3 Ways Satan Deceives Us

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Did you know that there are 3 main ways that Satan deceives us?

He has used them since the beginning of time.

You see, Satan doesn’t change his tactics.

Why?

Because we all continue to fall for the same tricks!

Satan doesn’t have to change his strategy when humans continue to be deceived by the same things over and over again.

Satan uses these 3 deceptions to play mind games with us, causing us to doubt, waver, and then sin.

How?

Because we don’t firmly know in our heart what God’s truth really is!

My friends, it’s time that we learned to identify these tactics and prepare ourselves with the real TRUTH to battle Satan in these areas.

So what are the 3 ways Satan deceives us?

The 3 Ways Satan Deceives Us

How can I be so bold as to say that I know the 3 ways that Satan deceives us?

Because the Bible documents them for us in the Garden of Eden when Eve was deceived by the serpent!

And even better, the Bible then continues to show us throughout human history how these lies have continued to trip up God’s people!

If there was one reason why I would believe the Bible, it would be the fact that it is brutally honest about how messed up everyone is.

There is no hero in the Biblical narrative who doesn’t have a sin issue, besides Jesus (who was sinless).

And the Bible puts it on display for everyone to read about!

Can I get an amen that the Bible is complete and my life faults are not documented in it for everybody to read (WHEW!).

Because let me confess that even though I am writing this, Satan traps me with his mind games ALL THE TIME.

I need to better prepare for battle against Satan.

So let’s figure out the 3 ways Satan deceives us by reviewing how he deceived Eve and caused the fall of humanity.

But first, we need to know what God REALLY said in order to see how Satan twists the truth.

Genesis 2:15-17

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 2:17 verse pin with tree in background

God told Adam that he was free to eat from any tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And He also warned Adam that if he ate from that tree, then he would “certainly die.”

I think it is interesting to note that God gave this information to only Adam.

Starting right after this, in verse 18, is when God says that it is not good for man to be alone and says that He will make a suitable helper for Adam.

I will point out why this is noteworthy in a minute.

Okay, so then where do things go awry?

In Satan’s conversation with Eve – let’s listen in:

Genesis 3:1-7

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Did you catch the deception and mind games that Satan is playing with Eve?

Let’s recap the truth and then point out the lies.

The truth we know from the mouth of God: Adam and Eve were free to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate from that tree, then they would “certainly die.”

So what’s the first thing that Satan does in his conversation with Eve?

Genesis 3:1b

1b He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

He QUESTIONS what God actually said.

That’s the first deception.

So what’s the next thing Satan says?

Genesis 3:4

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

Genesis 3:4 with apples in the background

The next time Satan talks, what does he do?

He blatantly DENIES what God said.

That’s the second deception.

And what’s the last thing that Satan says?

Genesis 3:5

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

He CHANGES the Word of God.

And this is the third deception.

Do you see how this conversation took a total 180 from God’s truth?

I mean hindsight is 20/20, and it’s very easy for us as the readers to see that Satan was totally lying.

Eve was not prepared for the mind games that Satan played with her and the results were disastrous.

But isn’t this the SAME THING that happens in our lives too?

Satan comes to us with twisted truth and we are not prepared to deny the lies that Satan throws at us.

If Eve had just stood on the truth and held her ground of what God REALLY said, wow – only God knows what things would look like today if she hadn’t taken the forbidden fruit.

But God, in His amazing goodness, was prepared for this to happen from the very beginning, and we can see His story of redemption play out through the rest of the Bible.

How do I know that God had a plan all along?

Because He already knew what He was going to do in Genesis.

Genesis 3:14-15

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

The last two lines are the most important part “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

When God says “he will crush your head”, God is already foretelling of Christ coming to Earth to defeat Satan and save us from our sins.

And if you are curious, the statement “and you will strike his heel” refers to how Satan would try to defeat Christ while he was here on Earth.

