I’m sure most people are familiar with the story in Genesis 3, where our enemy deceives Eve, causing the fall of mankind. (If you’re not, take a few minutes and go read it.)
If you look closely at the conversation between Eve and the serpent (satan), you will see that every lie that any human has ever believed is contained in those three sentences the serpent spoke.
Here’s satan’s part of the conversation:
Verse 1 — “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree in the garden’?”
Verse 4, 5 – “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
First, he questions God’s words, then His goodness and His integrity. Our enemy tells Eve (and Adam) that God has withheld something good from them, because He doesn’t want them to be like Him. They are not worthy, in God’s eyes, he implies, to be equals; otherwise, He would have been honest with them about the consequences of eating the fruit. And finally, he presents the fruit to them as the solution to this problem.
So here’s the first lie – God can’t be trusted!
Second lie – God finds you unworthy.
Lie three – the way to solve this problem is to fix it yourself!
Over and over again, down through all the centuries, the enemy speaks the same lies to mankind. They may be said in different words, but they have the same effect.
When we believe that God can’t be trusted, we avoid Him. Even His children will hide from their Father (just as Adam and Eve did), when we believe that He is not good. So we avoid listening to the quiet nudgings of Holy Spirit; we avoid reading the Bible or praying, because we are afraid of what He will say to us. We don’t trust Him.
When we believe we are not worthy, we look elsewhere for something to give us value. Sports, college degrees, money, love, acclaim for some thing or another, drugs, alcohol, sex – the list is endless. But none of it brings us the worth that only our Father God can bestow. Even in churches, we find people striving to achieve worth – teaching Sunday School, serving as an usher, giving to missions, whatever. It’s an unending cycle of work to earn acceptance.
Because we ALL believe the third lie – the solution lies in my own hands. I am the only one who can fix the issue. God can’t, or won’t. Sure, Jesus died to pay for my sins, to give me eternal life, but what I do with that life is all my responsibility. So I must be busily working ‘for the kingdom’. We wear ourselves out on works that we chose for ourselves, rather than seeking those He chooses – those ‘light burdens and easy yokes’. If we’re not exhausted, we feel we’re still not worthy. So we add more ‘good works’ to our load!
The net result of Christians believing any or all of these foundational lies is that we are tired, we are scared, and we feel hopeless.
And all of this is unnecessary!
Because God is good! And He is love! And He can be trusted!
He loves each of us! He chose each of us! And we are worthy in His eyes!
The solution has been perfectly met in Jesus Christ! And we can do nothing to add to it!
Before the foundations of the world, God knew what would happen in this whole creation. He knew that satan would tempt mankind and they would choose to disobey God.
He knew that there was only one solution to sin – a perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty for all sin for all time.
He knew, and He deliberately set the whole train of events in motion, having already prepared the solution.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He paid for it all, for all time. He defeated satan, and took the keys of death and hell from him. And then He gave all His power over the enemy to us, His body.
I’ll say it again – satan is already defeated! He can do nothing to hurt us. The only power he has is lies. So when he can craft a lie that we believe, he just handed us the first bar for the cage. Every defeat we suffer, every pain we face, every betrayal, every bit of neglect, of abuse, has its roots in some variation of one of those first lies.
May you see clearly who God is, and that He is trustworthy!
May you also see clearly the true value you have in His eyes.
And may you be free from every lie that holds you in bondage to sin, fear, despair, hopelessness, anger, and working to achieve value.