I had a funny little interaction the other day on twitter. I had posted this comment from a conference we were at:
The antidote to Satan’s deception is truth. Vishal Mangalwadi
And almost immediately someone who I’ve never met, but clearly likes to poke at Christians beliefs responded with this.
Yes. And the truth is that there is no such thing as “Satan”.
Now I don’t expect anyone who isn’t a follower of Jesus to subscribe to or believe in Christian doctrine. But with this one belief, the belief in Satan, I just honestly have no idea how anyone can deny it. And I know there are lots of people out there who might have some strong objections to that. But let me at least clarify what I mean, and why this matters for all of us – whether you follow Jesus or not.
The word “Satan” literally means “the accuser” in Hebrew. And I know lots of people will argue where there is a real being called Satan. And it’s not my intention to wade into that debate right now. My point is whether or not you believe in a personal being called Satan, you have experienced the reality of the Satan – of the accuser.
And here are some examples:
- Have we all not experienced accusing voices that will not leave us alone?
- Have we all not experienced thoughts that confuse, conflict, and depress us?
- Have we all not been able to shake some hurt, pain, or insecurity that just nags at our soul?
- Have we not heard accusation in our hearts and minds? Voices that say…
- “You’re not good enough”
- “You’ll never amount to much”
- “Things are going to get bad”
- “People don’t really love you”
When the Bible says that there is an accuser out there, I just believe that’s true because I’ve experienced it and seen it.
I meet with people who can’t seem to get these accusing voices, thoughts, and beliefs out of their minds. I’ve sat with people whose orientating stories or worldview are all based on what they lack, how they will fail, and they’re unworthy. That is satanic literally: that is accusation that won’t leave you. That is the voice of the accuser. That is what the Bible is talking about. So my point in all of this isn’t to debate the reality of a personal being called Satan; my point is to call to our attention the reality of “the accuser” in all of our lives.
And this brings me back to Vishal Mangalwadis quote above. The only way to combat these voices, this activity of the “accuser” is with the truth. Jesus says “I am the the way, the truth, and the life”. The point is that while the accuser is out there seeking to deceive, to kill, to steal hope, to destroy, and to lie to us, we overcome those accusing voices with the truth. The truth of Jesus Christ. The truth of the gospel. The truth of how God sees us.
The only way you combat lies, and accusation – isn’t with arguing and engaging – but with knowing and trusting in the truth.
Jesus says the Truth will set you free. And that’s absolutely true. And this is the truth about you no matter what any accusing voices in your life say. No matter what your dad, mother-in-law, insecurities, or accusing voices within tell you. The truth is this:
- That you matter
- That God is for you not against you,
- That no matter what you go through – God will be with you
- That Jesus thought you were worth dying for
- That Jesus died to rescue you from all the brokeness and voices that seek to hurt and harm you.
- That there is nothing in your life that Jesus can’t help you overcome
My point is that whether or not you believe in the reality of Satan, we all struggle with accusing voices from inside us and outside us. And the only way to be free from the hurt, the damage, and evil they cause – is to know the truth. The truth of who you are from Jesus Christ.
So today I wanted to just remind you of one little fact: that you are loved and matter to God. Lots of voices will try to confuse, be divisive, and argue against that truth. But that is the truth that can and will set you free if you start to trust in it, and follow it.