You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 ESV)
Before we had a child and my wife worked outside the home, she worked with abused women. In fact, she even had a good friend that was in an abusive relationship. From my view on the outside and that of many others who see these relationships, we can’t help but wonder why women in these situations don’t leave. When one works with these women, it becomes apparent that there is a tremendous amount of psychological abusiveness and fear in the relationship. It isn’t necessarily that the women don’t want to leave, but that they are afraid. As I was studying and reading this text, these women and relationships came in to my mind.
Jesus was talking to the Jews and telling them that God really isn’t their father, but Satan is. He went on to describe what kind of father Satan is. One who bullies, abuses, lies, and eventually leads to death. This hit me like a two-by-four when I read it. Satan at one time was our father. But now, we as Christians, have been adopted into the loving family of God through the death of his son Jesus (Ephesians 1:5). This is great news. Like the women (or men) who are a part of an abusive relationship, we go running back to Satan every time we sin. We tell Jesus we would rather listen to our abusive father than follow what our loving adopted Father desires us to do.
Conviction and repentance came upon me as I realized that I took for granted the grace and patience my loving Father has showed me in the past, present, and the coming future. God has continually been there for me even when I went running to Satan to follow his hurtful desires.
As sin and temptation come to your mind, remember that these are the desires of an abusive father and not of you loving Father.