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    1. When we know the Truth, it is easy to recognize what is false. When we know the original, we can easily identify an impostor. The enemy is sly and subtle, full of trickery and as crafty as a fox. He presents himself in the most beautiful and desirable things, the friendliest people…so we must KNOW God well in order to be able to discern His word from the lies and confusion that the enemy presents.

      1. So true, Michelle! You expressed it so well.

        So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭31-32‬ ESV)

    2. We can see when he’s attacking if we learn who he is and how he works. We can also learn more about ourselves through this. We can learn where our weaknesses are. We can learn what sin has a tight hold as we learn who he is, how he works, and then see where he’s attacking successfully. We will also be more quick to spot when he’s trying to deceive us. We will know better when something is of Satan and not God.

      1. We must know and understand satan as our enemy so we know how to fight. Just as football teams study their opponents or businesses study how other businesses are working to get the edge and be ready. Satan is always working to find a way to break us and if we are prepared on how he will do that we can be ready with our defense. Jesus knew him intimately and quickly tuned him out with scripture when he was tempting Him. We must know the Word to use it as a tool against satan.

    3. So we can be ready, prepared. God tells us about Satan and his tricks so we can guard ourselves and those we love (children, etc) from him through prayer and wise decision making. But we’re human! So our personal experiences with Satan, how we’ve been deceived are also used by God to help others. I think that’s why confession is so powerful and freeing among women.

    1. If I can just remember that God is my rock and my defender, then I have nothing to fear from the accusations of the enemy, or from those who would follow after him or allow themselves to be used to do his work.
      God knows I belong to Him, He knows my heart. I have nothing to fear. But I must be wise as a serpent in my daily life.

    2. I’m so thankful that when He looks at us, God sees the perfection of Christ instead. He knows Satan much better than we do and cannot possibly be deceived by anyone, including Satan.

      1. It can be intimidating, if we let it; but we know our position in Christ. We must remind satan of that all the time.

    3. At this point it makes me exhausted. I don’t have people like that in my life, I don’t want people like that in my life. Being constantly beaten down? No thanks!

  1. Discussion Question 3:

    Review John 8:44. Name some ways that Satan deceives… Either from your own experience or what you have seen others struggle with.

    (please remember to protect the identity and privacy of others when referencing specific situations)

    1. I could not begin to list all the ways… I’ll just list a few that come to mind that I’ve either experienced over the years or seen in other’s lives. I think he deceives us in such a way to make us think that life should look a certain way, leaving us discouraged and ineffective when it doesn’t. I think he deceives us into thinking we cannot serve (or cannot serve in the ways the Holy Spirit is directing us). He deceives us into being ineffective. He can use our society, telling us that we cannot do this or talk about that with whomever, because we might push them further away from the Gospel. It can be in small ways or large ways. He pushes, trying to find our weak points. Maybe it is our appearance, or our friendships, or even personality. He tells us we’re not enough, cannot do enough, or do enough right – for our spouse, for our children, for our friends, our ministries, (fill in the blank). He tells us that we cannot worship alongside that person, or at that church. He tells us that we’ll be too uncomfortable to do that, with him/her/them, to go there, say that, serve in that capacity. I’ll stop rambling now. They’re all lies and half-truths.

      1. I think a big way he deceives is when people justify something they’ve done. They may know it is wrong in their hearts but allow satan to convince them that it is ok.
        The same in making decisions–satan deceives into thinking one way is right when in our hearts we know it is not.

    2. I have recently been surprised by the way I’ve been deceived. I wasn’t expecting it! We’ve recently moved our whole lives to another town. New house, new jobs, new schools, new church, new friends, new to having family around again. I didn’t realize all the “funk” happening was spiritual attack until a friend pointed it out. Here we are having recently surrendered everything to God, I’m doing my quiet time, I’m where I’m supposed to be and yet there we were caught in this battle. Once I realized it I can approach the situation differently and it’s getting better a day at a time!

      1. It is so freeing and frustrating all at the same time when we recognize spiritual warfare. I’ve discovered that I’m better at recognizing it but still struggle to let God fight for me. I try to “manage” on my own. I have recognized over and over again, however, that in those seasons when we have faithfully surrendered it all to God, we place a giant target on our back! Love you, A.

    1. Agents who are highly skilled in detecting counterfeit money are trained to spend much time studying the real thing. The more familiar they are with actual currency, the better they become at identifying the counterfeit.
      It is the same for us in identifying the enemy and his tactics…the better we know God and Truth, the faster we will become at resisting lies and chaos.

      1. I love that analogy. Satan indeed does his best to give us a counterfeit of God’s truth… but when we are intimately familiar with God and His Word, we can spot the phony stuff! Great insight, Michelle.

      2. Michelle,
        I use that analogy often…in fact I just used it with the small group I sat in on Thursday after teaching this lesson. Isn’t it so fitting!?! I love that it came to both of us!

      3. Agreed! Great analogy! I think we need a like button… but then there might be more likes and less conversation. Am I right? Conversation is much better. I love how God orchestrates things. Like how this analogy came to both of you. That’s another thing I’ve become aware of this year, how we down play the role of the Holy Spirit! Anyway… I’ve chased a rabbit. Great analogy!

    2. I’ve found that when I am more saturating myself with the Gospel… in prayer, study, memorization, and godly activities, conversations… I am more in tuned to the Holy Spirit within me, and as such can detect the lies of Satan. There’s only one truth – God. So as we walk closely with Him it stands to reason that we’d recognize the lies better.

        1. One other thought I had–in the homework pages you could see how horrible and scary satan is and could send us into fear, BUT then you see the plan God has for his defeat. Glory and Praises to our God!

    3. I have to be in God’s word – “alert” to that. But for me I need help. I need good friends, prayer support, discussion with other believers to help me. Community is very important to staying on track.

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