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 Perhaps we can’t hear Jesus’ voice because the enemy’s lies drown out the voice of our shepherd.

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Read John 8:33-47

No one has to teach us how to lie. Children are born with an innate ability to sneak around to find hidden treats, to cover up disobedience with a devious smile, or to shift blame to nearby siblings. It’s obvious we’re born into a world deeply influenced by the “father of lies.” However, as children, we don’t yet know how to think about the process behind our suspicious behavior. But, there is a process. We think, “I don’t want to get into trouble, so I’ll try to cover up what I did to free myself from punishment.” Unfortunately, no one who tells himself or herself this is off the hook because it’s a lie. We can’t cover up or avoid punishment forever. The truth always finds us out (Numbers 32:32).

Jesus purposely refers to the enemy here as the “father of lies” to describe his character. Satan has been a liar from the beginning. That’s why when we read the narrative of the Garden of Eden, we know the serpent is Satan because he shows up as a mischievous liar, twisting the words of God and crafting deception to tempt both Eve and her husband. If Jesus gives Satan the title “father,” those influenced by his character are his children. Jesus pointedly calls out those who are listening to the world’s father – the liar – and names this relationship as the reason for their hostile, deceptive behavior and lack of connection with God.

If we’re honest, the father of lies all too often influences us as well. Without being conscious of the deceptive schemes under the surface, we run around as children directed by the way of the world and its father – the devil. Deception is the enemy’s trick to keep us responsible for our sin. Paul says, “God gave [us] up in the lusts of [our] hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because [we] exchanged the truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:24-25). For this reason, Jesus refers to his children as sheep and urges them to learn his voice. He says, “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Perhaps we can’t hear Jesus’ voice because the enemy’s lies drown out the voice of our shepherd. Thankfully, we can learn to identify voices based on character. But remember, you will become like the voice you’re listening to.

Think about the character of Satan and write down what he would say about your doubt, failure, lack of devotion, anger, fear, and indifference. Then, consider the character of God and write down what he would say about the same things.

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By Yvonne Biel 

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