What voices am I listening to? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I think of myself as being a positive person. I want to believe the best about myself and others. When I look at challenging or difficult situations in a person’s life, for the most part, faith fills my heart and mind of what God can do. This is usually the case when my eyes and heart are centered on God. (John 15) I can see with His eyes and have faith for the most challenging situations. But then life happens…. busyness occurs….my nicely ordered disciplined routine is interrupted. Slowly my once coveted time with God is eroded away from intimate and quality to quick, unfocused and distracted.
This is when my ability to focus on the still quiet whispers from my Heavenly Father which speak hope, life, purpose, meaning, faith are quickly drowned out by the constant loud voices of self-doubt, negativity, fear, shame, self-hatred, comparison….the list goes on. The loud voices from the world around us that are anything but godly are real. Now when I am unable to hear and center on the voice of my Heavenly Father, I struggle not only to have hope for myself, my hope for what God can do in other people’s lives and circumstances around me, quickly shifts. Judgmental, critical, and cynical thoughts about myself and others are much easier to believe. This is not who I was created to be. This is not me!
I love that I serve a gracious, merciful, forgiving God! The Bible says His mercies are new every day. (Lam. 3:22-23) I am grateful that I have experienced and tasted the goodness of God in my life. It’s this experience that I had some 30 years ago that has ruined me for good. Nothing the world offers satisfies. Words of negativity, doubt and discouragement that were once ingrained seem a distant memory.
And when I find myself experiencing emotions, thoughts and feelings from the past, I ask myself, what voices have I been listening to? It helps to have godly friends that speak life. When it is anything other than God’s nature and character, it is usually because my quality, intimate time with my God has been interrupted and disconnected. This is when I make a choice to humble myself before God, confess my sin, doubt and rebellion and acknowledge my need for His presence, love and care. Quickly I am restored and renewed. Confession is really a gift that the Lord has given us.
It acknowledges our need for God and others in our lives. James 5:16 Ampc. What voices are you listening to?