Just as we see in literature a pattern of a hero or heroine opposed by an antagonist, we find in our own lives the existence of the True Hero and His antagonist. God’s role is to give us truth, while Satan’s role is to keep our minds confused and unfocused on God’s ways. One way that Satan accomplishes this feat is through lies.
People who are especially vulnerable to these deceitful lies could be people who have not died to their own wills. When we do not die to our own will, we usually do not diagnose ourselves properly. We start blaming anything and everything around us as the sources of our unhappiness, or we become very depressed and even more deeply engrossed in self and filled with self-pity. This leads to more earthly comforts, such as overeating to soothe ourselves. People call this “just a cycle.” I call it a “downward spiral,” and we cannot even feel or see it.
Satan can lie to us, and if he stays around long enough, he can become our master without our even knowing it. He is very discreet. He does not want us to know that he is our lord. Look at this curious dialogue between Jesus and the preacher-teachers of the day in the Gospel of John. Jesus starts by telling them that neither God nor Abraham was their father. The Bible records their reply:
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:41b-47)
The Pharisees (the preachers of Jesus’ day) knew Scripture. They went to the temple constantly. However, their wills had not submitted to the will of the Heavenly Father. They were quickly adopted by the father of the dark world. If your will is to love God with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind, then you can hear His voice. But, if your will is to halfway serve Him when it is convenient, you will not hear His voice. You cannot hear His voice. Once again, you cannot have two masters.
We are all recovering Pharisees, or we have all known people who are like the Pharisees. Pharisees are uncomfortable in the presence
of someone who has submitted his will. They avoid spiritual conversations, and the lifestyle and behavior of spiritual people often seem stupid to them. Pharisees might be the type who, when they go to worship, criticize the        sermon, the song leaders, the people in the choir, the elders, the ministries, and the number of contributions. They have forgotten that  the whole idea behind the Sunday morning gathering is self-examination. As I spend more and more time examining myself, I feel better and happier. My job description is not to help God fix other people, but to work on myself with the help of God.
All of us have our times when we resist having things go God’s way. Even the beloved Apostle Peter, in Matthew 16:22-23, voiced the ways of Satan and not God when he said:
“Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” At all times, we must keep the right mental attitude to win victory in the battles we face. If we have a heart for it, it will be easy.
Satan is the ruler of this world, we are told. That is why he was able to offer to Jesus the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, if Jesus would, as Satan put it, “bow down and worship me.” Notice the way Jesus fought the spiritual battle and won victory over temptation and the way He eventually got rid of the tempter for a time. He did it by quoting God’s truths or telling the truth. You can read this in the fourth chapter of Matthew.
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