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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Satan Actually Got Something Right!

I believe Satan actually got something right!  Yes, you read that statement correctly!  No, I didn't make a mistake in writing it.  But please, wait just a minute before calling me a heretic. I know that’s a bold and controversial statement for a Christian to make.  It sounds even more radical because it's being said by a pastor, the pastor of a charismatic/full gospel, non-denominational church none the less. 

However, I have found one thing that Satan said in the Bible that I believe we should take notice of, and perhaps we should even ask the same question from time to time.  It's not that his words had merit in the context which he said them because in that context he was wrong. It's the question itself, or at least a portion of it, that we should ask and consider.

We all know the story of Creation from the book of Genesis.  We know that God told Adam in Genesis 2:16,17 that he could eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  If we will notice, God gave this instruction to Adam alone.  This was before Eve was created because in the very next verse God says, "It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper."  So God went on with creation and soon Eve is introduced.  Then, the very next person to come onto the scene is the Serpent, who of course is widely accepted as Satan. (To remove any doubt about his identity, look at Revelation 12:9.)

Genesis 3:1 (NLT) says, "Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?"  This question asked by Satan, I believe, has so much merit for us today.  "Did God really say...?"  

Sure, I believe that God really told to Adam not to eat from that one tree.  Yes, Satan is a deceiver!  And yes, he was trying to distort the truth that God had given to Adam, which in turn he had passed on to Eve.  Sure, in doing so Satan was certainly trying to cast doubt on God and His word which are forever true, but there is some validity to the question itself, in our lives today.  

"Did God really say...?"  See, Eve had heard that God had made this statement but she probably hadn't heard him say it herself.  This brings me to my point, well two points actually.

Firstly, I do believe that God guides us by his Spirit still today.  John 10:27 (KJV) says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"   Romans 8:14 (KJV) tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."  God speaks to us in many ways, but what concerns me is the number of people saying "God told me this", or "God has instructed me to do that".  What I have witnessed in my years of ministry is that much, if not most of what is said to be God speaking, is not God at all.  Far too often Christians, especially Charismatic Christians and Pentecostals, say “God has told me to do such and such”, but often it doesn't line up with the word of God, nor with God's character.  It's time for us to stop blaming God for our choices, and take responsibility for our own actions.  

Secondly, and most importantly, we need to know God's word, the Bible, for ourselves.  It is the ultimate authority, inspired by God's himself. (See 2 Tim.3:16)  

We can't just go by what someone tells us even if they are thought to be a reliable source of truth, or a trustworthy minster of the gospel.  The bible itself tells us that there are many false teachers (Read Jude).  

Satan is cunning.  He is real.  He is a liar, and he is seeking do destroy your life.  He is the epitome of wrong, but he did make a point that rings true today when he implied that we cannot blindly trust what someone else has told us God said.   

Here is a bit of sound advice: Find out for yourself what God has to say by reading His word, and be led by what it says rather than going solely by what someone else has told you, or even by what you have determined in your own mind to be "God's" course of action for your life.  God will lead his people by his Spirit, but it will come under the authority of His word, and will line up with his character, or it’s simply not God!