“One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.” – Job 1:6
How many of us, especially in times of weakness or failure, find that we are plagued by a voice that reminds us of how badly we have messed up? How many times do the voices come, maybe at night, and make us feel worthless, as having no value? That is a terrible feeling isn’t it? Knowing you have failed in some way, and feeling that there is no hope of redeeming yourself.
I want to spend some time today talking about those voices, two in particular. You see friends, we are surrounded, 24/7, by the spiritual realm. We don’t see it, but if we seek awareness, we will sense its presence and be better equipped for this life in it. There are two voices we need to learn to recognize, the Lord, our Savior’s, and our enemy’s, Satan.
There is so much we could say about this topic. So I will just stick to 1 basic fact. In my journey with Christ I have learned that there is one surefire difference in the two voices: One seeks to lift me up and help me; the other seeks to beat me down and destroy me. And being able to tell the difference, for me, is akin to feeling victorious and hopeful versus defeated and hopeless. And my prayer for all of you today is that you will learn to discern the difference as well.
Let’s look at the scriptures first to get a sense of how these two voices work. First let’s consider the scripture above from the Book of Job. Do you notice the name given to Satan? He is called the Accuser. He is the one that speaks against us, condemning us for all our shortcomings. He is the one that says we are beyond help or redemption. And he speaks these things to us so that we will give up on ourselves, and God’s ability to redeem us. Do not be fooled by these tactics, brothers and sisters. Our enemy has an endgame, and it really doesn’t have anything to do with your addiction, your weakness, or your abilities. It has everything to do with your soul. If he can get us to believe that we are too far gone for even Jesus to help, then he will win. Because at that point, he has destroyed our faith and our relationship with our Savior.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” – Romans 8:1-2
Read it again. There is NO condemnation for those that believe in the saving work of Jesus. So when we hear these voices that try to make us believe that we have no value, we have to remember that this a tactic of our enemy to destroy this relationship we have with Jesus, the only One that can redeem us. This passage from Romans is a great one to memorize and keep in our back pockets for those times that we need some help in deflecting these accusations that are hurled at us.
So if we know what to look for in the enemy’s voice, what is it that helps us to discern the Savior’s voice? One might think that it is all green meadows and wildflowers. But that has not always been my experience either. See, the tricky part is that in some circumstances they sound very similar. And that is when we have to listen very closely friends, so we can pick out the one we should be listening to.
“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate [Holy Spirit] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.” – John 16:7-10
The Holy Spirit is very active in this world. He is working every day to bring us closer to Jesus. And sometimes, that work includes letting us know when we are following the wrong path. Very rarely do I hear things like, “You are just perfect and wonderful,” or, “You are absolutely great just the way you are.” Many times, I have honestly felt Him saying to me, “Lana, that was just really the wrong way to behave.”
But the huge difference that we need to understand is this: The first sentence might sound about the same, but it is the second sentence that we always need to pay attention to.
When I really fail at something, and am vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, this is what happens. The voices begin, and it goes something like this:
Voice 1: “Lana, you really screwed up this time. You know you are never going to get it right.”
Voice 2: “Lana, you know that was not the right thing to do. Let me help you do it better the next time.”
Which voice is the voice of life? Which one belongs to the Savior that loves me? Which one is filled with grace? And finally, which one is the loudest??
We have to get in the habit of listening for the Lord’s voice and blocking all the others out. It is hard sometimes. But it is the only way to overcome those tendencies we have to backslide, be selfish, and self-centered. And it is the only way we have to experience God’s grace. And that grace is our lifeline. We really need to learn how to hold on to it, don’t we?
Thank You that You never leave me and never give up on me. Help me to remember that I am priceless to You, regardless of my failures. Give me a deep spiritual discernment, that I may be easily able to lock onto Your voice each day, and block the rest out. May I live to become a better person in You.
In the name of Victor I pray,