“Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in His Own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
When God first thought of man, He purposed man to be formed after His very likeness and to be carriers of His divine nature. Jesus is not only our Lord, He is also the mirror image of our created purpose. Any way of thinking that undermines the identity of Jesus will also undermine our purpose. This reveals that our beliefs need to be consistent with the person of Jesus. We are designed to walk like Christ on earth. So the question might be asked, Why am I not walking in the reality of this? In this article, I am going to address two specific ways satan attacks.
The story of Adam and Eve gives us a major insight into our original design and mandate. It also gives us a blueprint of how the enemy attacks and deceives. Man was made in the image of God and with His nature, which means Adam and Eve did not have a sinful nature that caused them to sin.
So why did they fall into sin? I would like for you to ponder two words as we move forward: “deception” and “temptation”. These are the two weapons satan used to usurp Adam’s authority and bring him under his dominion.
Let’s take a look at how satan lured Adam and Eve into sin with these two tactics.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1)
This passage begins with revealing a key aspect of the nature of satan which is craftiness. I like to refer to satan as an illusionist. An illusionist is someone who deceives the mind and eyes of people with trickery. Satan is a master at manipulating the mind with false narratives which have no validity.
The voice of satan has no authority in our life unless we agree with what he says. When we listen to the voice of satan we give his voice the authority of God in our life. This leads to the second factor In this passage. Satan makes a statement that questioned the validity of God’s voice. Why? Satan’s main objective is to replace the voice of God with his. What does this reveal? Whenever we find ourselves questioning the voice of God this is a sign we may be listening to the deceiver. It’s important for us to identify and settle in our hearts that what God has spoken is truth.
“The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You will surely not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Genesis 3:2-5).
As a result of giving attention to the voice of satan, Eve allowed herself to be baited into a conversation with a deceiver.
Whenever we start a dialogue with the devil, the process of deception has begun. Satan is a liar and there is absolutely no reason for you to talk with him about your life. Don’t talk with the devil; talk to the devil and silence his voice. Once satan has captured Eve’s full attention, he now begins to twist the voice of God in her life. He insinuates that God is withholding something good from her by protecting her from the tree. Another sign we are being deceived is when we start thinking God is withholding something good from us.
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6).
Once Eve’s mind was manipulated, her eyes began to see the tree as good for food.
A deceived mind sees life according to the deception. You no longer see and interpret life the way it really is but the way the lie convinces you it is. Deception will cause you to desire what was once undesirable. Eve now begins to think and see life through the lens of deception. Another sign of deception is when we begin to desire what contradicts the nature of God. This passage continues with Adam partaking of the fruit which means he was partaking of the same deception.
“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths” (Genesis 3:7).
Now that both of them are partakers of the deception, it opens their eyes to a world of understanding they were previously protected from. I believe it was at this moment that man began to be governed by the soul instead of the Spirit.
When we are governed by the soul we live in disobedience to the Spirit. Satan wanted man to be governed by knowledge, not by divine revelation. He wanted God to become a concept to be learned instead of a Father to be encountered. Therefore, we strive to become the person that God has already said we are. He has already declared our identity over us, but it’s up to us to renew our minds on who His Word says we are. Doing so will short circuit the enemy’s attempt to get us into a works-based, false identity.
Once God becomes a concept—we relate to Him through mental assent, not personal interaction. A concept is lifeless and doesn’t provide intimate fellowship because you are not communing with a person but an ideal. Life then becomes about self-discipline and introspection that results in covering our perceived nakedness with the work of our own hands, thus replacing the government of God in our life for the government of self.
“They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8).
Once this process is fully birthed, it results in us never feeling as if we are at peace with God. It requires us to hide from His presence instead of running to His presence. Deception will cause us to hide from Redemption. If we are running from God or feeling ashamed to stand in His presence, then we have been deceived and we are living under the bondage of self-judgment.
“Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself’” (Genesis 3:9-10).
At this point, Adam and Eve find themselves hiding from the Lord at the first moment they heard Him walking toward them.
Another sign of deception is when we fear the presence of God because we have determined that we are not worthy to stand in His presence. Deception will cause us to evaluate God’s level of acceptance of us based on our behavior. So our acceptance is then based on how we perform. Deception views the correction of God through the lens of judgment instead of redemption. It will cause us to fear God’s loving correction. Deception will cause us to sacrifice our redemption on the altar of false humility.
“And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate’” (Genesis 3:11-12).
This last stage of deception Adam finds himself in is having a victim mentality.
Deception convinces us that our problems are a result of something outside of our control. The reason satan wants us in this place is because it is difficult to help someone who will not take responsibility for their life. In this stage we are fully taken over by the lies of the enemy and are convinced that our issues are a result of someone else. We will make statements like, “Well, I’m just a product of my environment.” But I decree in Jesus’ Name that we will not be a product of our environment; we will be a product of our created purpose! Amen?
“Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’” (Genesis 3:13).
Action Point: What I want you to see from this article is that the nature of man was perverted by the nature of satan through deception. As a result, man had his nature perverted and his dominion usurped. What I’m getting to is this: the only thing satan can come against a born again believer with is deception and temptation.
Spend some time in reflection and carefully consider how, just like Adam and Eve, you were not created to sin but you were created to rule and reign. Thank and praise God that you are a new creation in Christ. Then write down three ways you will walk out the commission to rule and reign in Him this week.