I believe in God as a living entity of goodness. I also believe in Satan as a living entity of evil. God and Satan exist and are active in this world of overlapping physical and spiritual realities. There are angles and there are demons active as well. As humans we are free to believe what we will. There is a battle over what we will believe, where we will locate our allegiance – toward good or toward evil. Good and evil are sometimes obvious, but much of the time one is not clearly differentiated from the other. We are told truths and we are told lies. We must be wise in order to tell the difference. What follows is a way to describe some of the challenges of this life with my own children in mind.
The life we live on this Earth is filled with all sorts of freedoms. God wouldn’t have it any other way. We have the power to choose all sorts of things. We can choose behaviors and what we do with our bodies and what we say or do not say. We can choose our thoughts and where to place our beliefs. And we can even choose how we feel to some extent and we can choose what to do with those emotions.
The ability to make choices in our lives is an amazing power that is also a vulnerable power. Wise choices with your life are a blessing to this world while unwise choices are not a blessing to this world and could even be a detriment to this world. Our lives are like a secret formula for incredible things to happen, but if that secret formula were ever to get into the wrong hands…, well, that great power could be used for evil.
God was wise to create us with so much freedom. It might seem risky for Him to give us this much freedom because we might not choose Him with the freedom. It is a huge risk. We look around see a world that has a lot of people in it that look like they are not choosing to love God or other people. It’s true, many people are not. However, many people are choosing to love God. Many people are choosing to love people with their lives. Many people are choosing to make their lives about loving God and others, which happen to be what God desires the most. In fact, He created us for love.
However, since there is freedom, there is the chance that people may not choose to love God and others. Satan, the force of evil in the world and the scriptwriter of lies, has noticed that freedom has some vulnerabilities to it. Satan believes God is stupid. He believes it was stupid for God to risk so big by giving freedom. It is Satan’s goal to make a fool of God by exploiting the freedoms God has given.
Now, where God has chosen not to violate human freedom, Satan would if he could, but he can’t. However, he can lie all he wants to. He has the freedom to try to convince people that they are not free. It is sort of ironic. So, Satan is a liar and will use all sorts of lying strategies to get people to be bad. If he can’t get people bad, he will lie to get them distracted or busy. He will do whatever it takes to steal people away from God. And if he can’t steal them from God, he will do whatever he can to reduce their usefulness or their range and depth of impact of goodness in the world.
Make no mistake about it, Satan is out there to make this world as miserable a place as he can. His appetite is for the humiliation of and destruction of God and is willing to use up as many people as he can in order to accomplish his goal. To Satan, people are disposable units that are created for his consumption in order to kill God and people. Satan hates God and is bent on destruction and does not care how many people are used, hurt, tortured, and exploited along the way – the more the better.
If Satan could kill us all off right now, he would. Think about it, each human is an image of God. Right now there are nearly 7 billion living images of God on this planet, more than ever in the history of the world. There is not a single image of Satan on this Earth. Every last one of us, even the most vile of us humans, looks more like God than he or she does look like Satan. God can look across the Earth and see so many images of Himself and Satan can’t find a single one. Satan hates God and there are 7 billion God look alikes. Everywhere Satan goes, there’s a whole bunch of us.
Did you know your very existence exposes Satan for who he is? Rather than be in awe of God’s love and generosity in the freedom He created in producing a world that could love, that could be free, he despises it. He hates it. God created a way for there to be even more love and more freedom (creation) and rather than being happy for there being more love and more freedom, Satan despises it. More people means more love and more freedom and it exposes Satan for who he is, someone who values neither love nor freedom. God has expanded His own goodness through creation.
So, Satan looks about the world of humans and hates us all. He wants us dead. And since he does not have permission to just kill us all off, he will seek to exploit our freedom to choose as much as possible and as in many ways as possible. Ultimately, Satan has one strategy – lie. His lies come in many forms and are about many things. He lies about who God is, who he is, about who you are and who other people are. He lies about the church. He lies about feelings, thoughts, behaviors. He lies to get you falsely feel bad, falsely feel good, to be too distracted too busy, too insignificant, too good for everyone else. He will lie about anything to anyone to make this world a worse place.
What follows are some lies I have either experienced myself, witnessed in someone else, or heard about thought other sources. These are only a few of the lies Satan tells, but they are some of the more commons lies. Since Satan can take any real thing and lie about in a number of ways, there would be no way to catalog all of the lies and make them readily available in a book. Satan is inventing new lies all the time. However, He seems to use a select few lies over and over again, probably because they have worked so well. Here is the beginning of the list:
God wants to keep you from happiness.
Happiness is found in pleasure.
Life is a battle between who loves you more, God or Satan.
God doesn’t care.
You make dumb decisions.
Hiding your mistakes will make them go away.
You’ll always feel depressed.
Guys/Girls will not like you unless…
You’re not good enough. You have perform to be accepted.
You are alone.