Have you ever tried to imagine what it was like to live before sin entered into the world? We get a glimpse of it at the beginning of Genesis when Adam and Eve were both living in a perfect place, with perfect conditions, in perfect harmony with creation, and perfect peace with God and each other. I can’t even imagine what perfect harmony must have been like. But then something happened. Something changed the peace they had come to love. That something was a lie.
God had given Adam one rule to live by: Genesis 2:16-17 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 of it you will surely die.”
God gave a command then a promise:
Command: You are free to eat from ANY tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (So just ONE tree you cannot eat from, just one rule).
Promise: for when you eat of it you will surely die.
What happens next is very intriguing. Satan comes in the form of a serpent and speaks to Eve. Notice the first words out of his mouth: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (3:1)
His first words to humanity call into question what God has said. When God spoke, He did not say that they must not eat from “any” tree, but rather that they could eat from “any” tree except one. Satan’s first words twist God’s truth. Every believable lie has enough truth to suck us in. Instead of saying the opposite of what God says, causing the lie to be openly obvious, he instead twists God’s words. After Eve clarifies that it is just one tree (and adds her own rules about not even touching the tree), then Satan says, Genesis 3:4-5 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In verse 4, Satan surmises that God cannot be trusted and will not keep His promises. What was God’s promise? “for when you eat of it you will surely die.” What was Satan’s direct opposition? “You will not surely die.” He is basically saying that God does not keep His promises.
This is exactly what happens to us when we believe lies and we begin to falsely believe that God does not keep His promises.
In the next verse, Satan unveils the lie for Eve, and says that God is holding out on her. He leaves her with the ideas such as: there is more, but God doesn’t want you to have it, so go get it yourself. Now, she had to decide.
That was the lie that “got” Eve. What is the lie that “gets” you? We all have lies that we are more prone to believe than others. Our lies may not be the same as the one Eve believed, but we all hear them. I have made a list of ones that I struggle with or believe are popular with people I know and love. These lies include things like:
- If they knew the truth they would reject me.
- I have to do certain things or God will not love me.
- If I do enough I will have better status with God.
- There is something other than God that will bring me satisfaction.
- If enough people approve of me that will be enough.
What lie do you believe that impacts your life?
Satan’s strategy is still the same and alive today:
- Get you to doubt. Get you to doubt what God has said. Get you to doubt whether God will or can keep His promises.
- Twist the truth to sound believable. This is usually customized for each individual based on the lies we are more prone to believe.
- Bait us with a lie that will change how we live, how we relate with God and with one another.
Our response must be to know God’s promises and live by them. That is what it means to live by faith. Are you living by the promises of God or does a lie control your life?