Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Genesis 3:1-5 is a warning to us about the devils voice. "Did God really say?" It's the first question in the Bible. It's confusing and twisting and persuading. It's planting seeds of doubt. It's condemning of God and of man. "You didn't hear that right. There must be something wrong with you. And if you did hear that right, then why would God say something like that? Why would God do something like that? You must either be mistaken or God is mistaken."
Unlike the first time God asks a question "Where are you?" which is loving, tender, inviting to come into right standing again. Begging for humility in order to reconcile. Seeking out to save.
We have to be smart. When I read that story out loud, I always give the devil this lofty, wicked, Hollywood voice that makes him sound like a mix of the Joker and Jafar. Go ahead, try reading that story and not sounding smug and condescending. But that isn't what the devils voice sounded like when he said that. Eve wasn't stupid. The devil is crafty. We have to give him more credit then that.
When the devil speaks to you, what does he sound like? To me, he sounds like me. He sounds like my confusion and lack of understanding, when God says something and I'm trying to piece the whole puzzle together out of the 2 pieces He has handed me. "If God promised you 1 and God promised you 2 then God promised you 1 plus 2." Which leads me on this hunt for 3, because 1 plus 2 is 3. When the TRUTH is that God promised me 1 and God promised me 2, but they are not necessarily hand in hand.
My illustration of this is what I've been writing about for years! God, who promised me a joyful, God filled marriage and who also promised me that one day my ex-husband will know and love Jesus. My grief-filled heart heard all of those promises from God. But the devils sinister little voice crept in and said "God promised you a joyful, God filled marriage and promised that your ex would know Jesus, so it must mean that after your ex comes to know Jesus, God will restore your marriage, but this time it will be filled with Jesus!" And that sounds like such a sweet and wonderful revelation. And what's more is God allowed me to live in that desire for a long time, because He was using it to drive me in the direction of the purpose He has for my life. But when my ex got remarried, that whole thing came crumbling down around me and I had to spend a long period of time coming to the realization that although God promised me 1. A Joy filled marriage and 2. For my ex to be saved, He didn't promise me that 2 would lead to 1 or that 1 plus 2 equals marriage restoration or any of that. The devil's voice can be so deceptive.
John 8:43-47 "Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
This is Jesus speaking directly to unbelievers (in this case, the Pharisees), but there is a lot for us here. God's language is clear. If there is confusion in a matter, it's because the enemy is speaking into it. If Eve had known this point, the moment the serpent asked "Did God really say..." she would have recognized the lie. There's confusion, which is not God. Just recognizing the confusion is the first part of discerning God's voice from the enemies.
When the devil speaks, he sounds sincere. He sounds genuine. He sounds like a good way to get the good things that I believe God wants for me. He sounds generous. He sounds exciting. He sounds interesting. Lies are the devils native tongue.
But when the devil speaks, there is always this check in the spirit. It's that little voice in the back of your head that says, "hold on, that doesn't sound right" that you quickly dismiss, because you want it to be right. It's that thing that you saw out of the corner of your eye, but you can't believe you actually saw it, because you don't want that to be the truth. It's a story that sounds really good, but all of the pieces don't completely add up.
Truth doesn't work that way. God's voice doesn't work that way. When God does something, He does it perfect and complete. He doesn't half heartedly do anything. So if God is in it, it's going to add all the way up. You might not ever really see all the pieces by themselves, but you will see the whole picture.
So if there is confusion, concern, or chaos, that isn't God. ALWAYAS we have to dig down deep into God's word and submit the entirity of the situation to God. Opening His Word is the best way to hear His voice. Allow Him to show us the clear path that He has already cleared for us to walk in. God's way is narrow, not in the chaos, the confusion, the concern, but through it. He pushes it aside to the left and the right as you walk behind Him in His Way.
In my case that I mentioned before, the clear path was that God had promised two things which were not contingent upon each other and the devil had caused confusion in me to believe that they went hand in hand. It's not always easy to discern, but remembering who God is, is critical.
Number 23:19 "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
When He speaks, what He speaks is truth. When He makes a promise, He will fulfill it. You've heard pastors say all the time that "it won't always be in the way that you expect", but the underlying reason behind that is because we get two pieces of the puzzle and allow ourselves, with the help of the deciever, to fill in the rest of the picture and not recognize God's sovereignty and authority. Think about Joseph who saw his brothers bow in a dream. He could have crafted this grand vision about how it would happen, but it certainly didn't happen the way he imagined it. God allowed the vision in order to propel him into the purpose God had for him though. When God gives promises, it isn't because He needs us to add them together and come up with a goal of how to achieve that. It's because He has a purpose for our lives that He already planned in advance. This is either hope to keep you walking in purpose or its a catalyst that launches you forward into purpose.
For me, God gave me a promise of a joyful, God-filled marriage and a second promise of my ex knowing Jesus. He allowed me to combine them (via the devils voice), using all things for good, to propel me forward in healing, forgiveness, and ultimately satisfaction and joy. But He also gave them to me in order to have hope for my future. I still haven't seen either of those promises come to fruition, but I know that they will, because I know who God is. I don't aim for them. I don't seek to achieve them as if they were goals. I am walking in the purpose God has put on my life for this season and when the next season comes, I will walk in His purpose for that season too. Eventually, I will see those promises come to pass, by His hand, not my own.
The bottom line is to listen and be aware. The devil is called the deciever, because his voice is deceptive. It's crafty and sly and we have to be on guard against the devil and his schemes.
Proverbs 3:5-7 MSG
"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!"