About Tim Burt

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Who is Speaking to You? God or the Devil?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

One night I woke up in the middle of the night from having to go to the bathroom. I had been right in the middles of a bad pizza dream. As I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard this thought that almost sounded like an audible voice in my head. “You are going to be a basket-case from a lack of good sleep tomorrow. You 'll be a zombie all day!"  I rebuked this thought immediately. Years ago as a younger Christian, I might have repeated those words out loud and expected to have a lousy day. I learned that the words we speak, give life to the thoughts Satan tempts us to believe. I knew the thought wasn't from God because He never speaks to me about having a lousy day. He leads me to trust in His grace whenever I have a short night sleep.

It's as important to know Satan's voice as it is God's. If you don't, you'll confuse the two! How could that be? It can be because it's not the sound of the voice, it's the content of what the voice speaks. First, all voices within our head sound like our own. The devil does not have a body. The devil doesn’t have a voice. He can’t read my mind. He can only work to plant thoughts and temptations. He can quote scripture and try to pervert it. That is what he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He doesn’t have a voice. The only voice he has is what we hear in our mind and repeat out our mouths. If we believe the lies, temptations, and evil imaginations he brings to our minds to confuse, discourage or accuse us, then he has succeeded if we believe them and speak them out. It's perfectly right to agree with the encouragement, exhortation, and direction God gives us. That is what we should speak!

The Holy Spirit will help you in times like this. God gives you authority and power over Satan’s lies and you need to use it. We must learn to cast down thoughts and imaginations that are contrary to His Word. That is what 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 teaches us!  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  God is telling us here that our mind is not the devil's playground. It belongs to you. Satan has no right to tempt us and no dominion over our minds. If he shows up, cast his nonsense down!
As I was coming back from the bathroom, I realized that Renee was in the kitchen with her laptop studying. She has a very large women’s Bible Study she teaches every Tuesday morning called Girls of Grace. On average 200 plus women plus attend. She pours her heart into it. She studies all day Monday--usually late into the night. I was surprised to see her still up. I looked at her and said, “Are you still studying?” “Yes,” she replied, “I fell asleep last night while I was studying but had a restless sleep. I kept waking up from a repeating nightmare I’ve had before about my women's group. I dreamed that I as I was about to get up and teach, I wasn’t prepared. I didn't have anything to say. Then I dreamed that half the ladies didn’t show up. And then I dreamed that as I spoke, I sounded stupid and that the day was a disaster.” She laughed as she told me. I could see she was tired.

At that moment I put my hands gently on her face and began to pray the peace of God that passes understanding over her. I prayed for abundant grace for clarity of her thoughts and teaching and supernatural strength to make the day not only a joy, but the best day ever!”

Renee and I have learned to laugh in the devil’s face when he tries to get in our head. Everyone experiences times like this. Sadly, not everyone knows how to discern the voice of the enemy and rebuke it. They think they are the victim of whatever travels through their mind and that they just have to put up with those kinds of thoughts. Then the devil comes along and says they are true.

I once had a sweet 85 year old man request to come in for counseling. He told me he was afraid he was a pervert. He said he had horrible thoughts saying he was a pervert. After me asking him many questions I came to realize that he simply liked to look at pretty girls. He wasn’t thinking anything sexual. He just liked looking at their pretty faces. The devil told him he was a pervert for that. If Satan can get you to worry about or believe his accusations, they begin to take on a life. They create fear, worry, and even despair. I told him he qualified as being a man but that he was absolutely fine as long as he didn't let his thoughts wander past that.

As a believer in Jesus, you have the promise of His love and voice (through the Holy Spirit) to guide your thoughts and heart. Psalms 37:4 (NLT) says, "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires." We also can partake of God's mind.  “...But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)

God is the ultimate Father and He is not like a natural father. He won’t lose His temper and throw accusations at you. Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd. God promises to help you and lead you. Don't get hung up over the voice. Pay attention to content of the voice. Then you will know who is speaking. Even if God were to correct you from disobedience, He is tender and He is not out to condemn you which may make you run from Him. He is trying to show you the right way to live and the blessing that comes from living right!

The next time Satan brings weird thoughts to your mind, presenting them as absolute truth, stop and discern them. Whose voice is behind them? Are they encouraging words of God or are they the words of the enemy tempting you to expect the worst. Praise God and agree with what is from God and cast down what comes from the devil! You'll grow stronger in godly character and you'll learn to lean on and trust in God's word by faith!

John 10:3-4 & 11 “… He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…His sheep follow Him because they know His voice...I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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