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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Whose Voice Am I Hearing? God's or the devil's?

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 just awakened from a crazy dream I'm sure was caused by eating pizza before going to bed. (Sorry, I do know better!) As I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard this thought that almost sounded like an audible voice in my head. Tomorrow, you are going to be a basket-case from a lack of good sleep. You'll be wiped out all day long!  I rebuked that thought immediately! Years ago as a younger Christian, I might have repeated those words out loud and expected to have that 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 of all, in case you haven't thought about it, voices within our head sound like our own. The voices in your head sound like you! The devil does not have a body. The devil doesn’t have a voice. He can’t read my mind. He can only watch what I do, what I say, and how I respond and act to situations and circumstances. From what he learns, he works to plant thoughts and temptations. This is why the Bibles says that we shouldn't be ignorant of the devil's devices (strategies.) He can quote scripture and try to pervert it's meaning. 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. He brings lies, temptations, and evil imaginations to our minds to confuse, discourage and accuse us. If we believe and repeat them, then he has succeeded. Speaking them gives them life. We shouldn't speak or repeat his lies. 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 saying, "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 that our mind is not the devil's playground. It's a gift from God that belongs to you. Satan has no right to tempt us and  has no dominion over our minds. If he starts spewing his nonsense, cast it down and out of your life in Jesus name! How do you do that you ask? Let me ask you; if you had just put in a beautiful new white kitchen floor and accidentally left the back door open and a muddy pig walked into your kitchen, how would you respond? Seriously, how would you respond? You'd grab a broom or something and be yelling and chasing that pig out the door. Now you know how to chase out the devil! 

As I was coming back from the bathroom, I realized that Renee wasn't in bed. She was in the kitchen with her laptop studying her Bible.. I was surprised to see her up. I looked at her and she knew what I was thinking. She said, I fell asleep but had a restless sleep. I kept waking up from a repeating nightmare. I dreamed that I as I was about to get up and teach my women's group, I wasn’t prepared. I didn't have anything to say. And then I dreamed that as I spoke, I sounded stupid and 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.

As a believer in Jesus, you have the promise of His love and His voice (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 the content of the voice. Then you can discern who is speaking. Even if God were to correct you from disobedience, He is tender and not out to condemn you which may make you run from Him. He is trying to show you the magnitude of His love by sending Jesus to die for your sins, and the right way to live and the blessing that comes from living right through the instruction of His Word.

The next time Satan brings weird thoughts to your mind, presenting them as truth, stop and discern them. Whose voice is behind them? Are they encouraging words of God or are they the accusing, discouraging, accusing 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! Learning to discern God's voice is key to learning to see the depth of His love working in your everyday life!

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

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