“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” Genesis 3:1
On a recent vacation, Tom was casually bobbing around on a raft just offshore. He closed his eyes, basking in the warm sun. Before he realized it, he had drifted too far from shore. He hopped off the raft to get back to the security of the sand, but the water was now over his head. He didn’t know how to swim.
The drift of our lives away from God is just as subtle. And just as dangerous. We drift one thought at a time, one small choice at a time, and often one damaging doubt at a time. In fact, our adversary is delighted to help our rafts drift from the protection and presence of God by casting doubt on God’s goodness to us. If you sense that your life has been set adrift—that God is not as close and precious as He used to be—then you may have just been in the riptide of an old trick of the enemy of your soul. The same trick he used to sever Eve’s heart from the joy of her relationship with her Creator.
Satan’s opening volley was not a blistering attack on God; it was a simply a question that he wanted Eve to think about. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1). Actually, God had said that she could eat of every tree but one. But Satan twisted the facts to suit his purposes and to lead Eve’s mind to the conclusion that God was not the generous God she had known Him to be, but rather a stingy, restrictive, joy killer. Once she had let her heart drift to the wrong conclusion, it was easy for her to believe Satan’s lie that God just wanted to keep her from being as knowledgeable as He is and that the threat of them dying was just God’s way of scaring them into compliance with His stingy ways.
Satan still sets us adrift by planting doubt about God’s Word and spinning the facts to his own evil advantage.
Once we begin to suspect God instead of trusting Him, we inevitably drift away from Him. So, beware! Your life is full of scenarios where Satan can put his deceitful twist on your experiences. He is the spin-doctor of hell, and as Jesus said, “When [Satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
With that in mind, keep a lookout for some of Satan’s favorite spins:
- Lie #1: God is to blame for the evil that Satan has inflicted on our lives.
- Lie #2: God has not rewarded me for being good. I’ve been used, not blessed!
- Lie #3: God’s rules are restrictive and oppressive. He just wants to take the fun out of my life.
- Lie #4: God is good to others but not to me. He must not love me!
And there are many other lies, all custom-made for your head and heart. If you believe them, you have begun to drift away from the safe shores of God’s love and protecting provision. You’ll soon discover that you are adrift in the middle of nowhere, bobbing dangerously over your head. And count on it, as Eve was soon to learn, Satan won’t stay around to make you happy and fulfilled. He’ll be slithering off to more interesting company, leaving you in the deep waters of shame and regret.
- Are you drifting in a sea of doubt? Make an appointment to talk to a trusted pastor or friend and ask that person to help you find your way back to God.
- Pray and ask God to reveal the lies that Satan is using in your life. Find Bible verses that contradict the lies and recite them when you are tempted to believe what is not true.
- Do you suspect God, or do you trust Him? How can faith shield you from the pitfall of suspecting and doubting God? Read Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 6:16; Galatians 2:20; 1 Timothy 6:12; and Hebrews 11:1-40.