How do people speak when they have no right to speak into your life? Would you like to know?
The Bible reveals how people speak when they have no right to speak. Take a look at what I have to show you here, and get insight into the voices that demand your attention but which you should ignore.
I have raked over the topic of The Right To Speak in previous posts, and now I want you to see a well-known Biblical example of what it looks like when someone is speaking who has no right to do so.
A Quick Review
Not all words are equal. Some people have the right to speak while others do not. You are to obey the commands of those who have authority over you but you don’t have to obey the demands of people under your authority, or outside your whole authority structure. Advertisers don’t have authority to demand that you buy their product.
Marketers and manipulators speak to you, even though they don’t have the right to tell you what to do, in the hope they can get you to do their will. Wise people are aware of the rights held by the speaker, so they can know whether to listen or ignore the one speaking.
God has the ultimate right to speak. Those God endorses have the right to speak. Yet many people who speak into our lives do not speak with God’s authority. Some people assert their right to speak when they don’t have that right at all.
How They Speak
When a person does not have the right to speak into your life, but they wish to get you to follow their instructions, they can use several devices. They can lie, cajole, deceive, threaten and so on.
Jesus Christ faced a confrontation with someone who did not have the right to speak into his life. That person was the devil, who tempted Him when He was fasting in the wilderness. What the devil said and how he said it gives us a cameo of how people speak when they do not have the right to speak into your life.
You may recognise some of this in the way others have tried to speak into your life at times.
Jesus and the Devil
In the New Testament book of Matthew we are given an account of the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness. This encounter involves temptation. And the first point to note is that when a person does not have the right to speak they are only able to tempt the person they are trying to influence. That’s what advertisers do. They tempt you to buy their product. They can’t make you do something, but they can tempt you to make your own choice to do it.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4
Temptation Number One
The devil’s first temptation was directed at Jesus’ physical needs. Jesus was hungry after fasting for forty days and nights. Jesus had the power to create bread. The devil simply suggested that Jesus do that.
What was wrong with this challenge was that Jesus was not to be about the devil’s business, but His Father’s business (see Luke 2:49). Just because you have ability does not mean you should use it to indulge your personal interests and needs. Jesus took His orders from God, not the devil. That is why Jesus’ reply was that He was to live by the words that God spoke.
We will each be tempted to cater for our desires, such as our comfort, hunger and so on.
Temptation Number Two
“Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He will give his angels charge concerning you: and they will bear you up in their hands, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Matthew 4:5-7
For the second temptation the devil did not play on Jesus’ bodily needs. This time he played to his mental and emotional qualities. The temptation was to make a public display of His special position of protection by God.
Note again that the devil did not have the right to tell Jesus what to do, so he tempted him, with taunts, to prompt Jesus to obey the devil by fulfilling his physical or emotional needs.
Those who do not have the right to speak into our lives will try to press our buttons to get us to react to them and thus come under the power of their words.
Jesus rightly responded that we are not to put God to the test like that.
Temptation Number Three
“Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Get out of here, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4:8-10
The third temptation was the offer of a deal. Having taunted and suggested things, appealing to Jesus’ physical and personal interests, the devil finally came out with a proposition.
The devil also tries to make deals with us. He offers us fame, success, happiness, and personal gain if we do what he wants us to do. However, the devil’s deals are cheap, deceptive and destructive, as Eve found out when she gave in to temptation in the Garden of Eden.
You will face temptations, suggestions, taunts, instructions and deals, from voices that do not have the right to tell you what to do. What ever the issue is, it will be about you giving up your freedom to the demands of those you should remain free from.
Look out for those who come along, throwing their arm over your shoulder, trying to steer you in the path that they want you to take.
God has given you autonomy and a place of freedom under His authority. Those who do not have the right to speak are intent on making you a slave. Their words may sound like honey, but the sting of what they suggest will be bitter and deadly.
If they do not have the right to speak, then do what Jesus did. Reject what they say and stick with what God wants you to do.