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There were two voices who spoke about the identity of Jesus before He started His ministry. The first voice was God the Father, “This is my beloved son. I’m pleased with him.” The second voice was Satan, “If you are the son… then prove it.”

The first voice was heard during his baptisms in Mark 1. The second one heard a couple of weeks later, in the wilderness. The number one temptation used by the enemy was not lust, or anger, or jealousy… it was to question the identity given by the other voice. “If you really are the Son of God…” was the opening remark, strategically chosen by the father of lies, for the temptation against Jesus.

And against you.

Jesus was able to defeat the temptation because He knew who He truly was, who His Father was, and how much that Father loved him. That was the food he was eating for forty days while fasting, the very words that came from the mouth of His Father.

You see, if the enemy is able to challenge our sonship in a way that can make us question the goodness of our Father, his work to make us fall into any other kind of sin is achieved.

The father of lies has no intention of pushing our hand to do the wrong thing. His strategy is to convince us of our wrong value; for sinning is natural if we believe we are sinners (as sonship will be natural when we believe we are God’s lovely kids).

Those two voices are speaking to your heart everyday.

Abba is declaring who you are, Satan is demanding that you prove it.

Unfortunately, we are suckers for religion, so we usually listen to the second voice. And that voice makes us try harder, do more, wear masks. It then promotes shame and condemnation. Encourages fear and sadness. And the more we listen to it, the more afraid and guilty and shallow we will be.

But here’s a novel idea: What if we listen to God? And what if after listening, we actually believe what He says?

So this is what I recommend: Listen to the Father. You are His beloved. Chosen. Accepted. Forgiven. Empowered.

“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” – Brennan Manning The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Here are some verse for you:

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” 1 Peter 2:9

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:17