I’ve seen a quote sprinkled around the internet, not sure of its original source, but it says, “The devil knows your name but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin but calls you by your name.” This is an astute and accurate description of the difference between the way we are seen by God and the adversary. God loves everything about you.
He created you to look like Him and is so intimately familiar with you He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:6-7). Satan, on the other hand, only knows who you are. In fact, the closer you draw to God, the more aware of you the devil becomes. He knows who you are, but he hates you because of whose you are.
It’s important to remember the difference between the way God sees us and that of how we are seen by Satan. Many, if not most, of us spend our days tuned into what the devil says about us. The Bible tells us Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). He’s not just a liar, he is the master liar. Everything coming out of his lips is a lie. God is truth. Satan is all God is not. Therefore, there is no truth to be found in the devil. None. Knowing this, why is it we let our adversary manipulate us, twist the truth, and convince us of things leading to our destruction and despair?
Jesus calls us by name. We are known to Him, not just by Him. You know all the good things which have happened in your life? Those are results of God’s goodness in the world. Paul tells us the fruit of the spirit – God’s Spirit – is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). All these are wonderful gifts from God. When we experience these things, we are experiencing God. When we are living in the fruit of God’s Spirit, we are living in truth, and we are living life as it was meant to be lived.
Ah, but we want more. We want the good things of God plus some of the things with which Satan entices us: money, power, prestige, comfort, pleasure, safety, success, etc. We want our cake and to eat it as well. Jesus made it plain we can’t straddle the fence (Matthew 6:24). We will either pursue Him or we’ll pursue the treasures of this world. While God may bless us with some earthly treasure, our hearts can only pursue one or the other. It is in our pursuit of the things of the world where we tend to begin listening to Satan and hearing his opinion of who we are.
Satan will tell us we aren’t good enough, haven’t earned enough, aren’t attractive enough, talented enough, or bold enough. The thing is, he doesn’t even know us. He is blinded by his hate and couldn’t care if we fail or succeed in life so long as we keep from living our lives serving Jesus. His only goal is your downfall. The devil can’t stand the thought of you communing with God because it’s something he himself gave up and can never get back.
Jesus tells you His grace is sufficient for all your shortcomings. His power is enough to overcome all your weaknesses. Whatever we are is enough in Him. Together, we are more than capable to accomplish every task He desires to put in our hearts.
The next time you feel discouraged, determine who it is that has your ear. Is it the fallen angel who seeks your destruction? Or is it the all-loving, all-powerful, sacrificial God who created you, died for you, lives inside you, and calls you by name? Who you listen to determines how you will live.