It's April Fool's Day! Today, jokesters everywhere are playing tricks on each other. Hopefully all in good fun with no harm done.
I love a good prank just as much as the next guy. Especially when I'm the one doing the pranking! On this day however, I feel led to remind you that there is someone out there who really does want to make a fool out of you. Satan. Not just on April 1st, but 365 days a year.
John 8:44 tells us in no uncertain terms that the devil is a "liar and the father of lies".
It all began with Eve in the garden of Eden. If you're familiar with this story, it was probably pretty obvious to you that Eve was being deceived. We could see it so clearly. What a fool she was to fall for his lies! But, sadly, we fall for his lies too. And keep falling for them. Over and over again. You see, the thing is, we don't always recognize them for what they are- lies.
The dictionary defines a lie as "a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood."
And Satan is an expert. He is often so good at making us believe those lies that we don't even know the truth anymore. He wants to trick us just like he did Eve. He wants to confuse the facts and fool us into believing things that are not true. And just like Eve, we are often led astray.
As Christians, we can easily spot the work of his hands... in other people's lives.
He tells them their sins aren't sins, although God clearly says they are.
He tells them God couldn't possibly love them, they aren't good enough... aren't worthy of God's love.
He tells them their sins are no big deal. No one will ever know.
The list goes on and it almost sounds ridiculous that people could believe these untruths. It's so obvious! In their lives. In my life however, I'm not quite as good at spotting those lies. His trickery often goes unnoticed. Unnoticed when my mind starts to play the familiar record of: "You're not good enough." "You can't do that." "Just give up." "You're no good." Oh, how thankful I am for my Christian friends and family who encourage me and contradict all those negative thoughts. But, even so, he never gives up, never backs down.
Why? What is his purpose? Why does he try so hard to tear us down? Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." The "thief" He is referring to is none other than Satan himself.
Satan comes to steal , kill and destroy our RELATIONSHIPS.
The next time you find yourself in a disagreement with your spouse or your child, remember that person is not your enemy. You have a real enemy that wants to destroy your marriage and tear apart your family. Don't let him.
Satan comes to steal , kill and destroy our WITNESS. Satan is waiting and watching. He's making note of our greatest temptations and he will spring them on us at our most vulnerable times. He wants to discredit us and hurt our witness. He wants to exploit our mistakes and failures to turn others away from our God. Don't let him.
"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
Satan comes to steal , kill and destroy our FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD. He plants those little questions, those little seeds of doubt in our minds and then he waters them. "Does God really love you? If He loves you why is He allowing this in your life? Why doesn't He rescue you?" He came at Jesus with this same kind of stuff in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus stayed strong. And we can too. He wants to break us down. Don't let him.
Ultimately, Satan's goal is to steal , kill and destroy our ETERNAL DESTINY. He wants to cause us to deny that there is a God. Or, at the very least, admit that there is a God but refuse to submit to His will. Which, by the way, is the same as denying Him. So either way, Satan wins. Don't let him.
Don't be a fool. "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'” Psalm 14:1 ESV
Keep the faith. Stay on guard. The day will come when Satan is revealed as the fool that he really is. Until then, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9