Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Message Behind the Voice

Decades ago, my sister told me a "funny" story about my niece who'd done something she shouldn't. When my sister asked, "Why did you do that, Tammy?" Tammy said, "The devil made me do it." To which my sister replied, "Well, then don't listen to him next time."

Have you ever paused and taken inventory of the myriad of voices speaking around you and at you? Family, friends, God, self, social media. And of course the devil—Don’t listen to him!

Why take inventory? Because unless we recognize the messenger behind the voice, we risk inadvertently "hearing" the wrong message and ending up a captive. Here’s a verse that reflects what still happens today and why we must make ourselves aware:

The most vicious enemy of Israel said this to God's people: 

"Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah, 'Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria'" (2 Kings 19:10 HCSB).

Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you! How often have we heard the devil say this covert, insidious message, particularly during seasons of trial and turmoil?

Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising … that you're going to come through okay.

Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising … that He will restore all things if you stay faithful to Him.

Are you catching on? 

Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising ... that your life makes a difference.

Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising ... that you've actually been forgiven for that horrible thing you did.

Do we recognize the voice of Fear, Shame, Pride, Arrogance, those blasphemous voices that thunder: “Don’t let the Lord God, whom you trust, deceive you with His promises.” These voices are making relentless attempts to exalt themselves above God’s Word. And the tone, or the emotion behind the voice, will alter to fit your circumstance. Their message attempts to fit you like a glove on a hand, making it sound like deep “wisdom” from your soul.

As if with a heavy sigh, Shame shakes his head at you, and whispers, "You know you're guilty. If you tell anyone what you did, you'll never live it down. Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising unconditional love. Don't fall for the lie about finding freedom in confession."

Yet, what does the Maker of heaven and earth, who cannot lie, and in whom there is no darkness say? Let what He says be your response:

When you hear Shame’s voice, fire back at your enemy, "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ! Instead of shame and dishonor, I'll receive a double portion of honor!"

Tell Fear: "God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

Tell Disappointment: "I will give thanks in all circumstances. I will choose joy."

Tell Hopelessness: "I will return to the Lord. He has torn us all to pieces, but He will heal me and bind up my wounds. He will renew my strength and restore me to health."

Tell Arrogance: "I am not too important to help someone else. I will dress myself in humility.”

Let’s wake up and take inventory of the voices.

Father in Heaven, forgive me for listening to the wrong messages. Cleanse my ears with the blood of Jesus and set me free! I believe Your Word that says,

“Every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world!” (1 John 5:4 TPT).

Upon this truth, I will stand, in Jesus's name.

Copyright © September 2020 J.A. Marx, used with permission>

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