Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Voice in My Head

It's the voice in my head. I didn't hear it for years, but I started listening and it says the same things over and over. "I really should (fill in the blank)." "I'm just going to taste it, not eat it." "I wonder what she thinks of me." And around. And around.

If you've seen previews or the movie, "Inside Out," you have faces for those voices. Do you hear them? Listen. They're there. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust. And behind them all is a theme--the theme of you.
It's interesting that the book of James calls the motivating factor behind emotions "desires." When my desires are thwarted, I get angry. When my desires are met, I experience happiness. When circumstances don't meet my desires, or expectations, I'm sad. And when someone beats me to the punch, or overthrows my desires for their own, I'm disgusted. Desires. Voices. It's what makes me tick.

God knows us so well, He knows how easily we give in to what we want (or think we want) because of deceit. In the beginning, Satan deceived Eve. She knew right and wrong, but she was deceived with the age-old question, "Did God really say...." In other words, "Is God good? Does He love you or is He holding out?"

God knows all about those temptations and desires--they don't surprise Him. In love, He provided what we need to fight back: truth. He is good. He does love us. He showed it when He gave us His best--His only Son--to pay our debt of sin. That's love! And He knows our weakness. He gave us His Word to illuminate our path and our feet: Which way do I go? Where am I now? He also gave us one another: encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13).

When life is hard, when confusion hits, when we don't know which voice to listen to and which one to ignore, we need God's Word and His people more than ever. Listen to the voices in your head. Write down what they say; write down the things you say to yourself that no one else can hear. Then get real with God's Word. Get real with God's people. Humble yourself and ask for help. That's what God's Word and His people are there for. Don't be taken in. Don't be tricked and deceived into forfeiting the best God has for you. We need one another--and we need Jesus. It's not a secret, so why live like it?

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:12-18

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;  and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way,  if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:11-24

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