How Satan Lies / by Michael Nichols

I'm in a life chapter that has been confusing me to no end, and it hasn't gotten easier. "Satan lies" is one of the truest things anyone can say. If the truth sets you free, but you feel like a slave, some part of you is caught by a lie. It's something that people hear a lot in Christian circles, and with good reason. We need constant reminders that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers. After a while, though, the routine gets old. We get the point. Satan lies. He is the worst of the worst. He exists to destroy.

But what do I do here and now?

This outrage with having our problems overshadowed by beating the theologically dead horse of "Satan lies" is a convenient place for us to be for him. Of course, it's only convenient if it distracts us from moving forward with our lives. Rest assured, our Father does want things to go well for us. He doesn't like our enemies to trample upon us.

Regardless of where life is leading us, Satan lies. The thing I've been noticing most, though, is that it's not just that he lies but how he lies that's so persuasive. It's not so much what he tells us but what he doesn't. Take Eden, for example. The only actual lie that was told is that the knowledge of good and evil would not actually kill Adam and Eve. The implications, however, were much greater. Or were they inferences? I don't suppose it matters much anymore.

The truth? "No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 88:41 NASB.

The lie? That God was holding us back from becoming like Himself.

The worst part about it? Satan didn't even have to say it, but we reasoned that if God wanted to hold us back from good things, we must be worthless to Him. Why else would we have felt the need to abandon His command? Forget the command. We abandoned His protection. We abandoned His heart. In what we assumed was justice, we exercised revenge and a hate we believe to be mutual... until we felt fear. Fear let us know that we made an error that would have consequences.

Fear was originally meant to show us what was dangerous to us. Now, it has begun obstructing us from those good things that require us being vulnerable. How are we supposed to know the difference? A lot of times, all fear can feel the same in the moment, but if it makes you want to run away from what you know is good, run into it instead.

What makes this problem worse is that we have all followed in the footsteps of the father of lies. It's not so much that society outright tells you that your heart is worthless, but think about what isn't said. We aren't told to guard our hearts--we guard what has value--but when they are damaged we wonder why. We are told to let them run free, but when we lose ourselves in our circumstances we wonder why. There is a time for taking risks and letting our guard down, but that doesn't mean that we walk onto the battlefield of life with no armor. We may as well put the gun to our own head. Eventually, when living this way leads to enough hurt, it doesn't take anyone saying it to begin to believe we are worthless.

We are not perfect. We are not invincible. We are often irresponsible with the hearts we are given. But we are furthest from worthless, even though it is altogether too easy to convince ourselves that we are.

Too often, we are left with gaps in our identity, gaps that were meant to be full of the love of Christ and the beauty of the Father's creation. Too often, we are left to believe that we're alone, that we aren't enough, that we are too weak, that we're abandoned. None of it could be further from the truth. In Christ, we have all good things, everything we need, even when we're caught by the lie that we're invisible, empty, and meaningless. For the love of God, believe the truth.