Summary: Getting to know the Devil’s playbook is how we can overcome his advances.
The first spoken words recorded in the Bible are those of God as he spoke the universe into existence, gave it order, and illuminated it with the presence of his holy glory. God said, “Let there be light.” With these words we see the nature of God revealed in beauty and in clarity. We see his essence which is light itself. There is no darkness in God. There is no lie, no fault, no impurity. This is why he first spoke by saying, “let there be light.”
Note that God did not first say, “let there be space and time” or “let there be creation” or “let there be the heavens.” Instead, he first said “let there be light.” He said this because in light there is no darkness, no lie, no sin. We need the light of his word and truth. We need his truth. For we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free!
If we walk without the light of God, we will stumble and fall. If we cannot see where we are or where we should go, then we will be lost! If God’s word is not lighting your paths in thought, word, deed, worship, prayer, etc, etc. then we are without hope. This is why the Psalmist says “your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” God’s word is light and truth. We absolutely, positively, beyond the shadow of a doubt, must have it, study it, put it in our hearts, and live it.
In contrast, observe that the first recorded words in the Bible from Satan are words that are a challenge and contradiction to God’s word. He asks “is it true that God said you can’t eat from any tree of the garden?” And Eve says “well not entirely. We can eat from any tree except the one in the middle. That one, God said, if you touch it, you’ll die.” And he replies “oh come on, you misheard him, he was exaggerating, you won’t die! God knows that you’ll be more aware like him. And just like him, you’ll be able to discern good from evil.” Then Eve sees the tree as good and goes and eats from it. What’s worse? She also gives some to her husband and he eats. Then they gain awareness and realize they aren’t wearing any clothes so they quickly gather up and sew fig leaves and make loin coverings.
Notice, one of the enemy’s plays is to bring you away from trust in God’s word. First, he gets you to doubt God’s word. How does he do it? He puts his TOADS in formation.
TOAD is an old acronym I remember from my keyboarding course that stands for the most common keyboarding errors: transposition, omission, addition, and doubling. The devil gets his TOADS in formation. First he has his transpositions. Where he flips the letters around and wants to make God look like a dog! He transposes the word, that is puts what should be before, after and what should be after, before. He says to Eve “you will be like God. You will be able to discern good from evil.” This is a transposition because we all know that discerning good from evil does not come through human wisdom but its acquired through knowing and being like God! I can’t go around declaring I know good from bad, fair from foul, and right from wrong if I don’t know the Lord in the pardon of my sins! When my pride gets in the way and I think I know so much that’s not like God! That’s why Proverbs 3:5 says “trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not…”
You’ve got to watch out for the Devil’s transposition! He’ll tell you it is more blessed to receive than to give! He’ll have you believing that big blessings should come down before you send praises up! He’ll have you believing that you owe the tenth after you’ve spent the rest of your earnings! He’ll make you think you should love yourself before you love your neighbor! You need to watch out for those transpositions!
You also need to watch out for omissions! Omissions are serious errors because they leave out vital information. Good words get typed as bad words when there are omissions. The devil omits the G in God and wants to make him look odd! The devil says “Eve, let me make sure I got this right; God said you can’t touch any of this fruit in the garden?” That was an omission! He left out that Eve could eat any fruit but the one in the middle. But he uses all-inclusive trickery to get us to doubt God’s word! You don’t have to go to church EVERY Sunday! You don’t have to praise him for EVERY thing! You don’t have to bless the Lord at ALL times! You don’t have to keep ALL his commandments! You don’t have to read the WHOLE Bible! You don’t have to trust in the Lord with ALL your heart! ALL things aren’t working for your good! The devil omits the important stuff and makes you doubt God!