Whose ‘VOICE’ will we LISTEN today?
November 1 Bible Reading: John Chapters 7-9
Jesus said to them, "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (John 8:43-44, 47)
In the above passage we can see that Jesus was frustrated with the unbelief of the Pharisees as they were quick to condemn the miraculous healings that Jesus provided to the unfortunate people. No matter what Jesus said, they refuted His words and were always scheming to trap Him with their trick questions. The Pharisees did not care to hear the things that Jesus taught, nor would they listen to the words with which He expressed the real truth.
These Pharisees could not even understand the words of Jesus correctly. When He spoke of bread, they thought only of literal bread. When He spoke of water, they never connected it with the living water. Why was it that they could not understand His speech? It was because they were unwilling to tolerate His teachings, and they were literally turned off from His words.
Jesus identified the Pharisees as being children of the devil (spiritually) even though they were the children of Abraham (physically). They were really acting like the devil and wanted to kill Jesus just like their father (Satan) who was a murderer from the beginning. Just like the devil did not abide in the truth, the Pharisees had also rejected the truth - Jesus Himself (John 14:6). They were reflecting the devil, who is the ‘father of lies’. In the words of Augustine: “they were children of the devil by imitation!”
Let’s be clear that Satan (or, the devil) is a liar, and always speaks from evil intentions. His sway over human beings started back in the Garden of Eden when he turned the mind of Eve against God by telling lies about God’s goodness, God’s Word and God’s intentions (Gen. 3:1-6). When troubles come into our lives, Satan makes us to doubt God’s Word and His good intentions concerning our lives. God has always good thoughts and intentions about us – this is a proven fact by the His own words: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11)
Let’s be aware that Satan always causes us to believe his lies, and when we do that, our loyalty to God is compromised. However, the power of Satan is no match to the power of God’s Word! When we tightly cling to God’s Word, we won’t be trapped by Satan’s lies. Remember, there are two voices inside us that tell us where to invest our time and our lives. When we listen to Satan’s deceiving words, we are guided to live only for the present without any concern for our eternity, and it will be our loss on the long run. Instead, when we listen to the Holy Spirit, He will guide us to all truth (John 15:26) and we can live eternally with Him. Whose voice will we listen today?
Let’s truly love God and reflect that through hearing and obeying His Word on a daily basis. Let us hide God’s Word in our hearts, listen to Him alone and follow the footsteps of Jesus through self-sacrifice and identification with Him.