Do you ever hear little voices in your head? I’m serious. Do you? Or am I the only one who daily wrestles with voices that vie for my attention?
They start the moment I wake up:
- “Get up and go to the gym. You’ll feel so good afterwards.”
- “The gym? It can wait. You need more sleep. Snuggle in and stay cozy here.”
The voice that tells me to go the gym wins, but the argument continues while I’m on the treadmill:
- “Aren’t you glad you came? You’re getting stronger by the day! Your efforts are worth it.”
- “You’ve already walked 1.5 miles. That’s good enough. There’s no need to push yourself. Quit now and go home.”
The voices bicker about my physical well-being throughout the day, arguing about how much water I should drink, what snacks I should or should not eat, and the size of my meal portions. They fight about other matters, too. Here are some recent examples.
As departure day for our trip to the Middle East quickly approached, my husband and I still lacked $900 to pay for the trip’s expenses. That financial need, combined with the fact that donations toward our ministry are currently running at a $1000/month deficit, caused significant concern. We took drastic measures to ease the strain—even re-financed our house—but the truth remained. We were in the tightest financial crunch we’d experienced in our 22 years of faith-supported ministry. And so the voices sounded something like this:
- “Maybe it’s time to get a real job—one with a reliable income. Obviously trusting God to provide as you’ve done in the past isn’t working so well anymore. Perhaps He’s telling you that it’s time to shut ‘er down and move on.”
- “God has never failed you and He won’t start now. He dwells in the praises of His people, so open your mouth and start praising Him for who He is!” (BTW—the necessary funds for the trip arrived on departure day. We’re still trusting Him to supply for the monthly shortfall).
While overseas, I woke up one morning sick with a tummy bug. I suspected it was from unclean drinking water. Regardless, it leveled me. My husband had to teach my class that morning because I could not get out of bed. He was prepared to take my place preaching at a small church later that afternoon, too. However—shortly after noon, the national ministry director and our students came into my room. He prayed over me in Arabic and then said, “The congregation is expecting you. God will heal you so you can preach. Get up and go.” Immediately the little voices responded like this:
- “Seriously? You’re too sick. What if you throw up in the taxi? What if you get there and you literally cannot stand up to speak? He obviously doesn’t understand how lousy you feel.”
- “Trust and believe. Get up and go, and God will strengthen you for the task He’s called you to do.” (I listened to this voice and experienced God’s strength to travel to and from the church by taxi—not a comfortable feat there—and to stand to preach for 40 minutes. By the next morning, my health was completely restored and I’ve felt fine ever since).
Every day, many times a day, I hear these voices. One plants seeds of doubt and discouragement. The other speaks truth and hope. I must tune my ear to listen well, to identify the source, and to respond accordingly.
Psalm 85:8 says, “Listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people.” The enemy of our soul whispers lies bent on our destruction, but the Holy Spirit speaks words meant to strengthen and encourage us. Listen well, my friend. Learn to discern. And heed the voice that speaks peace and life.
So—am I the only one who hears little voices throughout the day? Or do you hear them, too? Share some examples with us, and tell us how the Lord’s words have spoken peace and life to you recently.
#bgbg2 #ListeningForGod #devotions