43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:43–44, NKJV)
Jesus challenged His audience to examine why they argued with Him and opposed His teachings. Why did they refuse to know and abide in the truth (Jno. 8:31-32)? Why couldn’t they understand what He was saying? Not because it was unknowable, but because they were not listening to Him with willing hearts. They were not committed to knowing and following His word (v. 43). Why were their hearts so closed that they would not believe and follow Jesus? Because they desired the sins of the devil instead of the truth of God (v. 44). The devil is a liar who convinces people not to believe the Bible, the word of God. He lies about Jesus, the Son of God. He lies about His gospel, God’s power to save. He lies about Christians as they follow the truth of Christ. At some point, all who reject the word of Jesus must face what is apparent: They are children of the devil, not children of God. That which we desire will be reflected in our attitude and actions toward Jesus and His word of truth.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9, NKJV)
Peter has just assured us that the Lord constantly cares for us as we cast our cares upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7). While doing so we must be sober-minded and watchful. The devil is stalking us. Every temptation to sin must be met with the stiff and steady resistance of faith. The devil continues to look for the weak lamb and the straying sheep. We must constantly be on guard lest he slip up on us and overtake us. It helps us to know that our brethren in other places face the same kinds of threats we face. Resistance is not futile; Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 Jno. 5:4).
45 “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” (John 8:45–47)
Isn’t it ironic that many who say they have faith in God refuse the very words that come from God? Jesus said, “But because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me” (Jno. 8:45). He told them the truth, but they wanted to do the desires of their father, the devil (Jno. 8:44). There is no truth in the devil. Sin always hinders us from believing the truth of Jesus. If you want to do the desires of God, your Father, then you will hear and believe the truth that Jesus taught. He spoke to the world the things that come from God (Jno. 8:26-27). God is speaking to you by the words of Christ. Are you listening? That will depend on whose desires you want to do; the devil’s or God’s.
2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:2–4)
The devil tempted Jesus to set fleshly desires as His priority when he urged Jesus to use His power to feed Himself. After all, the Son of God had not eaten in forty days. And, He certainly had the power to command food into existence (as He did when He fed the multitude, Matt. 14:13-21). But, the flesh was not Jesus’ priority; doing the will of God was what sustained Him. He would live by every word of God, and since God did not approve such a selfish use of His power, He would not yield. He refused to choose the flesh over the Father’s will. Likewise, the devil tempts us to live for the flesh. The tempter says, “The desires of the flesh are natural, so why deprive yourself of satisfaction?” But, God says to feed on His word and not upon fleshly lust. To yield is to make the flesh your priority instead of God. Children of God must love the Father, not the flesh. Resist the temptations of the flesh and live by faith (1 Jno. 2:15-17).