What does the voice of your enemy sound like? How does he talk to you? How does he successfully sow seeds of trash and darkness in you? How does he elusively navigate your thoughts and life?
Jesus went toe-to-toe with Satan himself. He regularly fought against demons and their attempts to destroy His life. The stood against Jesus as enemies of God. They aggressively worked against Jesus, those who may believe, and those who followed.
The Satan that tempted Jesus is still alive today leading his horde to destroy our lives. What does he sound like? Can you recognize his voice? Are you aware that he speaks and that you can hear?
Thankfully, God has given us great insight into who Satan is and how he speaks. Scripture has many different names for him. Through each name we can learn to “hear” how he effectively schemes against us every day.
Here are four of the names the enemy is called and how those names help us discern his voice:
Satan (Matthew 4:10, Job 1:6) - this name means adversary. Satan works against God's will in people's lives. He may use fear or discouragement or distraction or a number of other weapons. Here he stands opposed to the direction of God for His people's lives. We hear his voice when he tells us things like God does not care, He is not faithful, He has let you down before, His word is not true, His way is antiquated, and others.
Devil (Matthew 4:1, 13:39; Revelation 12:9) - this name means slanderer or false accuser. Satan works to call people names, remind them of things past, and confuse them about the faithfulness of God. We hear his voice when he tells us things like we are failures, disappointments, guilty, beyond redemption, or worthless.
Father of lies (John 8:44) - He is the master liar. If he cannot get in with one lie he will get in with another. And if neither works he will lay in wait until an opportune time to return. We hear his voice in many ways as a liar as he tells us things like something is all our fault, God just wants you to be happy, there are others ways to life than Jesus. He creates images in our minds of things that are not true – your spouse is cheating on you, because of your body you are unworthy, money is the true source of happiness, and many more.
The Tempter (Genesis 3:1-3, Luke 4:1-13, Matthew 16:23) - Satan works through tempting. He lies, tempting people to question what they believe or never pursue truth at all. Notice in the wilderness with Jesus, Satan tried three different ways to tempt Jesus. Like lying, Satan tried to get in one way and it did not work so he tried two others. When those failed he waited again until that opportune time. We hear his voice of temptation to lash out in anger, to not forgive, to look at porn, to gorge ourselves on food, to drink in excess, to turn to drugs. In many ways he tempts us daily to lead us away from resting in the love and power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
One other name the enemy is called is Serpent. Serpent (Genesis 3:1, 14; 2 Corinthians 11:3) - this name is used to highlight Satan's deceptive nature. He can take different forms and speak through different people. He does not just come straight forward or through one person. Satan accuses us, opposes God’s work in us, lies to us, and tempts us directly and he does it through other people. He can use your spouse, your mom or dad, other family members, a whole culture, a philosophy, a religion, or any other thing he wants. He is the master deceiver.
Armed with an understanding of how to hear his voice we can stand strong in the truth of Jesus, reject his lies, and live in freedom. May the Lord teach you fight well against the onslaught of the enemy in all his forms!