Combating Satan’s Lies & Recognizing the Lord’s Voice – Lent 2024


When Satan tempts us, he tries to induce us to pursue what seems to be a good, outside of God’s law. But God is all-good and wants to give us what is truly good for us. When we are tempted, we must run to our Good Shepherd and follow His voice.

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Reflective Study Guide Questions

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,”

Mt. 11:28

1. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he told her she would be like God. But Eve was already made in the image and likeness of God. Satan was tempting her to something she already had. How can contemplating this truth change the way you view your own temptations?

2. When we sin, we reach outside of the Lord’s will to attain something that we desire. What do you desire most often? Do you ever reach outside of the Lord’s will to try to attain it?

3. Katie relates an anecdote about an acquaintance of hers who would thank God for everything she had and everything she didn’t have. God blesses us in His perfect wisdom, and He withholds from us in His perfect wisdom. What might God be withholding from you for your good?

4.  We must strive to know the Lord’s voice so we can run to Him when we are tempted. One of the best ways to get more intimately acquainted with the Lord’s voice is to immerse ourselves in Scripture. How can you work on growing to know the Lord’s voice better?

Text: Combating Satan’s Lies & Recognizing the Lord’s Voice

Hi, I’m Katie Sciba. I’m glad you’re continuing to pray during Lent and receive the grace of the desert. A desert is that place of deprivation, at least worldly deprivation of human deprivation. But the place where the Lord speaks so tenderly to us and where we can receive him, we’re all very aware of the temptation of Christ in the desert. After having been baptized, the Lord retreats, He is led by the Spirit to the desert where He encounters Satan. He encounters these temptations.

St. Augustine’s Description of the Devil

Now, I love Saint Augustine’s description of the devil. He described him as being curved in on himself. Satan doesn’t cease to contemplate himself. His power, his design, his will never ceases to consider these things and then tempts us to do the same, tempts us to turn inward and mull over ourselves, our will and our desires. Just like, just like he does, the temptations the Lord endured are the same that the devil offers each of us relentlessly. He tempts us to prize bodily senses, to tempt the Lord and to grasp for power and renown.

Eve’s Downfall

So how can we combat these things when he and his demons work so tirelessly for our downfall and so strategically as well? It’s difficult when we have our own concupiscence, our own inclination to sin. I think of Eve and Genesis, right this before the fall, everything was so glorious. There was original harmony. There was union between Eve and her spouse Adam. They were happy with each other. They were in union with the Lord. The Lord gave them everything they needed to cooperate with His will for their lives.

Eve and Adam, they were made in the Lord’s image and likeness. And then in comes the serpent and he twists the Lord’s words, says, wait are you really not supposed to eat of any of these trees? And Eve corrects him, no, no, just not that tree. And Satan sells her something that she already has. He says, no, you won’t die. God knows that you’ll become like him. And right there, we must recognize the Satan is saying, oh, you’ll be more like God if you pursue this thing that is outside of God’s will for you, outside of God’s provision for you, you’ll be more like God. But Eve already was. She was made in His image and likeness. She was more like God than the angels, than what Satan was before his own fall.

God Blesses Us and Withholds Us

Eve’s downfall was that she looked to herself for something God possessed, then tried to attain it without God. Oh, I want to be more like God. So I’ll go over here and I’ll reach for it. What is it that you desire that you’re reaching outside of the Lord’s will for you to attain? So many of our sins are, are inclinations, they are rooted in desires that the Lord himself satisfies. But we’re so busy clamoring for fulfillment that we fail to mention them in prayer, that we fail to see the opportunities for humility and detachment.

And then what happens, just like with Jonah being told to go to Nineveh, Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit, we are, we make ourselves miserable by reaching for something outside of what God has made for us. It’s like we, we fail to recognize the perfection and the wisdom, the infinite wisdom in God’s plan for us.

I was in a Bible study years ago, and there was a woman who began this Bible study with a prayer, the same prayer every time, “God, thank you for everything I have and everything I don’t have.” I was moved by this particular prayer because I finally recognized from this woman’s words that God blesses us According to His wisdom and also withholds according to that same perfect wisdom. But Satan would have us believe that what God withholds is some sort of cruel deprivation that is absent of love, when really His blessings and His withholdings are according to His love.

How Do We Combat Satan’s Lies?

