A while back ago Eric and I were traveling to Atlanta. We had mapped out our course on map quest and had been warned of the way not to go. As we started out, we decided to plug-in the GPS just to be safe and we were off. For the first few hours our written directions were in sync with the lady on the GPS. Then it happened, our map quest was telling us to do one thing and the lady was telling us to do another. We were at a fork in the road and had to make a choice which voice to listen to. For a while we followed map quest, but as we traveled we began to question these directions. After a half hour or so, we decided we had better listen to the lady, so we altered our course. It wasn’t long before we began to see signs telling us of the area we had been warned not to go. By this point, we were too far in, so we kept going. This route proved to be just as bad as everyone had said and it seemed forever before we arrived at my brother’s house.
I’ve thought about this a lot lately. As Christians each day our minds are full of voices. The world tells us one thing, our family tells us another, our friends speak loudly at us giving us their opinion and then there is the still small voice of the Lord. It seems the other voices are much louder than the Lords and if we aren’t careful we miss what He has to say. I believe this is one of Satan‘s greatest tactics. For if he can get us distracted and listening to other voices, he wins and keeps us from following after the Lord.
One of the biggest ways he does this is by whispering lies to us on a regular basis. We may be having a hard day and here he comes telling us, God doesn’t care. We may feel lonely and he tells us God has forsaken us. When things aren’t going the way we think and we have been praying for answers, Satan is quick to tell us God has forgotten us. And on and on he goes. He knows us and knows which lies to fill our minds with. And if we aren’t careful, we begin to listen to his voice and his lies instead of listening to the voice of truth.
The way we think is incredibly important. Paul tells us to put on the helmet of salvation for a reason, for he knew how crafty the enemy is and warns us over and over to “focus our minds on Christ and things above (Col. 2:3).” “To be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).” Paul tells us we must “think on things that are true, honorable, right and pure and lovely (Phil. 4:8).”
I am finding that when my mind is full of truth and I am dwelling on the bigness and greatness of my God, then I can believe and trust Him. It is then that I can pray in faith believing nothing is impossible for Him. The opposite is also true though. For when my mind is full of lies, then my view of God shrinks and I struggle to trust Him, I struggle to pray and instead feel anxiety and desperation.
One of my theme verses these past months comes from Isaiah 41:10 which says, “‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
When I listen to the lies instead of the truth, I do the opposite of what this verse instruct. When I listen to lies, I am fillled with fear and begin to anxiously look about me, trying to figure it out and do it myself. I leave God out of the picture and seek to help myself. This ultimately spells disaster! However, when I listen to truth and to the Lord’s still small voice, I am able to believe and stand still watching and waiting for my big God to do the impossible.
Each day we hear voices from the world, our family and friends, the enemy and the Lord. We must be ready for battle. We must resist the lies and hold to the truth. We must fill out minds with God’s Word. Or like Eric and I we will make wrong choices and will go down the worst path possible. We will eventually make it back, but first will be taken on a long and curvy ride.
So which voices are you listening to? For me, I can tell real quick the voices I’m listening to. For they determine whether I am trusting or doubting the Lord. One leads to joy and peace and the other to destruction. I challenge us both to listen and stand upon the truth.