Satan has been called a lot of things in the Bible… a Tempter, the Wicked One, the Evil One, Prince of the Power of the Air, among many others. But perhaps the one he lives up to most is the Father of Lies in John 8:44.
There are so many lies the devil tells us! Most of them beat us down and make us feel unworthy of God’s love. Some of them make us feel so good about ourselves we don’t think we need God. The bad news is those lies aren’t going away until Jesus returns.
The good news is, we have the ammunition to fight them! Here are 20 lies Satan tells us and the ways we can use the Bible to say, “Not today Satan!”
1. If I’m not happy, then God must not love me.
God doesn’t promise us happiness. In fact, Paul tells the Philippian church in Philippians 1:29-30 AND the Roman church in Romans 8:17 that suffering is a privilege we get to share with Christ! But we can find JOY in the midst of our suffering, because we know
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” – Romans 8:18
That joy is the result of God’s love, and that’s so much better than temporary happiness!
2. My past defines me and God doesn’t want me if I’m not pure.
In John 4:1-17, Jesus visits a woman at a well. He shouldn’t even have talked to her. She was Samaritan, which the Jews considered lower-class at the time. And, oh by the way, she was also a prostitute! But Jesus not only stopped to talk to her, He shares with her how to have eternal life. There is no one too dirty, no one too sinful, that God can’t forgive. His grace covers a multitude of sins!
3. I am alone and I’m the only one who struggles with _______
Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus experienced the same temptations we did. Because of His experience, He is able to sympathize with whatever we may struggle with. And He’s not the only one (though he is the most important!) The author of Ecclesiastes wrote,
“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9
You may feel alone, but I promise there is someone who has gone through what you are going through!
4. I have to be perfect.
You know Paul? He’s the guy who wrote the majority of the New Testament. Paul said this in the book of Romans,
“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” – Romans 7:18-20
If the Apostle Paul wasn’t perfect, can we really expect perfection from ourselves? Paul says the thing in us that continues to do wrong is sin. We can take comfort in God’s grace that covers our sin! We have been forgiven!
5. I’ll be happy when _________
Satan loves to tell us we need the next big thing to be happy. If I just get the newest smartphone or that promotion I’ve been working for, then I’ll be content. God tells us, through the words of Paul, that we can be content no matter the situation.
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13
You may recognize that last sentence… thanks, Tim Tebow! It means that Christ gives us the strength to endure whatever situation we find ourselves in!
6. God is not really good.
If God was good, we wouldn’t have suffering in the world, right? There wouldn’t be abuse, poverty, crime or evil. Those seem like fair questions, but our suffering isn’t God’s fault. Romans 3:23 says,
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
It’s our sin that causes suffering. But there’s more after that verse! Verse 24 says,
“Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
It’s through God’s goodness, His grace, that we have the opportunity to be saved from our sin!
7. Being a Christian means never sinning again.
Paul talks a lot about this idea of a sinful nature. Basically, it means that we all have a side of us that still wants to sin. But when we are believers, we have the Holy Spirit inside us to help up combat those desires, those temptations. Romans 8:26 promises the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We will still make mistakes, still sin, but God’s grace will cover ALL of our sins.
8. I’m my own authority and know what’s best for my life.
As much as we want to believe it, none of us are truly in control of our lives. Either we are slaves to our sin or we are slaves to Christ. Paul calls it being a slave to righteousness in Romans 6:16-18. What that means is we are either controlled by our sinful nature, or we are under the authority of God. And who knows better, God or our sin? Do we really think we know what’s best for our lives and God doesn’t? Isaiah 29:16 says,
“How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, ‘He didn’t make me?’ Does a jar ever say, ‘The potter who made me is stupid?'”
9. I need a spouse.
Husbands and wives are good! The Bible talks about how a marriage is a picture of the covenant between Christ and the Church. That’s a good thing to have. But what if we don’t have that yet? Surely singleness is bad if marriage is good! But Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:8,
“So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.”
Does he mean we shouldn’t want to get married? No! Paul means marriage isn’t the goal. A deepening relationship with Christ is the goal. If you find your soulmate along the way, that’s awesome, but love Christ first!
