Have you ever heard a prophet, friend, or church leader say to you, “The Lord told me you must do this… ”, or “Jesus said you have to… ”, or “The Holy Spirit says you should…”? When we hear those words with the name of God in front, they impact us.
Wait… what? At the heart of these words lies something more sinister that we realize.
When someone speaks to us and uses the name of the Lord to add emphasis to their words they may, or may not, be speaking on His behalf. How can we know the difference? Satan can mimic God’s voice and for an immature believer they may think it is the Lord speaking. When these words go out, they often have a dreadful impact on others.
As believers, we need to learn how to discern when someone is speaking on behalf of the Lord and when they are not.
To do this, we need to become familiar with satan’s ‘tell’. As much as satan can mimic God’s voice, he cannot mimic His character or truth. Satan is a liar and a manipulator, so his words will reflect this. So what is satan’s ‘tell’?
Satan’s tell is in these simple words: ‘must’, ‘have to’ and ‘should’.
Now there is nothing remarkable about these words except they all have one thing in common; guilt. Whenever they are used, the context often involves some level of manipulation of will through guilt. These are from the enemy and are designed to bind us up.
At the very core of every person is a free will. The will can decide to love or to hate, to do wrong or do right. Our free will is God’s gift to us. He treats our will with respect and dignity; never violating its sanctity. God will never tell us we ‘must’ do something, we ‘have to’ do something, or we ‘should’ do something because this would violate our ability to choose. What God desires is that we willingly obey Him.
Only when we follow God free of such guilt and manipulation will we truly grow into spiritual maturity.
Satan knows about the free will. He willingly and knowingly violates the free will with words like ‘must’, ‘have to’ and ‘should’ to get people to do his bidding. The enemy does this for it is only through guilt and manipulation can he keep people in bondage to do what he wants. Satan continually tells us we ‘must’ do things, we ‘should’ do things and we ‘have to’ obey him. His way is not God’s way.
Jesus leads by going before us. Satan pushes us from behind.
Today, as we listen to others using the name of Lord, do not accept the word if it contains satan’s ‘tell’. God has given us a free will to exercise our uncompromising faith. Let us use wisdom and reject all guilt and manipulation that comes from the enemy in the name of God. When we do so we can follow Jesus of our own free will.
Homer and Wanda