All the enemy has is the power to convince. If he can gain my agreement and consent, then he has my life. My agreement becomes a false faith in his lie. Since the beginning, all he has had is the power of persuasion. “Did God truly say…?” And if I enter into that dialog and I lend to it my faith of agreement, then the enemy can wreak havoc in my life. He will attempt to convince me that the Lord is not sovereign, that God is not good, and that I am not loved.
He says, “Do it on your own, just listen to me, God doesn’t care about YOU!” The demonic solicitor pleading his case against the Most High and me. Our relationship is on trial as well as Jesus’s lordship over my life. While the devil can’t take my life, he can kill me through an assisted suicide. All I have to do is listen and agree.
Convince Me to Agreement
Convince is the operative word here. Satan is a wordsmith after all. He weaves words together to paint a dim picture of my present, past, and future. And with my agreement I engage his schemes. Listening to his summation of life’s landscape is a recipe for disaster. Only One Voice should have the power to define and that is not the enemy’s; it’s the Lord’s.
Actual faith is hearing and believing. I thought about this just the other day. I was never assigned the power to define; this is God’s world and His to dictate what happens in it. My job is to listen to Him and Live in and by His choices. Sure, I can live in rebellion, as many do, but that path is not heavenly or victorious. This is Christ’s world and it is His to choose what happens in it. Satan is ever and always trying to convince me otherwise.
Hearing, Listening, Agreement and Consent
Listening is deeply personal. It is taking into my heart, mind, and spirit something from another. But when we engage these words through the faith of agreement, it becomes extremely intimate. Through agreement we become one with the thoughts of another. The whole course of our life and destiny can turn based on our ascribing faith to what we hear. This is why it is so crucial we listen to the right Voice. We are sheep and are easily convinced.
I wish I could say we come out of the gate stalwart in our convictions but the reality is we can be entreated. It may not be zero to 60 in two seconds, but over time, through imperceptible shifts, we can be convinced. This is both our blessing as well as our curse. If we weren’t amenable, all of us would be going to hell. We come to this playing field completely willful. And the Lord takes on the momentous task of revealing to us His Truth. But there is another’s voice out there looking to convince us to take another course.
Divergent Thoughts to Convince
The enemy is all about temptation. The temptation is to listen to the divergent thoughts that he speaks to us. And these thoughts are meant to convince me to believe the lie. These thoughts may even sound good, while being just a wee bit off. As I said, imperceptible shifts from Truth.
Living in this world, many, many thoughts will come. And my responsibility is to maintain my heart with Truth. This is why listening while reading the Word is so paramount. As I said, God must read His Word to me and then tell me what it means. My living by listening, not knowing, is life and death. In actuality I must live continually listening to Jesus’ Voice, not just in reading the Bible but in everything. His Word says that I must remain a sheep (vulnerable and able to be led) to remain safe in His flock.
He brings all of His sheep out. Then He goes ahead of them and leads them. They follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger. They will run away from him because they don’t know his voice.
John 10:4-5 ICB
The pre-requisite to this scenario is that I must remain a sheep. It is clear that if I don’t remain in my sheep-ness, I will follow the stranger whose desire is to convince me to take another path. Oh Lord Jesus, keep me and hold me, I will remain vulnerable and follow.