God can be seen every single day if we know what to look for. Satan can be seen and heard as well, but there is no spitting and snarling as we’ve imagined. Satan is too cunning and crafty to come straight at us as we might have thought him to be, that’s what makes Satan so creepy.
The Spirit of God is seen/heard in people who humbly surrender their lives to Jesus and keep in step with the Spirit. On the other hand, the spirit of Satan can be seen/heard in people who run counter to the Spirit of God. Even well-meaning people, who carry a personal agenda that may not be God’s, can fall under the influence of Satan.
Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan” when Peter had a different agenda for the Christ’s work than that of God the Father. Now this in no way paves the way for us to ascribe to anyone the name of Satan. But it does raise an important point. Not all counsel is godly, not all words are holy and not all gestures are from above.
Some of our words/actions are just flesh and reveal the residual effects of our fallen old nature. But some words/actions can fly in the face of God’s glory and his will. Understanding this should lead us to do at least two things:
- Watch what we say. Don’t be paranoid but when asked for advice make certain it comports with scriptural truth.
- Check the counsel/advice/direction you receive against the word of God and gather wise counsel around you to keep life sorted out.
The TEMPTATION Voice
The day will come when Satan will be “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Until that day, Satan will pull out all the stops to take down as many people as possible until his fate is sealed. Satan has several voices and he uses them with precision.
Temptation is the voice of Satan that baits us into getting ahead of God, or worse, playing god. The goal is rather simple but the effects are devastating. Satan sets a trap to convince us that radical independence is a good option. The bait on the trap is hand selected to match our current needs. Jesus was hammered by evil after a Spirit led fast (Matthew 5:1-11). Note: Some of our toughest battles come on the heels of deep spiritual adventures with God.
Jesus was hungry so Satan hung out the bait of instant bread. Satan also tempted Jesus to test God’s will to protect him. Then Satan came at Jesus with the bait of power. Each temptation of Jesus was an attempt to get our Lord to take a bite at something before it was time. Provision, protection and power are all ironclad promises, yes, even for you and me. But timing is everything in the Kingdom of God. Satan will often tempt us with the wrong things, but more often he tempts us with the good things, even God things, but it’s just the wrong time.
Satan doesn’t usually hold a gun to our head, he baits us into jumping the gun. Wait, wait, wait on God and soon you’ll experience the fruit of deliverance…“behold, angels came and were ministering”. Revelation 20:10, Matthew 5:1-11
The DECEPTION Voice
Half-truths, twists, embellishments, and leaving out key details–It’s all just a thin veil for deception. Deception is a voice of Satan and he’s not only mastered it, he invented it.
The fall of mankind into sin, cited in the Genesis account, is more than just temptation. The temptation of Adam and Eve had a healthy dose of deception. Think about deception as the truth with a twist at the very end. What makes deception so lethal is that it’s laced with good amounts of truth. Satan simply said to Eve, “For God knows…”. Yes, God is all knowing but the deception was that God was somehow withholding what was good and keeping it for himself. Subtle twists and turns can actually be used by Satan to get us headed in the wrong direction. Every person who has a pulse has been sucked into Satan’s deception scheme.
To really understand deception we have to understand the mask of deception. Get this, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”. He plays himself off as an illuminator of truth and then slides in destructive lies from the shadows of utter darkness. This is serious and the solution required is the Holy Spirit. Deception can’t be sorted out on the fly. We can’t lean on man’s wisdom or hunches to separate out truth from lies. Jesus illustrated the need to sort out lies when he yielded to the Holy Spirit who will “guide you into all truth”.
A few thoughts on deception that can keep you out of the ditch and walking the high road with God:
- Watch your stories and story retelling. A story with 90% truth has too much lie for its own good.
- Tell a story straight and true to the end or don’t tell it at all.
- And when it’s a tale about someone else, it’s better left untold. Gossip is a breeding ground for twisted truth.
The ACCUSATION Voice
The voice of railing accusation rings out from the mouth of Satan every day and the intent is to distract, derail and defeat. Satan’s voice will one day be silenced and “the accuser of our brethren with be thrown down”. The constant, “day and night”, barrage of accusations must be dealt with, if the child of God is going to stay on track with Him.
Accusation left unattended becomes a pile of defeat and unnecessary shame. The relief from accusation won’t be fully resolved until Satan is “thrown down”, but until then we can do one powerful thing that will offload emotional burden that comes through accusation.
The best thing to do with accusation is to face it head on. Literally “take every thought captive”. When a thought of accusation hits us we have two healthy responses:
- Own and confess any aspect of the accusation that rings of truth. Unconfessed sin gives Satan’s chatter credibility and we need to strip him of that power. And gives us freedom.
- Throw the balance away and let God deal with it. Satan loves to badger God’s children and keep us in a state of emotional turmoil, confusion, and defeat, even when our victory has been sealed.
The CONDEMNATION Voice
Every voice of Satan is a warm-up for his final act. Soul crushing condemnation is the end game of evil with temptation, deception, and accusation all being aimed at burying God’s children emotionally. We have to both face the battle and throw ourselves at the mercy of God.
Satan waits in the wings of our deepest personal battles to pounce on every loss or defeat. Satan loves to use his voice of condemnation. It’s his way of marring what can never be stolen from us–our salvation. So let’s take a look at the answer for our wrestling, so we can shut the mouth of evil with the voice of truth:
- We’re going to wrestle with sin. It’s true; there is a battle with “another law at work in our members”. This is the residual effect of being born in sin. It’s found in us and we have to own it. But it’s fueled by demonic deception and temptation.
- We can say with Paul, “who will deliver me from this body of death”? But just when we’re recovering from yet another blow of defeat, there is this, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord”! God lowers the boom on the voice of condemnation by hammering back at Satan with the power of the name of Jesus.
- This third reality is left untapped for too many. It’s time to leverage the voice of truth to shut down the lies of Satan. Six of the most liberating words spoken in all of scripture are these:“There is therefore now no condemnation…”. Not a little or just a bit, in Christ all condemnation is gone.
Don’t let condemnation have the last word. Speak up and speak out just who you are–God’s prized child who is loved deeply and protected most carefully.
Knowing the Four Voices of Satan is critical for overcoming waves of beat-downs. But knowing the truth is what will truly set us free!
Jesus is the Truth so it is the knowing of Jesus sets us free indeed.