10. I don’t need Christian friends.
Technology is awesome. We can live-stream church, keep up with all of our friends on social media, grocery shop in our PJs. But should we? We are built for community; we crave interaction with other people. And the people we interact with help shape who we are. When we spend more time with other Christians, we learn from each other, strengthen each other, cry with each other, and laugh with each other. We help each other grow into more mature Christians. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 compares the Church (all of the Christians in the world) to a body. Each part of the body has a job, but we can’t do our job without the rest of the body! You can see more in Acts 2:42-47 and John 17:20-26.
11. Everyone’s beliefs are true.
“Everyone lives their own truth and what’s true for you may not be true for me.”
Have you heard something like this before? We probably all have, all the time. But how can it be true? Is truth really relative? Of course not, but it isn’t really about truth, is it? It’s about being happy, about doing what you want to do. But what does Jesus say?
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
Only Jesus is the absolute truth. Only Jesus is the way to God, despite what some may want to believe. There is truth and it’s going to contradict what people want. Do you have the courage to stand on the truth even when others won’t like Paul in Romans 1:16?
12. It’s all about me.
13. Going to church is enough.
What happens on Monday-Saturday doesn’t matter as long as we are at church on Sunday, right? After all, our sins are all forgiven, so it’s ok to keep doing what we are doing. We can just check in with God once a week and it’ll be all good…
People in the early church had that same thought. Here’s what Paul said to them,
“Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” – Romans 6:15-16
When we are saved, we are set free from our sin. Why would we want to go back to something that had enslaved us? Instead, we are free to obey God and enjoy Him forever!
14. I’m not as bad as that guy.
There will always be someone a little more sinful than you. Of course, there is also someone who obeys God better than you. It’s a good thing, then, that we aren’t judged based on what other people are doing! Do you really think you’re good enough to pass up enough people on God’s good/bad list? Do you want to take that chance? Remember Romans 3:23, that ALL have sinned. Everyone. It’s not a sliding scale. And what is the result of our sin, no matter how small? Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death… But the good news is God’s grace covers our sin no matter how big or how small!
15. God is ALL love.
“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
That’s a pretty popular verse. It makes us feel good to know that God is love. But God isn’t only love. He’s also wise, just, wrathful, all-powerful, ever-present, sovereign and much more. But Satan wants us to focus JUST on God’s love, because then the other parts of God just look mean. If God loves us, He wouldn’t really condemn us, right? If He loves us, then He wants us to have everything we want and need. But it’s all lies. It’s through His lovesthat God disciplines us (Proverbs 3:12). It’s by His love that his eternal plans are motivated (Ephesians 1:4-5). And it’s His love that saves us from our sin–the sin that condemns us, by the way (John 3:16).
16. Someone else will do it.
If God is really in control, then we are free to do whatever we want and His plan will still get done. That’s what Satan tells us, right? If we don’t’ do it, someone else will. And you know what, that’s technically true. God could achieve His purpose without you. Jesus even said this about His followers,
“If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” – Luke 19:40
But we don’t obey God because He needs us to. We don’t tell others the good news because it’s the only way they will be saved. We do those things because we GET to! How cool is it that God chose us to be His “hands and feet” when He didn’t need to? How amazing is it that the Creator of the Universe wants to use us to fulfill His plan?
17. I can’t forgive you.
18. I don’t give because I don’t have enough to give.
It’s tough to look on the stage of a big church, see all of those skilled musicians and singers, or listen to the eloquence of the speaker, and think that God wants to use you and your meager skills. Maybe you can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Or you trip over your words when you’re ordering the number three at Chick-Fil-A. You don’t have enough money this week for your triple non-fat caramel latte with no foam, so there’s no point in giving during the offering either. But consider this…
Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. The rest of the twelve disciples were also nobodies. They weren’t religious leaders and they didn’t have a lot of money or prestige. But Jesus used them to start His Church. And Jesus said this when he saw a poor widow give her tiny offering,
“I tell you the truth this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” – Luke 21:3-4
19. I’m not good at praying.
20. The Bible isn’t relevant today.
It’s true that the Bible was written thousands of years ago. And it’s true that parts of it talk about things that were happening right when it was written. But even those things are relevant to what we are facing today. Here’s what Paul told Timothy,
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The things that are true do not change, neither do the things that we do that are wrong. We still need God’s grace, just like they did 2000 years ago! Go ahead and test the Bible’s relevance. Want to know if social media is good for you?
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8
Would you consider your Instagram feed honorable and pure and lovely? If so, then you’re good! Go ahead and read the Bible, see if it might apply to other parts of your life. You’d be surprised at just how relevant it really is!