Knowing how our enemy works is important in guarding against his attacks. But even more important is knowing God’s truth.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11
Last week we began discussing some strategies Satan uses to try to destroy our marriages that we’re warned about in God’s Word. We learned that Satan is subtle and uses accusations and our own worldly desires to pounce on us. We also discussed solutions God provides so we can have protection from those attacks. This week we will discuss another of Satan’s strategies, and see how we can defend ourselves against it.
Remember the warning God gives us in 1 Peter 5:8: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan will try to convince us that the consequences of our sin are much less than God says they will be. He likewise tries to make us believe that the good that will come from disobeying God will be far greater than any repercussion we might face.
We see this very thing in Satan’s words to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He tries to convince Eve to eat from the fruit of the one tree in the garden God warned her not to eat from. Satan does what the Bible warns us about–he lies.
We read in Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”’” Satan wanted Eve to question God and herself.
She answered well at first. Genesis 3:2-3a says: “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden…”’” At this point, Eve spoke the truth. Unfortunately, she then did what we must never do—she added to God’s Word (see Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Revelation 22:18): “‘…and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:3b).
When we add to God’s Word, this opens the door for Satan, and he jumps in with even more lies.
We read Satan’s response in Genesis 3:4-5: “‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” That which God did for their good is now seen by Eve as something unfair and bad.
We read the outcome in Genesis 3:6-7: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.’”
Not only was Eve affected, but so was Adam and their marriage. Eve was not alone in blame. Adam could have and should have said “no” as leader of their family. But the point of this lesson is falling prey to the deviousness and deception of Satan.
I have too often seen this deception in my counseling with couples. I have heard husbands say things like: “I honestly thought looking at porn would make our marriage bed more innovative and exciting.” I have listened to wives say something such as: “I never thought when I talked to him (a man at work) about the problems I was having with my husband that we’d wind up in bed. I thought that as a man, he’d help me understand my husband better.”
Don’t be deceived! Satan is a liar and a destroyer.
God’s Word is always true and never wrong. God’s purpose is always for our good…to bless us. We must not forget these truths.
We must heed Paul’s warning in Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Paul then gives us God’s solution to overcome this temptation from Satan. He says in Galatians 6:8: “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Sowing and reaping is a concept used many times in the Bible. Anything we put our time, energy, money, or focus on is what we sow. Reaping is the results or consequences of the actions we take.
Jesus used this concept in one of His well-known parables–the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9). When asked by His disciples to explain the parable, Jesus gives us the solution for not succumbing to Satan’s attacks: “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23).
The solution Jesus gives to overcoming Satan’s attacks is for us to consistently learn, study and live out God’s Word. James 1:22 says: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” David writes in Psalm 119:9-11: “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Hiding God’s Word in our hearts and minds is the solution for overcoming Satan’s attacks. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we are able to live according to His Word. We must study the Bible and pray together. We must keep our eyes “fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). We must “set our hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossian 3:1-2).
Sir Joseph Noel Paton was a nineteenth century Scottish artist. He painted many themes, including some which were Christian. His art usually portrayed beautiful or heroic persons such as Jesus. Somewhere in the painting, usually at the feet of the main subject or at the bottom of the picture, can be found a creature who appears to be repulsive, repugnant, and loathsome–a total contrast to the beauty of the main character.
This is how it is in life on this earth. We must keep our hearts in tune with Jesus because Satan is always there, in all his ugliness, waiting to attack. As husbands and wives, we must agree together to hold each other up and defend ourselves with God’s truth when the enemy’s attack comes.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
♦ Read this week’s teaching together. What are some specific ways it applies to your marriage?
♦ Do you see Satan subtly and quietly attacking your marriage? What can you do to fend him off? What weapons has God provided for you to use? How will you use them this week?
♦ Commit to each other to study God’s Word this week so you can hide it in your heart to fight off Satan’s attacks.
Two tools I highly recommend for daily Bible study and devotions (which I have used for several years) are:
Encounter with God by Scripture Union (scriptureunion.org)
Daily Encouragement by Stephen & Brooksyne Weber (dailyencouragement.net)
♦ Pray together and ask God to protect you and your marriage from Satan’s attacks. Ask Him to help you keep your commitments to Him and each other.
Until next week, may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,