I came across this quote recently, and it keeps rambling around in my mind. "Satan will tell us what's true, but he never tells us the truth."* Lies, cloaked in truth...Satan's calling card.
Recently I read a verse I'm sure I've seen hundreds of times, tucked inside a very familiar portion of Scripture, Hebrews 11, that famous chapter on faith. But this time God took out His big yellow highlighter and drew my eyes to verse 27.
"It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible." (NLT)
That's the kind of endurance, perseverance, and faith I want! I want to keep right on going even in the midst of battles and burdens.
God longs for us to keep our eyes on Him, the invisible One, instead of focusing on the obvious, as Satan would have us do. What's the "obvious" in your life? You know, those noisy things that yell out for attention, grabbing at you, pulling you down. Those trials and situations that beg to consume you. Those pesky distractions that buzz around you, jumbling your thoughts? Satan would have us believe that this is as good as it gets, and it's all downhill from here. But he never, ever wants us to know "the rest of the story."
God is above and beyond the obvious. The invisible One operates in ways we often don't see, working things out for His glory and our good. When we're bogged down and focused on the obvious, we only hear the "truth" that Satan spews at us, and we miss the Truth that Jesus is whispering to us.
One obvious in my life is that my husband, Steve, doesn't have a job. This is not something we ever expected, and Satan wants me to believe this is just awful! After all, my meager income from my part-time job can't begin to sustain us :). But Abba, my Father, cups my chin in His hand and gently tilts it up. Bev, look at Me. Don't let Satan confuse you with his version of the truth. I AM Jehovah Jireh, your provider. Don't look around at the obvious, but keep your eyes on Me, the invisible One. Just take one day at a time, one step at a time. Just keep on going. I provided for Moses and I'll provide for you.
There are a lot of obvious situations in my life that cause stress, angst, confusion, and frustration. I don't always handle them so well and far too often I react in ways that are, shall we say, less than godly? Satan gleefully points out what's true -- I blew it, but he neglects to tell me the truth. God tells me that I'm His child. And when I confess my sins, He joyfully forgives me and cleanses my heart. Then he promises to never hold that sin against me. He does not keep a record of sins, but faithfully forgives me (see Ps. 130:3,4).
What's your obvious? Satan will try to hammer you over the head with what is true, but he'll never tell you the truth. The truth is that we can trust God completely. The truth is that God loves us more than we can even imagine. The truth is that what Satan means for harm and destruction, God intends for good...always, every time.
"Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." Heb.12:1b,2 (NLT)
That's what faith is all about.
*This quote is by Michael Wells, Abiding Life Ministries. Quoted by Kelly Minter in her Bible study, "No Other Gods", p. 62.