Our girls want to live in the country. So badly so that they are “saving their money” to help us buy some land. Even if it takes them “until they are teenagers” to save enough. Their minds are made up, at least until they decide they want a new toy. Hayes and I would love to purchase some land in the country as well. However, I’ll be honest, the one thing that makes me nervous about this is the fact that there will be snakes. Even more snakes than we have now. And yes, you read that correctly, that is the plural of the word snake. We have more than one and Momma doesn’t like snakes. At all.
We live in an area where we are surrounded by farmland and in the summer it gets very dry and hot. And these little snakes come to our house looking for water. The first time I saw one it was trying to find shade and water, the only problem was that it was trying to find this shade and water in between my flower pots right by my front door! When I saw it I completely lost my mind. I have found myself since then on the lookout and making sure that our little loves are on the lookout too. One day, Hayes and I saw one slither up between the siding of our house, again, right by the front door! What in the world?! I think he was hiding, waiting for us to leave, so that he could come back down later to the flower pots. I think he spies on me. Crafty, they are. Very crafty. I’ve learned though, through the teaching of my sweet husband and the fact that I am terrified of them, to just leave them alone. If I can just keep my cool, collect my thoughts, and make the wise decision to just leave them alone, those sneaky things will probably just go about their own business.
I’ve also learned that this is not the case for another crafty, sneaky snake. The snake most of us know about from Genesis. You see, this snake is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). This snake is out to make us question ourselves and our God. This snake is out to make us lose our minds by deceiving us and causing us to focus on ourselves and lose our focus on God. This snake is Satan. He has been killing, stealing and destroying since Genesis. And I still feel it today. Do you?
I’ve read Genesis countless times. But lately, the part where the serpent deceived Eve, has really caught my attention. After studying and really digging into the passage I’ve learned that one main problem is that Eve had a conversation with Satan. Picture this with me:
Serpent: “God said you can’t eat from every tree in the garden?”
Eve: “We can eat from all the trees except this one. God said we can’t eat or touch this one.”
Serpent: “You won’t die. Actually what will happen is that if you eat from it your eyes will be open and you will be like God.”
Then Eve thought to herself that since it’s good for food and good to make her wise she would go ahead and eat from it, also sharing some with Adam. (Genesis 3:1-6, My paraphrase)
Scripture says for us to communicate with Satan, only not in the way that Eve does it in this passage and not in the way that I’m sure most of us do, myself included. We are told through scripture to rebuke Satan in the name of the Lord (Jude 1:9). Our only response should be to boldly tell Satan to flee. After all, scripture tells us that “even the demons believe and they shudder” (James 2:19).
But, that is a lot easier said than done right? I hate to think about how many times I’ve actually held a conversation with Satan and not even realized it. Daily for sure. Probably even hourly. Like we’ve already said, he is crafty. He knows our weaknesses therefore knows where, when and how to deceive us. The definition of deceive is: to cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage. He deceives us. Causing us to believe the lies he is throwing at us. Lies that say God is not enough or that we are not enough. Lies that say that God does not hear me when I cry out to him. Lies that fester doubt. Lies that tell us that God can’t use us. Lies. Lies that steal our joy. Lies that kill our self worth and our trust in the Lord. Lies that destroy our relationships. I say all of this because I’ve been there. I am there still today. Hearing and believing the lies. Most recently, and by recently I mean this week and today, I am hearing and believing the lies that God does not hear me and that I can’t be used by the Lord. If, like with the real snakes at my house, I would just keep my cool and collect my thoughts I could more easily realize who this is that is telling me these lies. And then rebuke him in the name of the Lord. Because, after all, it’s not that I don’t want to rebuke him, it’s that he is crafty and sneaky and I don’t realize that it is the enemy. In a battle, what good soldier wouldn’t fight against his enemy? And scripture tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12). Is this scripture Paul is saying that spiritual warfare is going to happen. What matters is how we handle it. We can choose to believe the lies or we can choose to rebuke them.
We’ve talked about what the enemy has come to do (only to steal and kill and destroy) but what the rest of John 10:10 says is so beautiful. It says, “I have come so that you may have life and have it in abundance.” Now, don’t misunderstand me, this is not a prosperity gospel. This is merely freedom. Freedom in Christ to live as children of God. Wholly and blameless. A life that is glorifying to God. Freedom that declares that we are worthy and redeemed because of Jesus Christ. We can live in this freedom remembering and recognizing the enemy, the one who tries to steal this freedom from us. Have you, like me, had more “conversations” with the enemy this week than with the Savior?
We can rebuke him and say “Not today Satan! I am the Lord’s and He is mine. My God sees me (El Roi) and hears me and loves me and calls me worthy. My God is able.”