This episode is dedicated to a Man of God who is after God’s own heart. My Pastor, Elder William Eakins, II wrote a book titled Conversations with the Devil and in this book, he goes into great detail about the different strategies and tactics that the devil uses to wreak havoc in our lives. We did a series on those strategies, and today, we have a special treat because Pastor Eakins included some additional insight from the scripture John 8:44. He titled it “The Big Lie.”
Before I dig into this, I want to define some of the terms I will be using:
Righteous/Righteousness = to be right with God. To be in right standing with God. Having a relationship with God where you have taken the time to get to know Him through prayer and studying His Word. Living a life that is pleasing to God. Making every effort to live up to God’s standards.
Flesh = the part of us that goes against the Spirit of God. It is our human nature, our human desires, our human will. Because our flesh is up to no good (Galatians 5:19-21), we must examine ourselves daily to ensure we are not putting our own will above the Will of the Father. We must kill our fleshly desires every day and stay focused on righteous desires to maintain our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Sin = missing the mark and falling short of the standard by which God commands us to live. Because of the initial sin of Adam and Eve, we who came after them are all born into that sin. We have a sinful nature that is identified by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.
Lust of the flesh = the sinful desires that our flesh wants and craves. This can be anything. It can be having a taste for food that we should not eat. It can be feeling chemistry for another person we should not connect with. It can be committing an illegal act just because we think we can get away with. It can be anything that we desire that is not based on what God wants for us.
Lust of the eye = the sinful thoughts and actions that ensue after we see something that is pleasing to look at. This also can be anything. We see something and we just have to have it. We close our eyes, and we still see it, so we want it even more. We can behold the beauty God has placed in the earth for our enjoyment, but when we become obsessed with it, we ultimately sin against God.
Pride of life = the sinful thoughts and actions that come from us thinking we are more than what we really are. We put ourselves above other people. We put ourselves above God, saying we don’t need Him because we are all that we need. We say we can do everything by ourselves, without God’s help. We fail to realize that God is the reason we wake up in the morning, and everything after that is only because of His grace and mercy.
Repent = turn away from your sin, ask God to forgive you, and change your mindset about your sin. When we repent, we realize that our sin is against God, and it is detrimental to our soul. When people sin, some think they are not hurting anybody, but in actuality, they are KILLING themselves, and their ultimate death will hurt everyone who loves them, including God, who loves them the most.
The Devil = Satan, Lucifer, a fallen angel of light and music, our immortal enemy, the father of lies, the ruler of this world, the prince of the power of the air (airways). Satan’s kingdom is here on earth, while God’s Kingdom is in Heaven. God will establish His Kingdom in the New Earth because this current earth will pass away after God’s final judgement, where Satan and all of his followers will be thrown into the Lake of Fire to burn for eternity.
Have you heard the saying, “The devil is a lie,” or liar? Some people misinterpret the phrase, “the devil is a lie” as meaning the ‘notion’ or the ‘reality’ of the devil’s ‘existence’ is a lie. Let me clarify that right now! The devil is real, and his purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
He exists to steal your joy, your hope, your love. He wants to steal you away from God, but the Word of God tells us NOTHING can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:35).
He wants to kill your hopes and dreams. He wants to kill YOU! Some people think death is the worse thing that can happen to them. However, us Christians know better because when we leave this earth, we will be in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for eternity! On the other hand, if you are not a TRUE Christian, then death WILL be the worse thing for you. If you are living a sinful, or sin-filled life when you die, and you have not built a relationship with Jesus Christ, you will not experience one death, but two deaths, the last of which will have you burning in the Lake of Fire for eternity. The devil wants to kill you before you have a chance to repent and receive redemption from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let me clarify something else. When you are saved by the blood of Jesus, when you repent and give your life to Christ, it does not mean you will never sin again. It means that if you do slip up after you have been redeemed and transformed into a new creation, you will not be able to continue living in sin forever. If you can, then you were not truly saved. When you are truly saved, living in sin will be like a fish out of water. You will be drawn back to God because you will feel out of place. If living in sin does not bother you, then you were never saved. Living in sin bothers anyone who God has called to be a part of His Kingdom.