So how do we combat when we have Satan incessantly working against us? How is it that we combat His lies? And I would suggest that it’s not so much that we have to turn and combat Satan, but rather run to our good shepherd. You think of a a little kid, a little kid who gets hurt. He, he runs to his mother. I have my youngest is six, almost seven. And when he has hurt feelings or his skinned knee, he will run to me because he knows that I’m safe, that I will love him, that I’ll hold him. I’ll ask him what’s wrong. And so we are to do the same. We are children of God. Instead of turning and trying to fight off Satan, instead of trying to combat his lies ourselves, we go to our good shepherd. How the Lord says, my sheep know my voice.

Discerning the Voice of God

The best way to understand, who is it? Is it Satan or is it the Lord Who’s speaking to me? Who’s bringing me these thoughts? The best way to know is to immerse ourselves in scripture. So we know the voice of God so intimately that it’s unmistakable, especially when we experience some sort of admonishment or a correction. So Satan shames us. Satan accuses us. The Lord corrects in love and beckons us to return to Him and says, no, that’s not for you. Come to me. Do this instead. I heard somewhere a couple of years ago, Satan calls us by our sin, but is the Lord who calls us by our names. We can discern the voice of God against the voice of Satan. When we are reminded of who we are, of whose we are. And we are made hopeful By that it Satan would have us believe that because of our sin, because of our failings, whatever our deficiencies are, whether they are self-imposed or not, Satan would have us believe that we are made unlovable by them. And God doesn’t love us in spite of these deficiencies. He loves us with our deficiencies. We are encouraged, and we know that we are loved.

Four Things That Bring Much Peace

In the imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis says that there are four things which bring much peace. So we know that the fruit of listening to Satan’s voice is chaos. It’s stress and it’s turmoil, It’s confusion. But the Lord’s voice brings clarity and peace and certainty. And in the imitation of Christ, we hear four things which bring much peace. And they are to do the will of another other than your own to choose rather to have less than to have more, to always seek the lowest place and be inferior to everyone and always wish and pray that the will of God may be entirely fulfilled in thee. These things are the way to peace. Complete surrender to the will of God, hoping that we can place ourselves, praying that we can place ourselves in a spot so we are ready and available to do the will of God, because we know that God’s will. It’s not that the Lord is not some tyrant, he’s not someone who makes demands upon us and waits for us to report back, waits for us to perform and then judges us. But He is someone who says, come to me all ye who are weary and heavy, laden, I will give you rest. My yoke is easy and my burden light. While Satan would have us believe that to be a Christian, to be faithful to God is burdensome.

It’s Not You, It’s the Lord

I was talking with a young woman who is discerning her vocation and she said, I’m just, I feel drawn to the religious life, but it’s just not me. And I smiled. I thought, well, no, it’s, it’s not, it’s not you. It’s the Lord. When we cooperate with the Lord’s will, when we come to the Lord with all of our concupiscence, with any sense of shame that Satan imposes on us, then we don’t become less of ourselves. We become more of ourselves. So often people think that to draw close to Christ is to somehow become a blank canvas, that we lose whatever it is that makes us, and we are impoverished in some way. But the life that Satan offers is colorful, exciting, or thrilling, when really it is wrought with self-contemplation and chaos and misery. And I was telling this to my young friend, no, the closer you become to Jesus, two things will happen. One, you’ll become more certain of what it is that He’s asking you to do. And two, you’ll become more of yourself. You’ll be set on fire.

So this Lent, consider what it is. What is it that the Lord is asking of you particular to the day or in the grand scheme of your life, entrust to Him the uniqueness of your own soul, confident that He will make you more of yourself and more like Him, that he will give you more joy and more peace. Make yourself intimately familiar with His scripture so you know the voice of Christ so starkly from the temptation of Satan.

As always, pray for the grace to withstand the temptation and have confidence that apart from the Lord, we can do nothing. God bless you and continue to work during this Lent.

About Katie Sciba

Katie Sciba is an international speaker, retreat writer, and nine-time Catholic Press Award-winning columnist. She has a degree in theology from Benedictine College, and her work on Catholic minimalism, spiritual intimacy with Jesus, as well as the domestic church has impacted audiences across the map. Katie writes for The Catholic Telegraph in Cincinnati and co-hosts Two Coins Culture, a faith-based podcast on living simply. Her humor and honesty enable her to connect well with a crowd. Katie and her family live in Omaha, Nebraska.