Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1, ESV)
“Did God actually say…?” The enemy will always question God’s commands and God’s promises. Satan attacks our thinking and tries to put questions in our minds so we will doubt what God says.
Jesus summed up God’s two highest commands:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37–40, NIV)
Our enemy, Satan, will speak to us like how a Pharisee asked this question of Jesus:
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29, ESV)
Satan might whisper to you, “But who is your neighbor?” Understand this: our enemy may not challenge you on the first commandment, but he will certainly question how fully you need to obey the second. It is so easy to fall into the trap of not believing that God wants us to love all our “neighbors.” However, we know that the whole Bible makes it clear that God’s plan is for us to love everyone as he does (John 3:16).
Do you have a broken relationship you are struggling with? Are you saying, “But God, you don’t know what this person has done to me!” If you are, then consider whether you are questioning God in your heart. The One who asks you to love all your neighbors is the One who sent his Son to share our hard life and die an unspeakable death for us so that our records can be wiped clean. Remember the price Jesus paid for you, and let his love flow through you to your neighbor. When you want to justify yourself, don’t go there. Instead, remember your gracious Savior and let the Holy Spirit strengthen you to obey the Lord’s commands.
Lord, sometimes I have a lot of doubts about your ways. You know that obeying you doesn’t come naturally to us, but I do want to obey you, Lord. Please help me not to question your commands or your promises but to gladly obey because of all you have done for me…. Continue praying.
P. Brian Noble