Week of November 5
Same Old, Same Old
By Skip Heitzig
I have to admit: Satan is probably my least favorite subject. But as a minister I have to talk about all of the Bible, and as Christians we should know who Satan is and what he does. The Bible says, "We are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11), and it's his "devices" that I want to talk about here. The enemy uses the same, predictable temptations and tactics that he has always used. Why? Because if it's not broken, if it still works, why not use it?
The prototype—the "mother of all temptations"—is the one in the Garden in Genesis 3, and the devil still comes in the same way today. I want you to notice three statements he makes here. The first is, "Has God indeed said...?" (Genesis 3:1). That's questioning the Word of God, and it's in reality questioning the love of God. He didn't deny that God had spoken, he just questioned if that was what God said. He was hinting, "If God really loved you, would He keep that from you?" The next statement is, "You will not surely die" (3:4). Here, Satan denies the Word of God. After questioning the Word of God, it's a short step to denying the Word of God entirely. And finally, there's this: "You will be like God..." (3:5). He substitutes the Word of God with a lie.
But if you give in to Satan's temptation, he's not satisfied with just that. He comes back and whispers to your heart, "Look what you've done! God will never forgive you!" It's at that point you need to stand up with the Word of God, just as Jesus Christ did in the wilderness. Apply the scripture to those "God will never forgive me" feelings. Tell yourself, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Or there are times the enemy will say "Go ahead and sin; nobody will ever know. God won't care. He knows that you're flesh. Go for it!" You need to stand up at that point with the Word of God and remember, as it says in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
Satan's tactics haven't really changed. He uses modern lures, but the approach is the same today, because mankind is the same. And the answer is still the same: the Word of God.
"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
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