Is God Holding Out On You?

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

Satan can’t force us to sin. So he tries the next best thing – to get us to doubt God’s word and character.

He tempted Eve to doubt God’s word.  God had warned Adam and Eve that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they’d die. Satan said, “You will not surely die.” He says to us, “Go ahead and sin, nothing will happen to you.” “You can sin just this once and it will be okay.” “Only one more time and you can quit tomorrow”  ”God will forgive you.” “You’re saved, you won’t go to hell.” “No one will see you.”  ”Everybody else does it and nothing happens to them.”

He tempted Eve to doubt God’s character.  ”God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  In other words, “God’s holding out on you. Lying to you. He’s not good. He knows if you eat you’ll become like him and he doesn’t want that.”

God’s word is filled with promises which reflect his character. Promises to never cease doing good to us. To never leave nor forsake us. To be with us in trials, to be near us and hear us. To protect and deliver us from evil. To sustain, provide for, counsel and guide us.

But life throws things at us that seem to contradict God’s word and character. We lose a job or a loved one. We feel incredibly weak and helpless. We can’t see any possible solution to our dilemma.

“God doesn’t love you,” Satan whispers. “A loving God wouldn’t do this to you.” “If he were good he could have prevented this.”  ”God doesn’t answer prayer. After all, how many times have you asked and he hasn’t come through?”

We don’t have to be going through tough times for the enemy to attack God’s word and character.  After all, Eve was in paradise.  Satan will tempt us when things are going great.  Perhaps he’ll tell us to ignore one of God’s warnings or commands to flee evil.

The devil doesn’t announce himself with a bullhorn. “Satan here, feeding you lies to destroy you!” No – he presents these thoughts as our own. They are the “fiery darts” we must put out with the shield of faith (Eph 6:16).  If they aren’t directly from Satan, they arise from our own unbelief. Either way, these thoughts challenge God’s character.

Will we believe Satan’s lies or God’s word? Will we believe God’s promises or our own interpretation of things? Eve looked at the fruit, and it appeared to be good for wisdom. So she believed her senses instead of God’s word.

Cling to God’s promises, no matter what fiery darts the enemy shoots at you. Believe God’s promises even if all creation seems to contradict it. Believe God’s word over your strongest feelings.  Of course to believe God’s promises, you must regularly take them in, for “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).

So what are you believing about God today?

  • Sara

    Wow. Very encouraging! Just what I needed to hear today! Thanks Mark!

  • Caroline

    Something that I am believing about God today is that he is good and gracious. Its been a week since my dad met with an accident.. But last week even though it was crazy, we experienced God's goodness and grace in so many ways… The one thing we as a family had to meditate on were His attributes :)

  • Caroline

    Thank you for the post it was appropriate for today !

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hey Caroline, you and your family are glorifying God by the way you are trusting him and believing his word going through this trial. Amen – God is good and gracious! Thanks for adding your comments.

  • doug

    thanks mark !!!! needed this post this morning.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Great Doug! Thanks!

  • musingsinmontage

    Thank you for this reminder! It is never too often to reflect on how Satan tempts us into a lifestyle of doubt.

    • Mark Altrogge

      You're right, musings. Have to stay on our toes!

  • Elaine

    Fits right in with yesterday's sermon on Psalm 145! How good it is to meditate on God's goodness and His great deeds; great defense against those fiery darts.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Mark.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thanks Elaine – yes I love meditating on God's infinite greatness.

  • John

    Thank you for posting this. I believe God led here me to see this. It expands on what it means to "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart." Sometimes my heart feels too much to the point of being overwhelmed; then my head tries to figure it out but comes to erroneous conclusion, that nonetheless seems to make sense. No wonder God says in the same breath, "Lean not unto your own understanding."

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thanks for mentioning that scripture, John! It definitely fits!

  • Maria

    Thanks, Mark, for this timely reminder! We need to keep this in mind these days when we can be assaulted by our "own thoughts and feelings." There's no substitute for trusting in God and His word.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thanks Maria!

  • http://www.christiantruthcenter.com joshua

    This is what i needed. i think Satan is fighting to own me and struggling me in all ways.

    • Mark Altrogge

      I'm grateful it was helpful, Joshua. Don't give up – Jesus is infinitely stronger than Satan and he will help you when you call upon him. Satan can't own you if you belong to Jesus.

  • http://Www.worshipfulreader.blogspot.com Ron Reffett

    Yes! So many times my emotions would have me doubt even my salvation, because they're subjective. I need the objective truth of God's word to dictate what's true, not nessecarily what I feel. Emotions are so stinkin' deceptive!
    Thanks for yet another great encouragement, much needed!

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