ODJ: father of lies

October 19, 2014 

READ: John 8:38-44 

He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him (v.44).

Paulo Coelho’s book The Pilgrimage recounts the story of Coelho walking the famous Camino pilgrimage route between France and Spain with a guide. I bought the book, but I wasn’t prepared for what I read.

“There are basically two spiritual forces on our side,” the guide tells Paulo early in his journey, “an angel and a devil. The angel always protects us and is a divine gift. . . . The devil is an angel, too, but he is a free, rebellious force.” Knowing Coelho isn’t a Christian, I wondered what would be said next.

After acknowledging the devil’s craftiness, the guide went on to tell Coelho that this devil knows a lot about the world and can therefore be a good messenger of information. “The only way to deal with our messenger,” he says, “is to accept him as a friend—by listening to his advice and asking for his help when necessary.” The book then included directions for the reader on how to make contact with their own personal devil.

I didn’t read any further.

Let’s be clear: the devil and his demonic companions are not messengers to be befriended, but forces to be resisted (James 4:7). The devil isn’t the possessor of truth, but a liar to the core (John 8:44). While he can present himself as benevolent, it’s only a disguise (2 Corinthians 11:14). Far from wanting our best, he is out for our death and destruction (John 10:10).

Jesus once encountered people who listened to the devil. After following the devil’s advice they began to imitate him (8:38,41), making themselves deaf to the truth (v.43) and ultimately leading them to murder (vv.40,44).

The advice in The Pilgrimage is naive at best and diabolical at worst. Thankfully, Jesus—Truth Himself—is ready to guide us (v.38, 14:6).

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day plan› Acts 8:26-40

Read Matthew 6:13 and consider what Jesus presented in His prayer. 
How have you seen error blind you in the past? What advice are you listening to that is ultimately deceptive?