God tells us that despite Satan’s attempts to thwart God’s plans, Jesus would in fact overcome Satan (which is the beautiful story we get to read about in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

To read more about God’s love for us and the victory we have in Christ, please read God Loves You (in Spite of Your Mess!).

Lies Satan Might Be Whispering in Your Ear RIGHT NOW

So let’s recap the 3 ways that Satan deceives us:

  1. Satan questions God’s Truth
  2. He denies God’s Truth
  3. And then he changes God’s Truth

3 ways Satan deceives you pin with man in background

Do you see a theme here?

In all of these situations, Satan is manipulating the TRUTH!

And isn’t that the battle he wages with each of us EVERY DAY?

Questioning God’s Truth

Did God really say that it’s better to give than receive? Because I want this and I NEED this, and this thing over here will make my life a lot easier…oh, but now I don’t have money to tithe. Sorry God, maybe next month You could bless me a little more and THEN I will tithe and give to others (check out God’s Truth in Acts 20:35, Luke 6:38, and Malachi 3:10).

Did God really say that I should forgive EVERYONE? Because I’ve been hurt so deeply by this person that I could NEVER forgive them (check out God’s Truth in Matthew 6:14 and Colossians 3:13).

Denying God’s Truth

God I just can’t serve my spouse anymore. I do everything around here! Do you see how they aren’t pulling their weight? I deserve a break! They can do some of this on their own.  I should give myself this thing that I have been wanting. I have earned it (check out God’s Truth in Galatians 5:13-14, Colossians 3:23, 1 Peter 5:5, and 1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Wow! I can’t believe the sweet new car my neighbor got. I’m going to have to upgrade to something better next year when my bonus comes in so that I won’t look like a fool. OR I can’t believe how perfect her hair and makeup were! Before we all get together again, I will have to splurge on a salon visit so that I don’t look so grungy next to her (check out God’s Truth in Exodus 20:17, Philippians 2:3, and Proverbs 14:30).

Changing God’s Truth

It’s just coffee, so what if it’s with this really attractive person from work? My spouse will never know. Plus this relationship could really benefit my career! I need to do this for my family (check out God’s Truth in 1 Corinthians 6:18, Genesis 39:10, and 1 John 2:16).

If I believe in Jesus, everything is supposed to get better and be fixed. My life is supposed to be easy with Jesus, so why is everything still a mess? Maybe Jesus isn’t real after all (check out God’s Truth in James 1:2-4, James 1:12, and Romans 5:3-5).

Do you see how Satan plays with your mind EVERY DAY and tries to get you to question, deny, or even change in your head what the truth is?

We have to be ready or else these lies will lead us down a path that we will wish we had never set foot on.

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 with lion in the background

If we aren’t careful, as this verse warns us, the devil will DEVOUR us.

So what can we do?

How to Overcome the 3 Ways that Satan Deceives Us

If Satan’s main form of attacking us is by manipulating the truth, then how much more important is it to KNOW the truth?!

John 8:32

32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Adam and Eve were tricked by Satan’s 3 lies into believing that they would have “freedom” by eating the fruit.

What they didn’t realize is that true freedom comes from obedience to God.

Romans 6:16

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

So what are 3 ways that you can know the Truth and stand firm against the 3 ways that Satan deceives us?

  1. Understand WHAT to do when you notice that Satan is deceiving you
  2. Get in the Word YOURSELF
  3. Memorize the Truth (aka the Word of God, or the Bible)

Let’s quick talk about each of these points so that you are better prepared for cutting off Satan’s lies.

1. Understand WHAT to do when you notice that Satan is deceiving you

When you notice that your thought pattern is headed down the wrong tracks, you need to act quickly to stop the runaway train!

So first, PRAY. Pray that God would give you the strength to resist the lies of the devil. Tell Satan that you see his tricks and you are on to him. Even better, quote scripture that you have memorized to fight back against Satan (more on this in a minute).

Second, RUN. Literally if necessary, just like Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife was trying to convince him to come to bed with her.

Genesis 39:12

12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

Third, open up your Bible and read some verses that can help bring God’s truth and light into your situation.

