn’t always persecution. Often he is much more subtle. He knows Jesus. He can quote Scripture. And sometimes Satan sounds like a Christian.

When Paul and Silas were trying to conduct evangelistic meetings, a demon possessed girl followed them everywhere. The demon within her caused her to repeatedly shout, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” Satan didn’t prompt the girl to make fun of them, argue with them, insult them. She sounded like a believer, yet Paul recognized it as Satan and demanded the demon leave the girl in the name of Jesus.

Friend, do you recognize Satan when he comes disguised as the angel of light? I don’t care if it’s something you hear from a Bible teacher, a friend, a preacher, or a blogger. Test it with Scripture. It doesn’t matter if it sounds Christian. Don’t accept it unless you can prove it true by God’s Holy Word. I am burdened for believers especially these days when so many ungodly things are being preached on TV and in local pulpits. The politically correct doctrines some would have us believe cannot be from God because they contradict Scripture. Taking a verse out of context doesn’t make it right. Sin is sin. And the wages of sin is death. Jesus is the only way to the Father and he IS the Truth! 

Let’s defeat Satan by being in God’s Word every day, by committing to memory verses God makes jump out at us, by thinking about what we hear, and praying that God would reveal his Truth to us every minute. And let’s demand of those who are teaching in our churches, our schools, and in the media that they stay true to Scripture. Period.

Dear God, I pray for believers today. May we not accept everything we hear as from you. But may we test it according to your written Word. Thank you for the Bible. I pray that each of us will realize the treasure we have right in our homes. May we use it, love it, study it so that we can recognize Satan’s attacks and lies. Then, God, give us a boldness to speak the Truth in love. 

September 8

Psalms 97, 98, 99, 100; Ezra 4:1-5:24; Haggai 1:1-2:23

The work on the temple came to a grinding halt. The Jews, who had been so excited about rebuilding God’s House, started listening to the voices of people who were against the construction. And they must have started to question whether or not they were doing the right thing.

Satan is clever. His attacks on God’s people often come in subtle doubts, in petty jealousies, even in godly sounding points of view. They come from people pretending to want what is best for God’s people. They may even come through some wearing the name “Christian” or theologian, or Reverend. 

Satan’s attacks can look like concerned, friendly faces. But if the result of listening to them stops us from doing God’s work, we need to recognize the author as none other than our enemy, Satan.

Let’s stay close to God, reading his Word every day, praying and listening so that we can distinguish His voice from all others. Let’s ask God for discernment among our church leaders and for those of us who sit in the pews every Sunday. 

God has a job for us to do. He wants us building his Church through the winning of lost souls. Let’s not get side-tracked by listening to Satan’s lies.

Father, as your people gather today for worship, I pray that your voice will be heard and that all other voices will be drowned out. Give us discerning spirits so that we can recognize your Truth. And may we never accept anything else. Equip us today to do the work you have for us to do in our homes, our neighborhoods, our work places. And may souls be changed for eternity because we are faithful.