Lord, Prune from Us the Lies of the Evil One

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This whole week, the devotions have focused on false images that need to be pruned. In other words, inaccurate impressions or perceptions that steer us away from God’s designs and purposes.

Although we took inspiration from a CS Lewis quote about such things, all these false images tie back to the two major questions asked in Genesis 3: One is asked by the serpent and starts this way: “Did God really say …?” The other is asked by God and starts with, “Who told you … ?

Both questions allude to something important that’s happening in the Garden: Adam and Eve believe a story that just isn’t true.

We are the same way. We believe stories—about ourselves, about others, about the world, and about God—that just aren’t true. It’s helpful of the Vine-grower to prune us of such things.*

While focusing on all these false images, we would be remiss if we did not specifically mention the Evil One. There’s no mistaking that Genesis 3 wants to draw our attention toward the serpent so that we do not underestimate the wiles of the Evil One.**

There are many evil things brought about by Satan (just look at all the references to Satan in the New Testament — here), but today I hope we will focus on just one: the lies Satan wants us to believe. He wants us to doubt God’s instructions and the goodness of God contained in them.

His is the voice that says, “Did God really say …?” Thus, his is the voice that attempts to accuse us, while Christ frees us from all condemnation. (Zechariah 3:1 and Romans 8:1). And his is the voice that tempts us with evil thoughts, while Christ inspires good works (1 Thess. 5:3 and Eph. 2:10). 

As we ask God to prune false images from our minds and hearts, we need to ask God, specifically, to prune from us the deceptions of the Evil One. I hope that is your prayer today:

TODAY’s PRAYER: Pray the Lord’s Prayer through a few times. As you do, focus on the verses toward the end—they are “pruning” prayers in which we ask God to prune us of any deceptions of the Evil One and deliver us from all his wily schemes.

*In fact, I believe that’s one of the main objectives of all the stories in the Bible. God is attempting to re-story us so that we believe stories—about ourselves, about others, about the world, about God—that are reflective of His Reign.

**That is the very goal of the point of CS Lewis in this book The Screwtape Letters—in it, he is trying to help his readers pay more attention to the schemes of Satan.

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