When I was a young boy on a family camping trip, my brother stole my best friend to be his friend. I heard the voice … he’s mine not yours. It’s not fair. You already have friends. I don’t. I decided to pay him back by sticking chewing gum in his sleeping bag. Be sure your sin will find you out. My parents made me spend 2 hours cleaning the bag. I learnt a very important lesson … vengeance doesn’t pay.
You like him more than me
Everyone on the planet has heard the voice … you like him more than me. Obviously, this voice is not from the Holy Spirit, so it must be from Satan. It’s the voice of position and not humility. It’s the voice of envy (James 4:5). It therefore is the voice of Satan. Underneath every demonic voice you hear, lies the satanic voice … you like him more than me. Some people even speak it out. If you’ve spoken it out it should tell you what camp you’re snared in. If you’re snared in the camp of Satan then you’ll be plotting the demise of others so you can take their position. Hatred is the automatic side-effect of envy.
Why does everyone hear this voice?
Obviously, because there’s something outside our visual realm that can interact with us. Secondly, it’s interesting to note that it’s easier to hear evil than good, and it’s easier to act evil than good. You have to work at good; evil comes natural. That’s because Satan has our ear, and it takes a decision of death to hear the Lord’s voice above the din of evil. Thirdly, and most importantly, Satan hates Jesus because He’s more liked by the Father. So, when you choose to listen to the voice of … you like him more than me, you’ve linked yourself directly to the spirit of Satan, and speaking his words.
We’re better tuned to the voice of Satan than the voice of God. Voices are evidence of an unseen spirit world interacting with our spirits. No one’s seen Satan but everyone’s heard his voice. Similarly, you can’t see Jesus Christ but you can hear His voice if you want to.
Temptation is a voice
A genuine Christian is responsible to diagnose what voice is speaking and choose death to that temptation. It’s not God’s responsibility to keep you safe from temptation, it’s your responsibility to die so God can raise you up. If you haven’t trained yourself to stop and check whether the voice is God’s or Satan’s, you’ll automatically comply with the voice of evil. It won’t sound evil; it’ll sound fair and just and nice to your emotions, but it’s a lie in sheep’s clothing. It’s a trap to snare you against Christ. It’s a trap to trick you into plotting the demise of others. To God’s eyes, plotting is hatred, & hatred is murder (1 John 3:15), and that’s what Satan wants; to see you out of alignment with God.
The serious lesson from Christ
In Luke 4 we read Satan’s temptation to Jesus. Satan was trying to get Jesus to change his position from standing with the Father to get Him to stand with him instead. He effectively was bribing him to comply with his wishes by using food, position power, and the pride of proving your power. Jesus wouldn’t comply. Satan then simply changed into his true character and threatened Jesus with … comply or I’ll kill you. Jesus chose the path to die rather than the comply.
Fear of dying
Why is everyone afraid of dying? Aren’t we going to be with the Father in heaven? So, why the fear? Simply, because Satan doesn’t want us to die he wants us to comply, so he threatens death to put you in fear so you’ll comply. He intimidates you with a spirit of fear.
Jesus, Himself had to face this fear and then He had to choose the way of the cross and trust the outcome to His Father. Daniel had to face this fear and then choose the way of death instead of complying with the voices of temptation followed by the voices of threatening for not complying. No one said anything to Daniel. He knew what Satan was saying, and enticing to go the easy way, and then threatening if he didn’t bend to his comply. Satan was tempting Daniel to comply in the exact same way he was tempting Jesus. Through facing death, God raised him up above his enemies.
David was threatened by his father-in-law to comply or be killed. David fought the tempting voices of the easy way out and chose the path of die rather than comply. He chose to face death and in so doing God raised him up above his enemies.
Victory is only through death
Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to save us from our sins. His death was the example to His followers of how we must pass through death to earn eternal life with Christ, and also how to be lifted up above our spiritual enemies. You don’t buy your way to heaven but you have to pay the price of death to earn salvation (Luke 9:23,24) and position. He complied with His Father’s wishes and chose death to Satan’s temptations to comply. The consequence was life and position above His enemies (Philippians 2).
There’s no other pathway to victory, than through death. Any other pathway is a satanic deception to eternal death. Position should only be attained through death instead of complying with the satanic temptations or the threats to comply; any other pathway is a temptation to satanic life which ends in death.
Satan comes with sweetness and enticements and if you won’t take the bait and comply, he then threatens death. Joseph was enticed with the sweetness of adultery and when he wouldn’t comply he was threatened with the death of imprisonment. He chose to silently cop the evil and in due course, God raised him up above his enemies.
If you comply you’ll seem to save your life but you’ll die; whereas, if you choose death, you’ll live above the voices. In fact, the only way you can live above temptations is through death. You can’t beat temptation by complying and then making a decision to address your feelings and decide not to sin; that won’t work. Rather, you have to die first. Just like a seed has to die before it germinates, so our spirit has to die to the temptation to comply, before you can have real life. In fact, if you won’t die, you won’t fly.
Repentance is complying and then realising you’ve sinned and then reversing your decision to not comply but rather die, by admitting that you complied and then giving up your position and having no position except trusting the Lord’s position. In the case of my brother, I had to die to my wants by giving up my friend and trusting God. Interestingly, my friend fell out with my brother and came back to me. However, I soon lost my friend because he chose to comply whereas, I chose to die, so we went our separate ways.
The lesson of death
Later in life, I learnt this important lesson in a deeper way. A member of my wife’s family hated me for no reason except the spirit in them conflicted with the Spirit in me. I initially tried to defend my position, but over the years learnt you couldn’t win. I turned to the Lord and chose to lose. Instead of living in fear of their insults, I chose to die and cop it. Before long, I found myself no longer entrapped by their fear and living above their satanic attacks. They had the money and they had the power, but I chose to die instead of comply with keeping them happy so I wouldn’t get emotionally injured. I chose to withdraw in love, like David, in order to survive. They hated me more, but God freed me even more, through death.
Every Christian who truly wants to walk with Christ, somewhere in their life has to choose the path of death or else submit to the threats and fears of losing if you don’t comply. You can’t be a disciple unless you forsake everything, take up your cross daily and follow Him. If you choose the wrong path, like Peter, there’s only one way back, and that’s die to your pride and repent. But, if you choose the easy evil path, like Judas, you’ll actually be a traitor against Christ and die anyway.
May God encourage His remnant to live above the temptation to have position, and live above the fear of death, so we learn not to comply and can trust Him with death.
Pastor Craig Kristianson