When did Satan tempt Jesus? In Matthew 4 we read that it was after a long period of fasting (a moment of weakness). This is what Satan does. He attempts to capitalize on traumatic moments in our lives and use them cause us to fall. He wants to take our times of weakness, hurt and vulnerability, and cause us to ignore truth and believe lies. This was the story of Adam and Eve, it was the story of the temptation of Jesus, and it is our story.
Think about it…how many times have we seen those who experienced something horrible twist the memory of their trauma into something false. Consider abuse victims who say things like “It was my fault” or “I am damaged goods”. Satan wants us to believe lies, because “there is no truth in him” (John 8:44). He makes us believe that what he is doing to us is helpful. We believe the deception is making us “feel better”, or helps us “find happiness”, but this is just us falling deeper into to darkness.
What about when any of us do something sinful? Do we “admit our sins”? (1 John 1:9), or do we convince ourselves of the lie “I didn’t do anything wrong”. Do we honestly identify what tempts us, or what struggles we have, or do we instead buy into to the lie that our sins are our “identity”? Often, instead of overcoming what is wrong, we celebrate these sins either by word or action. Again, this could be seen as “walking in darkness”, because the “True Light” (Jesus) is not found in deceit or self-deception.
In moments of weakness or trauma we must find strength from The Truth (Jesus) and not a false comfort from lies. When we knowingly believe, proclaim or live out a lie, we welcome Satan (the father of lies) into our lives. This is what John was explaining when he wrote:
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7)
Lies will keep us enslaved, but Truth can break even the strongest chains of Hell.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32)