Let’s further discuss why opening your Bible YOURSELF is so important.

2. Get in the Word YOURSELF

I keep capitalizing YOURSELF for a reason.

I feel like in our culture, podcasts, Tedx talks, and other media sources are all the rage.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of us have replaced reading God’s word ourselves with listening to other people talk about God’s word.

We like to listen to our “favorite” speakers and have them interpret scripture for us.

But guess what?

Your favorite speaker is a sinner too.

The people you listen to are also prone to Satan’s lies.

Unless you are testing what you are listening to against God’s Holy Word yourself, how do you know what God’s Truth is?

I mean, think back to the Genesis story.

Remember how I pointed out that God only told the command to Adam?

That means that Adam had to pass along that command to Eve.

I’m not sure if it was a miscommunication from Adam, or if Eve wasn’t quite listening when Adam told her, but somewhere along the way, Eve had the truth twisted in her mind.

Read her response to Satan again.

Genesis 3:2-3

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

When she responds to Satan she says that she can’t even TOUCH the tree.

Is that what God originally said?

Nope!

So if the truth was able to get twisted just from God telling Adam who told Eve, don’t you think the truth could easily get twisted in our minds too if our only source of truth is other people talking about the God?

Yes, I know that speakers quote scripture in their talks and sermons.

But unless you are testing their interpretation of that scripture, they could have totally used that scripture out of context!

Spending time in the Word YOURSELF is important.

I know I can get caught up in the whirlwind of activities and the fast-paced nature of our culture, leaving little time for prayer and time in God’s Word.

But there is nothing more important that we could be doing with our time.

Make it a priority TODAY to open God’s Word and read something for YOURSELF.

And if you find yourself avoiding the Bible because it doesn’t make sense, God will help you understand.

I would encourage you to pray through this passage before you start reading:

Psalm 119:27-32

27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

verse Psalm 119:27 for 3 ways Satan deceives us with hands resting on a bible

If the Bible seems confusing to you, or if you have never opened the Bible before, my tip is to start with the book of Matthew and read through the New Testament.

This will start you right at the story of Jesus, our Redeemer and Savior.

3. Memorize Truth (aka the Word of God, or the Bible)

Hopefully you noticed up above when I was listing the potential lies that Satan might be feeding you, that at the end of each deception, there were Bible verses listed.

That’s because the best way to fight Satan’s deception is with God’s truth.

But Satan probably isn’t going to be trying to deceive you while you are reading the Bible (although he might try to distort in your mind what you are reading!).

Instead, he is more likely to tempt you when it’s inconvenient to whip out your Bible and look up verses to fight against him.

That is why it is so important to have God’s word memorized and tucked away into your heart and mind.

And the Bible confirms this with multiple verses about memorizing scripture.

I will just list a few here for you to consider.

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 119:9-11

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.

Did you catch that?

The Bible tells us to meditate on scripture day and night.

And how does it tell us that we can remain pure?

By storing up God’s word in our hearts!

As if this wasn’t enough reason, Jesus shows us how to resist Satan with scripture.

Check out Matthew 4 for the full story!

You Can Defeat the 3 Ways Satan Deceives Us

For all of my skimmers out there, let me offer you a recap and challenge you to go back and read the whole article 😉

The 3 ways Satan deceives us are by:

  1. Questioning God’s Truth
  2. Denying God’s Truth
  3. Changing God’s Truth

Notice how Satan’s deception is all about manipulating God’s Truth.

And there are 3 ways that we can combat the 3 ways Satan tries to deceive us – by using God’s Truth against Satan’s deception.

  1. Understand WHAT to do when you notice that Satan is deceiving you
  2. Get in the Word YOURSELF
  3. Memorize Truth (aka the Word of God, or the Bible)

I hope this has given you new insight into the 3 ways Satan deceives us and how YOU can overcome him!

And remember, if you are in Christ, Satan has no hold on you!

You will overcome!

Romans 8:31

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

3 ways Satan deceives us pin

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