A monster has taken up residence in our home and its name is Liar. Our six year old son has picked up a terrible habit of not speaking the truth. The frightening thing is, he’s darn good at it. Often times, the only reason I know he’s lying is because I already know the truth. He mostly lies to stay out of trouble or get out of work. Although I am secretly impressed with some of the elaborate stories he concocts, I know this habit of lying must be stopped before it becomes all consuming. Prayer and consequences are slowly moving us towards more truth telling.
Unfortunately, Evan is not the only liar in our home. Another liar, with bigger lies, often takes up residence, although he doesn’t require any physical living space; instead he consumes our mental living space. Yep, it’s satan.
Satan has to be the greatest liar of all time; after all, he’s had thousands of years to practice. He can twist and manipulate circumstances like none other. He tells us we are worthless when God wants to declare we are of great value. He screams that we will be defeated when God has already promised the victory. He whispers “There is no way” when Jesus says I Am the Way!
The Israelites experienced satan’s evil ways more than once, but there is a verse in Deuteronomy that so clearly demonstrates how good he is at lying.
“And you murmured in your tents and said, ‘Because the Lord hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.” Deuteronomy 1:27
Whoa, because the Lord hated us? Hold on a minute!! Jump back to Exodus 3 and God’s promise to deliver his people from the hand of the evil Egyptians. “Then the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey...” (v.7).
Take a moment and compare those two verses. The promise is for deliverance into a land of abundance, a mighty display of God’s desire to bless his children. The belief of the people (after years of hardship) is that God delivered them to kill them.
So where did the disconnect happen? It came out of the Israelites disobedience. Deuteronomy 1:21 “See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” But instead of taking up their arms and heading into battle, the Israelites asked for spies to be send ahead, to determine if the land really was as good as God said. The spies reported that yes, the land was wonderful, but it was also full of large people groups that could easily destroy the whole of Israel. In that moment the Israelites decided to let fear win and they refused to follow God’s command to go and defeat the enemies, then they blamed God for their defeat.
Do you see how much satan took those circumstances and twisted them for evil? God didn’t hate the Israelites and he didn’t bring them to the desert to die. He wanted to give them more than they could ever fathom (Ephesians 3:20) but their defiant disobedience to God’s command to go and conquer left them consumed with guilt and doubt and caused almost an entire generation to miss out on the victory and blessing of the promised land.
Is satan lying to you today? If you are living in defeat, he just might be; leading you to believe that stepping out in faith when the situation looks grim is dangerous territory. Yet the truth is this, if God has called you to go into battle, he will go before you and bring the victory. Stop believing the lie and step out in faith today!