What do you do when you run to God with all you have and you whisper in your heart, “yea, i may be finally free.” only to feel like Satan rose up and smacked you in the face with the Bible and demanded you stay back and go no further the next day?
This is a recent comment on one of the posts here and, for the benefit of all the readership here, I wanted to answer it in its own post.
The short answer, and meant in all seriousness,
Tell Satan to shut it.
Let me elaborate.
In my own journey there was this huge turning point for me. I elaborate on it in my post, “Being Sarah.” The night I confessed I felt so strongly that God was leading me to freedom. Immediately after I confessed, it felt like God ran away because the only “voice” I was hearing was Satan’s and he was not happy. I walked back to my dorm room that night feeling those lies in the pit of my heart.
“You belong to me.”
“They don’t really care.”
“You’ll never get over this.”
“This is all you are worth. Why do you think you are better than this?”
It was the longest walk of my life and by the time I reached my dorm room, my heart was completely empty. All I could do was collapse on my bed and cry. My prayer was, “Please, this can’t be right. This has to work. They have to believe me.” I felt like God was really far away, even gone, and that there was just this nasty slave driver hollering in my ear. Oh, it was horrible. Such a low point and I knew that if this was not the way to freedom I would never be free.
Then came Sarah. And Sarah, in one sentence, gave me valuable strength in this fight. “Jessica, that was brave, and we are going to help you.” In that moment, I found the clarity to see Satan for what he was and is– a liar. There is so much power in that realization.
Satan is a liar. It’s what he does, and he doesn’t shut up just because you are walking with God. In fact, I think he hollers louder then.
He didn’t even leave Jesus alone!
But one thing that is important to realize is that because he is a liar, he never actually uses the Bible (at least not properly). The Bible is truth, in its entirety. Since the beginning of time, Satan has cut, pasted, and misapplied truth to serve his own purposes.
Look at the Garden of Eden, for example. Truth: God had given Adam and Eve a perfect garden, and told them there was one tree they were not to eat of. That is no big deal when you think about all of the trees and vegetation they had! But then comes Satan, “Oh, did God say you couldn’t eat from that tree? That’s horrible. What a killjoy. You won’t really die; you will be like God.” Wrong: they would really die.
In the wilderness, when Satan tempted Christ, he pulled Bible verses out of context to try and get Christ to fall. Every time, Christ responded with Bible, in proper context and application, and essentially told Satan to shut up and go away.
Our response to Satan’s “Bible” is the real Bible.
When we are firmly grounded in the Word, we are able to ‘smell’ the lies of Satan. We are able to say, “No, that isn’t the whole truth.”
Here is the whole truth: God came to reconcile sinners (not perfect people) to Himself. He longs and desires to have a relationship with His creation (us) and to heal His creation. He wants to be our portion, our everlasting water, our strength and refuge. The God of Israel does not tire of us, or get frustrated with us. He will not turn away from those who seek Him, in fact He tells us that if we seek we will find.
We run into trouble when we try to lock horns with Satan without our feet firmly planted in the Word of God. We run into even more trouble when we actually listen to him.
Never forget whose side he is on (PS: it isn’t yours!). He will do everything in his power to cripple you as a Christian, to blind you to the freedom of Christ, to keep you in darkness. That’s what he does and he will never stop.
This is the thought behind the concept of “running to grace.” It is, ultimately, not our job to lock horns with Satan and battle with him. Our job is to run to God and let Him take care of the bad guys chasing us.