“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
When our lives are our own the devil is close at hand. He hates submission to God. His chief strategy is to get us out from under God’s authority. He champions the rights of men and women to think for themselves, to do what they want, to be who they wish to be. But it is all a ruse. He is a “sweet talker” when it comes to wanting us to have “personal autonomy.” He ultimately aims to bring us under his oppressive rule. He is no good shepherd.
That “old serpent,” the “father of lies,” is willing to start small. His opening line is attractive. His message of “self-determination” promises liberty and happiness. But first he must paint God as a liar and an oppressor – one who is only committed to Himself; a cruel taskmaster who is uninterested in our pleasure and happiness. He, on the other hand, portrays himself as our great benefactor. He is not the strict parent that God is, he is the permissive parent who wants their child to “spread their wings and fly.” “Go ahead!” he coos, “Just do it! What do you have to worry about? There’s not death in eating that fruit, there’s life, liberty, and happiness!” As for God, “Don’t listen to Him. He’s lying. You shall not surely die.”
Beware of wolves in shepherd’s clothing. When sheep are without a shepherd, predators move in for the kill. Sheep desperately need a shepherd. Their lives depend upon it. But they don’t need a wicked shepherd who would encourage them to go their own way, to do their own thing, to be their own person. Such “fair words” are all a lie which leads us straight into Satan’s hands. And this is the ultimate aim of his seductive message – that we would be HIS – today and forever.
Submit to the true good Shepherd. Be His and His only. Hear His voice and live.