Dear One, I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you, or at least remind you, that you have an enemy. His name is Satan and the Bible tells us quite a bit about him. He steals, he kills, he destroys. I am not being overly dramatic, the Bible says that. (John 10:10) Satan is always looking for something to ruin.
So how does Satan operate? We see how he operates in the book of Genesis. You remember the story of Eve. Satan snuck into paradise and lured Eve into what? A big cage? I giant steel trap? No. A conversation. Isn’t that interesting? The enemy begins to talk, Eve listens, and soon she is doubting that God’s plan for her is that good.
Let me illustrate. One day a man called me from a telephone company. Our conversation started out simple enough, but it soon was clear that the man wanted me to switch from my current phone plan to his. When I told him my husband took care of handling those things I hoped it would end the discussion. It didn’t. Instead it escalated. “Can’t you make your own decisions?” he replied. Quickly the man began to insinuate that I was in some sort of bondage, that just maybe my husband didn’t know what was best for me, wasn’t treating me right, or giving me enough freedom… Nothing could have been farther from the truth. My husband was saving me a big headache, and I knew it. When I told the man on the phone his remark was out of line, he backed off and then hung up. Now, I know the man on the phone was not Satan, his frustration got the best of him. We all have days like that. But I bring up the incident because it shows how our enemy approaches.
God has a plan for us. The plan is good and all the guidelines have loving purposes. But Satan gets on the line and starts whispering all kinds of things, things like “You’re just a captive under a system” or “What does God know about what’s best for you?” Satan’s plan is to get us to believe that God is impersonal, uncaring, tightfisted, and out of touch. He tries to sour a sweet thing.
Now, how can you protect yourself from an attack like this?
Here are a few ways. First, read God’s word. Know for yourself who God is. What others say about him is not always the truth.
Second, spend more time with people who believe in and respect God, and less time with those who talk flippantly or rudely about him.
Third, when you find yourself doubting God or his goodness, talk to him about it instead of his enemy. Eve could have easily gone to God and said, “Hey that snake said such and such, and that tree you said I shouldn’t partake of is looking pretty good right now…” Talking to God like this is called praying.
Finally, invite God to help you with what you are facing today. You will get to know him personally and a right view of him will form in your mind. So when the enemy comes around slinging mud on God’s reputation, and trying to get you to switch from God’s plan to his, you will be able to say, and mean, “What you say is not true, and this conversation is over.”
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV