Godly Obedience – Satan’s Tool

Satan is devious. The Bible uses terms such as Father of Lies  and the one who masquerades as an angel of light. Satan’s most effective tool is to cast doubt on our understanding of what God has called us to do. He lives in the lies of instant gratification and worldly prosperity. He prods us with what ifs and if onlys so that what appeared to be Godly obedience now seems to be sinful wondering. The benefits of following God’s direction is overshadowed by the outcome and the doubt placed in our minds by the Evil One.

I know it was the right thing, the Godly thing, the obedient action but….

I am not sure what I was expecting. The Bible is clear that to follow God is to take up my cross, to sacrifice the pleasures of this life on the altar of obedience. The reality of life in North America and much of the free world is that our cross is quite light and our sacrifices few and far between.

The undeniable truth is that what I have given up has been a benefit that far outweighed the sacrifice, and outcome far better than the original direction I was headed. Still I am often plagued by the what ifs and if onlys, never quite convinced that my obedience was truly obedience and my actions truly a response to God.

Unmistakably God but…

In an earlier post, Look Back to Look Forward, I talked about God’s answer to my question about selling our house. I explained that He orchestrated an outcome based on Him knowing what was about to happen.  A turn in my health one month after we sold our home was not on our list of things that could happen but it was on God’s list of things that were going to happen. Even with that reality I still find myself thinking in terms of what ifs and if onlys.

Unmistakably Satan but…

My life experience tells me that the Father of Lies speaks words of doubt; His version of the truth is based solidly in fact and is very difficult to refute. My biblical knowledge reminds me that what he says can even appear to be from God because he makes himself look like an angel of light. There is no pitchfork or horns, no sinister laugh or evil thundering voice, just truth about the what ifs and if onlys.

Worldly realities often define my view of Godly outcomes.

We sold our house to a developer making what appeared to be a good profit. We rented our house back from the developer at almost half the normal rent for a property and dwelling that size. All these things made it the perfect solution to a problem that, at the time we sold, hadn’t happened yet.

By the time the developer was ready to demolish the house, housing prices had almost doubled while due to my health, I had lost two years of income. The small profit made on the sale had been swallowed up by the mounting bills and now it was time to enter a rental market in which prices had soared.

What if we had hung on longer and sold it during the housing boom?

If only I hadn’t got sick we would probably be back in the housing market not, renting.

Godly Obedience – Satan’s Tool

I have been thinking a lot about this over the last few weeks. Maybe I should rephrase it and say I have been wrestling a lot with it over the past few weeks. We were homeowners (the mortgage company was for the most part) and now we rent. We had equity and now we have debt. I had a level of health that I could adapt to as needed, now I have to take jobs that match my limitations. Life has changed and even though I was obedient to God I have no prosperity and no instant or for that matter long term gratification.

Was obedience to God worth it or better still did I really hear God, was I obedient at all?

I would love to end this with a just hold on and it will get better, God is working everything together for good, it’s always darkest before the dawn type of encouragement, but I can’t. It hasn’t got better and this side of heaven it may not. The lies of Satan even cause me to doubt that it was God that led me to sell the house and wonder if our current situation is the resulting discipline and even punishment for my actions.

Where is my hope, whose hand holds my future, whose perfection do I rely on?

I think too often we try to fight the Father of Lies, the one who masquerades as an angel of light, head on. We try to refute the lies and defend ourselves as if somehow we can win a battle of facts against our accuser.

I do not win the argument, I cannot defeat the lies or truths used to present a lie, by stating my case. The proof of my innocence does not lie in the proof of my obedience because I know that the times I am obedient pale in comparison to the times I do my own thing. To try to debate this fact with Satan is a losing battle that plays into the plan of the Father of Lies to cause frustration and doubt in my faith.

Satan’s tool is to question our obedience to God – our weapon is to fall on the grace of God.

… But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John2:1 NIV


  1. We often mistake the promise that God will work all things for good for the promise of a rosy outcome to all trials. That, I think, is an error Satan uses to his advantage. While God recognizes that we have material needs, spiritual growth and a deeper relationship w/ Him are the highest good. God uses suffering to refine us, and stretch our faith. That is one of His essential tools. We are told to count it all good when men revile us (Matt. 5: 11), and not to be surprised at the fiery ordeal (1 Peter 4: 12). These can be painful in the extreme. Our suffering, however, unites us w/ Christ.

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  2. Our prayers are with you. We also rent after owning a home (heavy mortgaged). I am retired, but if our savings runs out, I would be limited in what I could do to earn. I look back and know that I should not. I try to keep my eyes on Jesus. He has washed all my sins away. The Father of Lies can make the road bumpy, but he cannot take away my salvation. I am where God planted me, even if the Father of Lies caused me to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Bless you, brother, well written.

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  3. “Satan’s tool is to question our obedience to God – our weapon is to fall on the grace of God.” Great conclusion to a solid post. All we have is His grace. If we forget that, we are doomed to wonder and doubt at all times. His grace is sufficient for us in our times of difficulty. We must turn to grace to sustain us.

    Will things get better for you? I don’t know – only God knows when He will lift your burden. All you can do, all I can do, is trust Him.

    Be blessed

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  4. This reminds me of Philippians chapter 4. I was preaching on that just the other day. What can really tick off the Devil is when we trust God enough that we wind up being content in any situation. Satan wants us to rebel, but when we can say, “I don’t really understand how or why I’m in this situation, but I’m going to keep trusting..,” that must drive him crazy 🙂

    Believe me, brother, I know how you feel. Just keep holding on while He holds you.

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  5. Thanks for this post. Of recent I have been coming across a few posts on fear. The end product of Satan’s tactic is to made us state dwelling in fear. So using your example, when next God wants you to do something, he will bring this incidence to your remembrance and tell you is better to trust the now than the unknown. But God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear. Our mind is sound as we stay in His word, depending on Him totally to carry us through. Easier said than done I know. But His grace is sufficient for us. I’ll be praying for you. That God’s will be done in your life🙏🏾

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