Is That What He Really Said???

Satan: Did God really say that you couldn’t have any of the fruit in the garden? Really?
Eve: No, that’s not what God said. Of course we can eat the fruit. There’s only one tree we’re supposed to avoid at all costs. It’s the tree in the middle of the garden. We could die if we even touch it, much less eat its fruit.
Satan: Well, that’s a lie!! Here’s the real truth: if you eat that fruit, you’re gonna be just like God: wise. You’ll know what He knows. You are definitely NOT going to die.
Eve: Hmm…let me reconsider. Maybe I did misunderstand what God said.

Eve takes a lot of ridicule from church folks and non-church folks. Everybody blames poor Eve for the struggles of this life, and she is the butt of many jokes. But I can identify with Eve’s conflict: I’ve been in her shoes recently.

A few weeks ago, God told me something….several times. It was just one word, but it was a very important word. A word that defined a course of action that I should take. A single word specifically for a family issue I was dealing with. Before I tell you the rest of the story, I want to point out a few things about Eve.

Consider that Eve walked with God daily!! She was accustomed to His voice, His ways and His love. In other words, she was as close to God the Father as any human could ever get. Furthermore, Eve did not seek the counsel of the Satan….he sought her out just as soon as God had spoken to her. I gotta tell ya, if Eve can be deceived: we can all be deceived. So, instead of being hard on her for chomping the fruit, perhaps we can learn something from her experience.

Now, the rest of my story. As soon as God gave me that one word, Satan paid me a visit. As with Eve, he began to offer me some unsolicited interpretation. It made sense to me……..at first. I began to think that this is what God meant by that one word. I almost munched down on some fruit myself, but something in my spirit told me to pray further; to come back to God again, presenting HIM with the word and asking HIM for clarity. God gave it to me, and it was nothing at all like the lie Satan tried to sell me. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite. I would have made a grave mistake for my family had I listened to Satan’s twisted reasonings.

So what do we learn from Eve’s account?

  1. God speaks to us
  2. Satan immediately challenges God’s word
  3. Satan offers free interpretations telling us what God really meant to say. In other words, Satan outright lies to us. He is the father of lies (John 8:44)
  4. We begin to look at God’s word differently. Factoring in the lie, we now re-evaluate and alter God’s word.
  5. After hearing both sides (God’s & Satan’s), Eve took matters into her own hands and relied on her own reasoning. One Bible version said, Eve was ‘convinced.’ What a fatal mistake. What will you do?

We never have to go to step 5. Don’t rely on what you think you know, rely on what God knows (Proverbs 3:5-7).  Always go back to The Source: God Himself. The Holy Spirit will provide clarity. Lastly, God cannot tell a lie (Hebrews 6:18). He will always tell us the truth!

A Good Scam Begins with Communication

“My sheep respond to My voice; and I know who they are. They follow Me.”             John 10:27 

Grandma gets a dreaded phone call from her grandson. He’s been in an auto accident, he tells her. He’s in jail, he tells her. He needs money, he tells her. Keep this to yourself, he tells her: he promises to settle the matter.  Sadly, because Grandma doesn’t know the voice of her grandson, she is scammed out of $12,000! (Fox6)

This stranger claimed to be her grandson, and called himself by name. If only she had known the voice of her grandson! Instead, a lying, mimicking, deceptive stranger was able to rob a well-intended grandmother.

Don’t think for a minute that Satan isn’t trying this with us!! He is the father of lies, and actually hates the truth (John 8:44). And just like every scammer, he must first establish communication with his intended target: you and me. That’s right, the father of lies speaks to us. Just like the fake grandson, he will impersonate a familiar voice, and make false claims.

Do you remember “Stranger Danger” campaigns from the 80’s? This was an age riddled with public service announcements, warning families about the perils of abductors lurking near their children. The danger wasn’t in the appearance of the abductor, it was in their communication. If evil was in appearance only, we would all steer clear.  But well-timed conversational lies about lost puppies lures them right into the enemy’s deception.  So it is when Satan converses with us: if he sounded menacing and intimidating we wouldn’t listen. But with his subtle strategies, we can easily be ensnared.

Satan’s ultimate goal is to steal from us, to kill us and to destroy us (John 10:10). It’s a harsh ugly truth, but if we aren’t aware of his devices we are susceptible and easily deceived (2Corinthians 2:11). I’m so thankful that we are not defenseless, nor or we ignorant. We have a powerful weapon to use against our enemy: God’s Word!

Did you know that our voice print is as unique to us as our DNA and fingerprints? It can be used to identify us from all others. No one else has the voice print of our Savior either, and we can easily distinguish His from that of a stranger.

Our Heavenly Father never lies to us. He never motivates us with pressure or threats. He doesn’t fill us with fear, dread or alarm. He doesn’t criticize, belittle or condemn us. He doesn’t tell us to give up or quit. He doesn’t move us to anger or bitterness. He doesn’t prattle on about empty promises. He’s never vague, and doesn’t avoid our questions.

Bottom line: if what you “hear” does not line up with God’s Word…… reject it because it is not the voice of your Savior.