The devil wants to destroy what you are trying to build. The most important thing he is trying to destroy is your connection to God through your relationship with Jesus Christ. He knows that if you build a relationship with your Lord and Savior, he will lose your soul. The devil wants your soul to burn in the lake of Fire for eternity with him. However, if you build a relationship with Jesus, your soul will be safe from that second death. Jesus is your connection to God, your protector, your provider. The devil knows that if he can destroy your connection to God, you will not have power to defeat him. He knows that if you tap into the power of God, he will not stand a chance against you because he has already been defeated. As long as we stay connected to our power source, we will be victorious over the devil and his attacks.
In his book, Pastor Eakins tell us that we cannot ignore what the bible is trying to tell us about having a conversation with the devil. “It is simply this: he lies.” I shared with you eight (8) different conversations we have with the devil, but there is only one objective that the devil has, and that is “to deceive us.” He wants to keep the truth from us by making us believe his lies. Being the father of lies means that the devil “invented the concept” of lies. He is the source of all lies, even though he may not be the only one bringing them to your attention. There are many people in the world working for him and spreading his lies. Some people don’t realize who they are working for when they tell a lie.
So, what should we do when the devil is speaking to us? We can’t simply ignore him because that will not make him go away because he knows that “when words are spoken, they will have an effect on the hearer.” He knows that his words will in some way impact the listeners, regardless of how they react. Our ears, or ear gate, is always open, even when we are asleep. We can close our eyes, but we cannot close our ears.
Another reason why ignoring the devil is not a viable option is that we don’t always recognize when the devil speaking to us. Just like how God uses people to do His will, the devil uses people to do HIS will. Satan speaks to us through unsuspecting people, as well as through those who are conscious of their dealings with the devil. There is no way around this, but it helps to be able to discern the Voice of God so it can be heard over the noise that the devil is making.
Pastor Eakins tells us in his book that the “best defense against the devil is the Word of God.” People fall for the lies because they have not familiarized themselves with the truth that can be found in reading and studying God’s Word. When we make talking to God a priority in our lives by praying and studying His Word daily, we leave little room for the devil to deceive us with his lies.
Pastor Eakins is challenging us to spend time with God in prayer every day. Not a lot of time, just commit to “one minute of sincere prayer to start your day.” Talk to God and ask Him for guidance, and to “lead you to opportunities during the day.” Ask Him to keep you from the dangers that are seen and unseen. One minute does not seem like a lot, but those 60 seconds can change your life! This is just to help you get started with developing a prayer life, if you don’t have one already.
As you build up past one minute, begin to tell God about your troubles. Share with Him your wants and needs. He knows it already, but He wants to hear it from you. God loves it when we take the time to talk to Him because it shows that we are thinking of Him, as He is thinking of us. We care about Him, as He cares about us. This is the kind of relationship we need to be building with the One who created us for His purpose.
Pastor Eakins is also challenging us to spend time reading God’s Word every day, the Holy Bible. Again, not a lot of time, just five (5) minutes every evening to learn and understand who God is, His character, what He likes and dislikes. This is how you start to build a relationship with Him. It’s not about learning history or doctrine, it’s about learning about God Himself, as a Father who loves His children.
If you are not used to reading the bible, Pastor Eakins recommends that you start reading in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) so you can read the words spoken by Jesus and begin to recognize His voice. Start with 5 minutes, and before you know it, you will be spending even more time. I love reading the bible. There are some great stories in there that show us how much God loves us. Once I start reading it, I can hardly put it down sometimes.
Once you get a better understanding of who God is, you will start to recognize when He is speaking to you because it will sound like Him. If you hear something that contradicts what you have learned about who He is, you can recognize it as the devil speaking to you.
One last thing that Pastor Eakins recommends is taking a moment before you go to bed each night to “meditate on the conversations you had during the day.” Evaluate them to see if you can recognize when the devil was trying to speak to you. Compare what you heard to what you have learned through prayer and reading God’s Word. If you do this every day, you will eventually be able to ward off a conversation with the devil before it starts, or at least nip it in the bud when he comes for you with his lies.
I want to thank Pastor Eakins for his book, Conversations with the Devil and how it teaches us about “Satan’s devices and how to respond to them.” We can be better equipped to stay righteous before God if we know what the devil is up to and how to keep him and his lies from turning us away from the One who truly loves us, which is God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in case you didn’t know.