This is a scripture that stuck out to me recently during my devotion time:
“Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” John 8:43-45
What was the compassionate Messiah saying in this rather intense rebuke? Here’s a few things I learn from this passage:
1. People may hear the Truth but believe a lie. Just because someone has heard the Gospel doesn’t mean they’re receptive. They may hear but not listen, look but not see. They may be good people, but the devil has deceived them and he’s an awful good liar. Many of our loved ones have heard about God’s way and have even read the Bible for themselves, yet they have been lead astray to interpret it in a way that tolerates their sinful lifestyles and behaviors. They have heard the Truth, but not surrendered to it. They’d rather believe the lies and there is nothing glamorous about being a slave to the devil.
2. Because of the fall in Eden all of us are filled with sinful desires. We cannot trust our own desires or follow them. Those desires are basically from Satan either directly or indirectly and so if we’re not being obedient to God’s desires for us, we’re following the devil. It’s one way or the other, either Satan is our master or Jesus is our Lord. We cannot be lords of our own lives; we have to trust in the Lord and seek His desires for us, starting with what Scripture reveals about His will.
3. God has not called us to a comfortable life. He said we must lay down our lives in order to be saved. Happiness should not be derived from fulfilling the desires of our flesh nor in seeking to fulfill the emotional desires of our hearts. Happiness, true joy and fulfillment, comes from being in God’s will for us. The devil tells you want you want to hear sometimes, but that shouldn’t be trusted. God has called us to obedience, which ushers lasting joy, even if obedience requires a sacrifice of our own desires in this life. I do believe God blesses His children with prosperity and meets our needs. But comfort is an entirely different thing, and I believe comfort often is the greatest tool of the devil. If the devil can keep you comfortable by getting you to satisfy those sinful desires, He can keep you trapped, deceived, separated from God who is the source of everlasting love.
4. In The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien there is a line from the dark lord Sauron that says: there is no life in the void. Jesus is saying the same thing. So many are deceived into a comfortable life where they meet their own desires and follow their own way but are living in the void. They are cursed and deceived yet do not know it. Only when we trade our slavery to the devil (including our own selfish desires) for obedience to the loving Father do we finally have life to the fullest. The Truth will set us free, and there is blessing there that cannot be compared to anything of this world. Freedom in Christ is worth any personal sacrifice.
Let me say that I strongly believe in grace! It is by grace through faith that we are saved. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. And we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But grace isn’t an excuse to sin, it’s simply unconditional forgiveness. Prevent the need for forgiveness by being obedient and then you won’t be snared by the enemy. When we give our lives to Jesus He instills in us power to obey what is right, His will for us. His will is good and best for us. It’s full of hope and love.
1 John 2:16-17, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
Don’t be fooled, don’t be slaves of the devil, stand in the light as God’s children and enjoy true freedom!