Have you ever been going about your day, dancing to tween radio, getting things done, feeling like life is good, and all of a sudden you hear that voice in your head remind you of your failures, telling you that you’re nothing special, you’ll never be great, and nobody cares about you? It’s not usually a loud screaming voice, but just a subtle whisper that seems to stop your heart as you examine the evidence of its accusation.
In the New Testament, if you break down the Greek word for devil, it’s essential meaning is “little whispers” which is rooted in the concept of a subtle tossing of accusation. I picture a game of Hot Potato… devils don’t work through obvious, loud, or barefaced attacks, they will typically work through small, seemingly insignificant gestures, whispering lies while hiding behind partial truths, tossing a hot accusation potato your way with just enough evidence to make you seriously question your security. Devils wait for opportune times of weakness and vulnerability to plant seeds of doubt, fear, insecurity, shame, guilt, etc. That potato that is handed to you may be screaming hot, but the crafty way in which it’s delivered to you keeps you hanging on to it for far too long.
“…and after the fire, a still, small voice.” – 1 Kings 19:12b
It’s no surprise that since God’s voice reveals itself through the small stillness that the devil will seek to steal from us through a whisper. The difference is that God’s whispers bring freedom, the devil’s whispers bring bondage and grief. The word instructs us to be still and know, through rest and observation, what the Spirit is saying to us because as we quiet ourselves in a noisy world, we realize that the truth is already in us (Col. 1:27), He’s waiting for us to take the time to access it, receive it, and live by it.
With a variety of information at our fingertips, so much noise, so many shiny objects and no lack of options in our culture, it’s a daily challenge to stop and take moments to rightly divide the truth when the little whispers begin to shape your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. God knew that there would be an intense battle for your mind and that the devil would do his best to steal your joy through your thoughts, which is why the Apostle Paul warns us to take the time to filter our thoughts through the nature of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
To Absorb or Not Absorb… That is the Question!
It seems much easier sometimes to let our mind be more of a sponge than a filter. A sponge is a soft, casual, hippy-like material that says, “co-exist man, all are welcome, come on in and don’t even worry about taking off your shoes.” This unguarded mind yields to any substance that can break its barrier, not lifting much effort to examine or divide truth from fiction. Then, when it has reached its capacity and is spilling over, full of both the pure and tainted, it simply must be squeezed to relieve the pressure, which releases all of its contents, the good the bad and the ugly, thus causing the pattern to start all over again. A filtered mind, on the other hand, is carefully designed and crafted of strong materials with intentional areas of flow and blockage, specifically gauging what thoughts are allowed to flow through and which are tossed out, it is unwavering in its function to guard the gate so to speak. A mind that acts as a filter purposefully examines thoughts and attitudes and catches and tosses out the destructive intruders before they enter without disturbing the free entrance of the pure, edifying, foundational truth of the Spirit.
If It Doesn’t Make You Free, Then Honey, You Gotta Flee!
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32
The word of God is the key to understanding your identity, and your identity in Christ is the key to your freedom. To know who you are is to know Whose you are and to know how to rightly divide freedom from bondage in your mind. Jesus said you will know the truth and the truth will set you FREE! Since the whispers of God bring freedom, the easiest way to determine if your thoughts are from God and are speaking the truth is to ask yourself, “Is this thought bringing freedom or bondage?”
“It was for freedom that Christ has set you free, so keep standing firm and do not be bound again to the yoke of slavery”– Galatians 5:1
Often times after I speak or minister in public I will be wakened in the late night/early morning hours to the devil’s voice whispering, “You are nothing and you are going to lose.” No matter how many times I’ve heard these types of statements in my mind they seem to sear through my heart like it’s the first time. For me, the outside voices that shout rejection aren’t nearly as tempting and convincing as that inside voice that comes as a convincing little whisper.
If I allow the door to open in agreement with the initial, simple statement of, “You are nothing, and you’re going to lose”, a whole flood of lies of why this is true will follow, “because, you’re a woman, nobody takes you seriously… you have no right to be a minister since you have very little experience…. You have little education…. You upset people with what you say… Other authorities were right when they said you are too loud, too sharp, too passionate, unpolished, rebellious, and out of order… There is something wrong with you… You’re too broken for God to use any part of you and it will never change.”
When this happens to me, I know I have a few choices, I can be the sponge and agree with the accusations, which if I’m being honest, in my most fatigue and tired states I have chosen to be the sponge and have downward spiraled quite painfully. I can choose to ignore the thoughts and hope they go away, like bringing a hungry, sleepy toddler into the grocery store and hope they don’t embarrass the snot out of you. Lastly, I can choose to be an intentional filter, take these intrusive thoughts captive and seek the Lord’s truth to be planted in my heart.
So, I wake myself up out of the fog, peel myself out of bed and sit on the edge of my couch and begin to talk with the Lord, “Who do YOU say that I am, Lord?” I remind myself that everything I am is hidden in who He is, and I am one with Him in spirit. I still my heart, and steady my soul to receive the truth. My Father will begin to whisper the counter-truths to the lies that are swimming around in my head and in the stillness He roots me and grounds me in His love:
“You are set apart”
“You are loved”
“You are saved”
“You are adopted”
“You are called”
“You are chosen”
“You are not alone”
“You have the power of grace to overcome anything”
“You have nothing to lose for I am with you”
“You are free to be who I’ve made you to be”
Your heavenly Dad knows exactly what your heart needs when you need it most. So, what is it that you step out in that causes the whispers to try and defeat you? Do you know who you are? Get in the word, let it lead you to the person of Christ, and when the devil whispers, “You are nothing, and you are going to lose”, stand up and declare who you are and know that with Christ in you, you got nothing to lose!
Blessings and Love,