When Eve replied that they would die if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent replied, “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil” (Gen. 3:4, 5).
What began in the Garden has continued throughout history. Satan is the god of this world who has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe (2 Cor. 4 :4). We live in a world of deception and lies. We are continually tricked with illusions and promises which can’t be fulfilled. People make promises they can’t keep. Advertisements promise results no product can deliver. The world around us – our culture – constantly tries to create images we feel we have to live up to be happy, but when we do, we end up empty and disillusioned. How can a Christian leader hope to provide truthful leadership in a world so full of this deceitful scheming?
Revelation 12:11 says, “they overcame him (the deceiving serpent) because of the word of their testimony.”
Overcoming Satan because of the word of your testimony involves knowing the word of God. This means Bible study. You should spend time everyday reading the Bible and learning what God has taught you about Himself, about you, about the enemy, and about the world around you.
Concerning itself, the Bible says it is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). Our Sovereign Lord made sure the Bible was accurately written and preserved. This is so you can have an authoritative source by which you can live out your life in a way pleasing to Him.
No wonder Satan’s attack after temptation is against the Word of God. Through persecution, he has tried to destroy it; through science and false theology, he has tried to attack its reliability; and through hypocritical religion, he has tried to give it a bad reputation. But, praise the Lord, it is still the main beacon light by which we can know God’s will and his ways.
By diligently studying the Bible, you will become familiar with the principles of godliness and truth. The Holy Spirit will help you understand these principles and God will allow them to be tested in your own experience. This will enable you to discern satanic deception from divine truth.
Overcoming Satan because of the word of your testimony involves not only knowing the Bible, but also being able to say you’ve proven it true in your own experience. Often the serpent will crawl into your circumstances and say, “Did God really say that? He certainly did not!” When he does, you can respond, “You are a liar, devil! God’s word says thus and so, and I’ve seen it work in my life!” That kind of testimony is a weapon Satan can’t resist.
4. Overcoming the Devouring Lion
Finally, Satan will try to influence you as a “devouring lion.” 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”