Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Just who are you listening to?
I have to confess, I have been my own worst enemy ever since I was a little girl. I listened to what that awful voice in my head said about me, instead of what God had to say about me. It can be devastating, especially on a gloomy day when the four walls seem about ready to cave in and spring seems like it will never come.
The other day, I had a revelation. Eureka! If Jesus were with me physically in the room, He would not speak to me like I speak to myself.
"So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
He always healed whoever asked Him to, He did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery, He did not even condemn those who nailed Him to the tree. If He spoke graciously to all who sought Him, shouldn't I also speak graciously? And if I am not gracious to myself first, how can can I expect to be gracious to anyone else? Jesus answered a lawyer in Matthew 22:35 who tested Him asked Him a question, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
How can you love your neighbor and say kind things to him if you constantly hear only a critical voice of condemnation (first about yourself, and then others) in your head? I used to think that critical voice was the voice of God. No longer. For in all the earth, the only domain our enemy has to rule the earth is the atmosphere surrounding this unsettled, unstable planet. The enemy is called the "prince of the power of the air."
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience," Ephesians 2:1-2
Jesus said that satan was the father of all lies in John 8:44. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
Sometimes, satan puts in a half-truth to make the lie seem believable. Have you ever fallen for that? I did just yesterday. I caught myself thinking that so and so must not want to be bothered with me because she answered me a certain way. I was going to take it and run with it when I caught myself and said inwardly, "I do not have to listen to that." I cast that thought down because it was only a vain imagination, it had no substance or reality.
Have you ever thought of how many times people misunderstand each other? Because of mis-communications, wars start between countries, marriages are destroyed, friendships are ruined. Because the enemy sees our weakness and whispers something to us about the other person, then we think that is our own thought (instead of from the pit) and feel we must believe it.
That is exactly when we have to cast those things down. The enemy lost when Christ rose from the dead. He does not want to be reminded that he still losing today. Once we reject his lie, we have to fill our mind with something to replace it. That is where the Word of God comes in. We tell ourselves the Truth from the Word of God instead, no matter what we feel. Even if we have sinned, God is still loving us, and wants us to come back into fellowship so He can bless us again. That is the truth, God is never out to get us. He punished His Son for the judgment we deserve.
In an updated version of The Life of Peter by F.B. Meyer (editor Lancel Wubbels, Emerald Books, 1996, page 14) we find a glimpse of God's dealings with us, so different than the world's ways:
"Jesus speaks of things not as though they were. When the heart is broken and contrite...our Lord speaks words of encouragement and cheer. He imputes righteousness where there is but the smallest seed of faith. He addresses us, not as though we had attained or were already perfect, but as following on. He awakens our expectancy by indicating possibilities of which we never supposed ourselves to be capable. Over the grave of our hope, He speaks words of resurrection and life."
I choose to hear His voice of hope today.