Who Are We Listening To?


pexels-photo-247314.jpegWhat if you’re influenced daily by the internal voices you hear?

We’ve all seen cartoons depicting a character torn between the voice of an angel on one shoulder and a pitchfork devil on the other telling him the right or wrong way to handle something. While the visual may be a comical representation of good and evil, the reality is we have a God who loves us and an enemy who hates us.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”      I Peter 5:8

Each of them is communicating with us each day. So which one are we listening to?

  • God says: You’re my child. I created you. I love you. I died for you.
  • Satan says: No one wants you. No one loves you. You may as well die.

Think about it…

  • God says: You were wonderfully created, and I will continue to do a good work in you.
  • Satan says: You are worthless and hopeless. Nothing good will come from you.

Who is for us and who is against us?

  • God says: You sinned. Let me help you.
  • Satan says: You’re a failure. You’re not able to be helped.

One offers life, the other death.

  • God says: I delight in you.
  • Satan says: You’re a disappointment.

One welcomes us, the other cuts us off.

  • God says: Nothing can separate you from my love.
  • Satan says: You’re so bad, you’ve done something so terrible, no one could love you. You’re a loser and an idiot.

One offers freedom, the other slavery.

  • God says: I came through Jesus to save you  and to free you from bondage. I am the way.
  • Satan says: You’ll always be trapped. There is no way out.

One relates to our suffering, the other causes it.

  • God says: I care about your pain. I suffered mocking, insults and torture. I understand. Let me comfort you and heal your wounds.
  • Satan says: God doesn’t care about you or he wouldn’t allow pain.

One brings good out of trials, the other makes us a victim.

  • God says: In the world you’ll have trials. I will use them to strengthen and grow you because I love you.
  • Satan says: Everything bad or hard that happens is because God doesn’t love you.

One offers forgiveness, the other seeks revenge.

  • God says: I forgive you freely. Forgive others in the same way. Put them in my hands, and you will be free.
  • Satan says: If you forgive, you’re letting someone off the hook. Hold a grudge, seek vindication and revenge so you can feel better about what was done to you.

One offers a way to live well, the other offers counterfeit living.

  • God says: I give you guidelines for life so you will prosper. If you trust and follow me, I’ll make your path clear and straight.
  • Satan says: God is a dictator who wants to control you. He wants to ruin your freedom and fun. Your intellect, ideas and plans are better.

One gives, the other takes.

  • God says: I gave my life freely so you can have abundant life. If you are generous like I am, I will give you more.
  • Satan says: God is trying to take your time, your money, your freedom, your life. If you give, you will lose.

One does for us, the other says we can’t ever do enough.

  • God says: I loved you first, even when you were doing wrong. Love me and others and you’ll want to do what’s right.
  • Satan says: If you do enough right, maybe God will love you. Oh, by the way, you’ll never be good enough.

Who are you listening to today?

(Gen. 1, Deut.29:9, Phil. 1:6, Psalm 139, 1 John 1:9, 1 John 4:7-8, Zep, 3:17, Psalm 23, John 3:16, John 10:10, Rom. 8:28, Jer. 29:11, Psalm 119:8-9, Rom. 8:38-39, Isaiah 41, Matt. 18:21-35, Isaiah 42:1, 7 & 16, Luke 12:6-7, Rom. 5, Rom. 8:1, 1 Thes. 5:9 to name a few…)

 

From Death Comes Life


I have a past.

Everything I’ve written so far on my blog relates to my present and my future; the amazing things God has done in rebuilding a life. He has restored what he originally intended for me, and I dwell in joy and gratefulness.

But once, my life held fear, despair and brokenness.

Nightmares from being molested by neighbor children as a five year old and raped as a young woman plagued me. Panic clutched at me in the night. An unseen force kept me silent and terrified. Betrayal in my first marriage, and the devastation of a second marriage to a man driven by fantasy crushed my hopes and dreams. Exhaustion and suicide were my constant companions. I felt lost and alone until a woman whose past had been redeemed by the Lord, grabbed my hand and held me steady.

When I filed for a divorce the second time, it was my only option—a last ditch effort to save all our lives, but I felt ashamed. Friends told me I needed more hope and faith that God could do miracles. My maturity in Christ was questioned when I decided not to “rise above” the choices of my husband and stay with him. My choice was about faith and maturity, but not the way most people were thinking. I embarked on a journey in which I had to let go of the past and my dreams, and cling to an intimate relationship with Jesus instead. I learned to live a life of faith as I trusted God to do the impossible; heal me and my children and give us a new life, an abundant one.

At first, I trusted no one.

As a Christian woman, I felt ashamed to have anyone find out that I had been divorced—twice! But we found a safe place within our church family where few people questioned me. We were loved and accepted right where we were. No one pressed me for details. No one judged.

After several years, I began to realize that there must be others who were suffering like I had. Perhaps they were standing in line near me at the grocery store or sitting next to me in church. I wondered if they felt lonely and misunderstood like I had? Were they afraid as I was? Did they wonder what people thought of them when they listed the various last names of their children or admitted they were separated or divorced? Did they cringe inside when well-intentioned people inquired about their husband? Did they want to hide? Were they wishing they could explain their situation so someone, anyone would understand, while at the same time wanting someone to understand without having to explain?

As the years went by, I became bolder in telling people about my past.

It began to dawn on me that silence was deadly, and Satan wanted things to remain hidden. His goal is to make us feel ashamed so we don’t feel we can come to God. He wants us to fear others’ opinions of us.

My story is not much different than thousands of women all over the world. Some have suffered far worse than I, and others may not even realize they are suffering. For years I didn’t understand my own entrapment—the perspectives that kept me stuck in a place of death rather than life.

I long to offer hope where there is none.

Perhaps by sharing the redemption of my life as well as the shattered pieces of my past, a ray of light will break through someone’s darkness. Maybe a lifeline can be grasped. Regardless of how you feel, you are not alone.

Are you someone who is crushed by your past or even your present? Do you know someone who is feeling stuck in their life? Can I help you?