When Adam and Eve believed the lie of the serpent in the Garden, they stepped into communion with the devil. They literally stepped into covenant relationship with him. This means that the devil came to function as their head, their king, their groom.
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator… Romans 1:25
In this exchange, all of humanity came into covenant communion with the devil too. The devil was now part of their very make up, and by this, part of ours too.
As their head, he was their master. Their boss. As he commanded, they did. And as he commands us, we do.
But how do his commands come?
Just like any master, he speaks them to us. But unlike a human master, his voice is heard in the inward man or woman.
But see, he has a problem. The God of Creation loves us madly, and He’s already provided a solution for our inborn slavery.
This means that for the devil to keep us under his control, he must manipulate us through deception. And He must stay anonymous in his control.
Instead of commanding “Hate that guy!”, it’s significantly more effective for him to whisper “I can’t believe he did that to me.” The result? “I hate that guy.” Instead of praising our obedience to him, he’s more likely to shame us, “How could I be so hateful?” The result? We never realize he’s the one poisoning us.
And in this way, we never seek to overthrow him.
But friends—It’s time we awaken from our sleep, see we’re being poisoned, and seek passionately and tirelessly to overthrow him.
OVERTHROWING THE ENEMY
Can you see the solution? You and I will only be free of the enemy’s thoughts, and therefore his rule, when we learn to hear Jesus’ thoughts through the Holy Spirit in us instead. You and I need the guidance of the Lord Jesus, the good shepherd. (Ps. 23:1-3, John 10)
BUT WHAT IF I CAN’T HEAR HIM?
There are two little white lies that commonly come to us as we set out to hear Jesus. The first is “What if I can’t hear Him?” The second, we’ll discuss tomorrow.
Friend, can you hear the lies of the enemy? Then I assure you, you can hear Jesus too.
The only pre-requisite for hearing Jesus is having His Holy Spirit inside of us. We receive His Holy Spirit by believing in Jesus (Romans 4:5). It’s really that simple. When Jesus died to His flesh, He was actually bringing the enemy to death. Once the enemy was emptied from His flesh, God filled Him with His glory, raising Him from the dead. Romans 6:3-4 says that He took humanity with Him in all this, so we can walk in newness of life too. You receive the Holy Spirit in you the moment you believe this is true (Eph. 1:13). With the Holy Spirit in you, you are now directly connected to the resurrected Christ. You can now hear His very thoughts, His glory, His guidance in your inner man.
So, let me ask you. Is the Holy Spirit in you? If so, you really can hear Jesus!
LEARNING TO LISTEN
So how do we listen to Jesus instead of the devil? How can we tell the difference between Jesus’ thoughts and the enemy’s?
First of all, it takes deliberate practice. We must set aside time to listen for God’s good thoughts toward us and for our day. I recommend finding quiet time each day to listen. Preferably at the start of your day. As time goes on, you’ll begin to discern His voice throughout your day too.
Second, we must reckon on our new Master/Lord/King, Jesus.
Even so reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 6:11)
To hear the thoughts of Jesus, we must bank our life on the fact that we died to the old slave master with Jesus (on the cross) and that we’re now alive to the rule of God in our new Lord, the resurrected Jesus! This is true of us because of the Holy Spirit in us who connects us to Him. If we don’t first reckon on our being in Christ (via the Holy Spirit), we won’t believe we’re hearing Him. I recite Romans 6:11 above to myself every time I seek to hear Jesus’ thoughts. My mind needs constant recalibration to the truth, and so does yours.
Third, surrender yourself to His guidance. I find that I struggle to hear Him the most when I’m least surrendered to (aka: trusting of) Him. Surrender of your will, your time, your resources, your talents, your relationships, your reputation, your _________ precedes hearing Him clearly. What we need to know is that if we’re not trusting Him, we’re actually trusting self, aka the enemy. It’s the enemy who causes you to cling tightly to things. When you have this clinging-sensation you can be sure what you’re clinging to, and unwilling to release to God, will turn out to hurt you. Releasing it to the Lord, you are safe. He always takes care of us, and with extreme generosity and tenderness. You will never lack when you trust God’s plans and purposes for your day and life. Remember: surrender = trust.
Fourth, I like to keep a notebook or notes app with me to record what I hear. I find that if I write down what I hear Jesus saying, I’m more likely to remember and follow His guidance throughout my day. The enemy is quick to steal God’s thoughts from us. For this reason, I like to secure them by writing them down.
But what does Jesus say to us? He’ll speak words of affirmation to you. He’ll encourage you. He’ll speak truth to you. He’ll guide you in your actions for the day. He’ll show you people to reach out to in love. He’ll show you people who are longing for His good news. He’ll tell you your purpose. He’ll tell you of your destiny. And so much more! He will not speak harshly to you. He cannot lie to you. He’ll never push you away. He’ll always receive you, no matter what has gone wrong in your day.
Friends, seek His voice today! Dare to write down those thoughts. Dare to believe they’re from the Lord. Dare to trust His guidance and provision for every call-to-action. Then, prepare to be overwhelmed with joy. Bask in it. Worship Him in it.
Then finally, come back to listen again tomorrow.
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