In the last blog, I wrote about negative voices and how we must choose whether to listen to them or ignore them. Isaiah 36 tells of an official Hebrew trio driven to despair through an enemy’s threats. When they relayed his words to King Hezekiah, he, too responded with despair. But then he took action.
First, he went into the Temple of the Lord (Isaiah 37:1). He knelt before God and sought His wisdom. Second, he sought help by sending his assistants to speak with the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 37:2).
When we’re dealing with a negative voice—whether an actual person verbalizing his opinion or the enemy whispering lies in our heads—it’s easy to become discouraged. We can turn it around by doing what the king did—take our concerns directly to God. Ask for His perspective. Ask Him to help identify the lies and for the ability to tune them out. Then, solicit the help of godly friends. It’s okay to ask for wise counsel, and it’s always good to ask others to pray for us when we’re feeling undone. We don’t have to fight our battles alone.
God responded to Hezekiah through Isaiah with these words: “Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech (emphasis mine) against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword” (vv. 6,7).
The negative voice had thrown Hezekiah and the official trio into a royal tailspin, but God told them not to worry about it. He reminded them that He was in control and aware of the words that were spoken. He would hold that person accountable for the message spoken against Him and His people.
Likewise, negative voices can intimidate us, make us feel as though there’s something wrong with us, or steal our joy and enthusiasm for what we believe God has called us to do. But we can overcome by remembering that, when we’re living according to His pleasure and purposes, God takes responsibility for us. He is our Defender.
Our job is to fix our eyes and ears on the One who’s called us into His family and service. As we tune our ear to hear His voice of truth, we’ll grow more adept at recognizing the lies and tuning out the naysayer.
What practical advice can you offer re: rising above negative voices?