Since the dawn of time, the enemy has tried to play just one trick.
Though it has a thousand different variations and a million different manifestations, it boils down to the same lie every time.
God is not good.
He is holding out on you.
There is something more you are missing.
Time and time again, this is the trick the enemy comes back to.
It is what he said to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The garden is not enough. God is holding back on you. There’s something more you are missing and here is what it is. And we believed and so we ate and we found it to be a lie.
Years later, satan would attempt the same trick on Christ. When he tempted him, in Matthew 4, satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor and said, “All this I will give you, if you bow down and worship me.”
God is holding back on you. There’s something more you are missing and here is what it is. You are lacking this kingdom and this splendor.
Do you see the absurdity of offering a kingdom to the God who made the whole universe? Can you see the foolishness of offering a plot of land to the God who made the entire planet?
It’s ridiculous, but the enemy is very limited in his ability to create new tricks. He’s the enemy of truth, not the equal. He’s the enemy of God, not the peer. He’s the enemy of light, not the contemporary.
So he returns to his trick and it continues to work. We keep trading our birthrights for a bowl of stew. Even in a world where God has already proven there is nothing he will hold back. How could we ever assume a God who gave his only son for us would hold back? How could we ever assume a God who sent his son to the cross for our freedom was not good?
But we do. I’ve seen this a thousand times in the last year as I’ve talked to people about my book Quitter and what it means to do what you’re called to do.
A common fear, and one that I know all too well in my own life, is that if you surrender your whole life to God, you know exactly what will happen next. He will make you sell everything you own and move to Africa to become a missionary. You’ll go t0 a hut in 4.2 seconds.
But what that fear reveals is that we’re still falling for the same trick. Because if the first thing we imagine God doing with our lives is the worst thing we can imagine, what a miserable God we serve. If in your heart you love writing, God will call you to be a math teacher. If you love people, he will call you to work in a job without any human interaction. If you don’t feel called to mission work, he will send you to Guam on the next boat out of town.
He’s holding back on us. If we surrender, we’ll get something worse in return. If we give up our lives, we’ll get a pocket full of misery in exchange. The piece of fruit is the better choice. The kingdom is what matters. The stew is the best option.
It’s a lie.
God is not holding back on us.
When he sent his son, he was not holding back on us.
God is good.
When he revealed himself to Moses, that was the one thing he chose to show, his goodness.
There is not something missing that the enemy can provide.
He always takes, he never gives.
At the end of the day, the devil is a one trick pony. He has but one drum to beat. One lie to dress up.
Don’t believe it.