Listening to the Wrong Voice

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For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (PHILLIPS)

Some days fear wells up in me from some deep place. It is quiet in its approach. I don’t realize it has come to visit me until it has crept in through the back door and taken a seat right there in my kitchen. Whispering in my ear. Telling me the saddest stories and the most insidious lies.

I will start feeling vaguely sad. And isolated. And slowly I realize it is because I am listening to this ongoing, monotonous voice that tells me really mean secrets about myself. Secrets everyone else knows already. Secrets about how foolish I am… what people really think about me – or worse, that they don’t think of me at all. I have no talent. I really have no worth. I am mean-spirited. Everything I think about myself is just a delusion, a lie, a big puff of smoke. And mirrors.

This voice, speaking with such authority, turns me into the worst of cowards. And I go from hating the voice to hating myself. It is paralyzing.

Time to clean house and throw this voice of fear out. Usually, the solution is to literally clean the house. I open the doors to the pantry; pull out the stepladder and start taking everything off the shelves. Sorting, wiping down, throwing away the old and unnecessary.

Or out into the yard to pull weeds, swipe away the spider webs, crank up the leaf blower; fill up the recycling bags with weeds and sweet-gum balls.

But I wake the next morning to find fear still here - holding tight after disturbing my good night’s rest. Shoot.

What is this fear? Where does it come from and why does it show up with no good reason?

My fear is a lack of trust in God. My fear is the crouching tiger that God warned of, slinking low, watching, always on the edge of my consciousness. It longs to have me.

My great sin, fear, wants me to be less than God created. Fear wants me to become small and alone. And so fear whispers his secrets, confident that he can defeat me and silence me. And he can - if I continue to battle him alone.

I finally remember the first thing I need to do is tell a friend – "Hey, I am battling my enemy right now… I can't come out and play." And since they are a good friend, and know me well, they will do the best thing possible. They will start battling for me – through prayer.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV

But what next?  I need to hear a different voice. I need to listen to the truth from my Father. I am in luck because He delights in telling me who I am. So I open His word – written down affirmations in black and white. And encouragement comes pouring out.

I am dearly loved by God. He chose to clothe me in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. He gives me beautiful clothes to wrap myself in. Colossians 3:12 NIV

I am God's unique and wonderful masterpiece that He created for a great purpose. I can trust that He is leading me exactly where He needs me. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

I am strong, filled with God’s glorious might, able to endure all things. God’s strength fills me with His joy. Stop slumping – hold your head up! Colossians 1:11 NIV

I am guarded by the peace of God. His peace fills my heart and my mind. I will sing Him songs of praise. Philippians 4:7 NIV

I can resist sin at my door because God gave Jesus the power to keep me safe from harm by the evil one. Get behind me, Satan! 1 John 5:18 NIV

I am not alone. The Holy Spirit of God lives within me. This has to be the best one; fear does not belong in my house – because God lives here! 1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV

So the day has begun. It is a new morning, with new mercies. I have new truths to repeat to myself. Print them out, and hold them close. I will put on the armor, and we will go to battle.

Question: Do you listen to the wrong voices? How do you fight against fear or depression?

Do it Again - Elevation Worship

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.

 New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Bible references from Joyce Meyer Ministries ‘Knowing Who I Am in Christ’. August 29, 2017.