December 28

Whose Voice is It Anyway? Part 2

John 8:44 [Jesus answered His accusers,] “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

II Corinthians 10:4-5 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….

Yesterday’s devotional addressed two things we can do to ready ourselves to hear God’s voice more clearly: read His word, and obey what He’s already spoken to us.

The greatest complication in hearing God’s voice for most of us, however, is how we handle our enemy’s talk. Hearing God’s voice means having to fight the enemy’s thoughts. That battle may lessen over time, but will never entirely disappear. Our minds are too rich a field for the enemy to leave it alone.

One of the enemy’s greatest victories is when we take in Satan’s voice and call it our own. This is his goal with us, and one that has been wildly successful over time. Only the insane and the wicked would ever call the voice of Satan the voice of God. But God’s people all too often hear the voice of the enemy, adopt it as their own, and allow that voice to torment them throughout their lives, thinking that his thoughts are theirs. Or they can simply believe the deception that what they are hearing is their own internal voice, and then they receive the thoughts as their own.

Today’s focus is on our thinking about others. Take a look at your less-than-gracious thought about others. If there is an accusation against anyone that just sits there unchanged and unchallenged by you, it’s from the enemy, who is “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). It’s not your original thought, though it might have felt that way in the midst of pain or rejection.

If there is judgment and condemnation, it’s not from God. Ask yourself the question, “Would Jesus speak this way to me about so-and-so?” Or “Is this how Jesus looks at him/her?” Jesus isn’t naïve, and He sees situations and human hearts more clearly than any of us. But He brings His grace, mercy and love to all situations.

So if there is any other kind of thought that you’ve borrowed from the enemy about another person, you need to repent of holding onto it, and release it to the Lord, who paid for it on the cross. Remember, if it’s not a thought of grace, mercy or love, and you feel that it’s your thought, it’s not. You just temporarily borrowed it from the accuser. Return it. Then replace it with the kind of thoughts that God has for others.

It’s not our inheritance to have the enemy’s thoughts in our brains. We don’t have to put up with his lies and accusations. As we bring them to the light, let’s begin the process of disassociation, and untangle our feelings and thoughts about others to only include God’s gracious thoughts.

Prayer: Father, I confess I have a hard time telling which thoughts are mine and which are from the enemy. I don’t want to have his thoughts in my mind. Help me to discern the difference, and give me wisdom on how best to take these thoughts captive.

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