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Whose Voice Are You Listening To

Recently, I opened up my Bible and a piece of paper I tucked in it years ago caught my attention. On the paper were some thoughts had written down regarding the lies our Enemy tries to get us to buy in to. It was a timely reminder for me and I thought I’d expand on the thoughts.

This particular thought is from Isaiah 36-37.  Let me catch you up real quick. The Assyrian army came to attack Judah and conquer it.  The Assyrian army at the time was a massive power and could completely overpower Judah. One of the leaders of the Assyrian army gave a message to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying, “Who are you putting your trust in.  You should just give up. Are you trusting in Egypt, they are unreliable. Are you putting your trust in your God, you have been unfaithful to him he will not save you.” Then to add to the insult he tells Hezekiah, “I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you can find that many men to ride them.”  

The Assyrian leader lied to Judah to drive fear into them

There are seasons in my life where the voice of my enemy seems overpowering —  like a drum in my head, it’s so loud it’s impossible to ignore. Just like this Assyrian leader, my enemy whispers lies into my heart and my mind to discourage me.  To strike fear in my heart and immobilize me. His goal is to keep me from even putting up a fight in hopes that I might lift my hands in surrender — raising my white flag.

He whispers lies in my head:

You’re not talented enough
You’re not creative enough
You’re not a good enough leader
You’re not a good son, husband, father, etc

Sometimes his lies have elements of truth, but are still false.  They are meant to keep you second guessing yourself and God’s pleasure with you.  In verse 7 of this story, the Assyrian leader tries to convince Judah that God won’t deliver them because Hezekiah tore down shrines and altar (to false gods).  It’s sounds ridiculous and such an obvious ploy, but Satan is crafty and knows when we are susceptible to his lies.

So what is it the Enemy is whispering in your ear?  What lie is he trying to convince you of? What fear is he trying to convince you is bigger than God?

A few thoughts about how to combat the Enemy’s lies

  1. Stop listening to Satan’s lies.  Not to oversimplify it, but it’s our responsibility to curate our thoughts.  (2 Cor 10:5) It takes time, practice and discipline, but you can stop listening to his lies.  There may be seasons where you are better at it than others, but stay committed to silencing Satan’s lies.
  2. Replace the Enemy’s lies with God’s thoughts toward you.  The next time you hear a lie from Satan, stop, quiet your mind and ask God what He thinks of you.  Ask him about what you’re hearing and what he has to say about it. (Eph 2:10) If you struggle with insecurity, this may be more difficult for you.  However, the more you can commit to #3, the better you will be at identifying God’s voice.
  3. Put God’s Word in, so you will get God’s Word out.  In Luke 4, when Jesus was combating Satan in the desert, it was the scriptures that Jesus used to defend himself against the strategy of the Enemy.  The more you know what God’s Word says, the more you will be able to know when Satan is trying to twist it, like He did with Jesus in the desert.

This is not an exhaustive list, so if you have something that has worked for you share it in the comments.

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What If?

Do you ever read the Bible and think, what if?

What if Peter hadn’t denied Jesus three times?

What if Paul hadn’t stood his ground so firmly for a grace only salvation message for the Gentiles?

What if Abraham didn’t take Hagar into his bed?  What if he didn’t have Ishmael as a son?

There is another story in 1 Samuel 13 that I think “what if”?  The battle lines were drawn with the Philistines. Their army was mammoth and the Israelite army was starting to quake in their sandals.  Saul was supposed to wait for Samuel to offer sacrifices to God and seek Him. Instead of waiting, Saul became anxious and offered the sacrifice himself.

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Love Wins!

As I write this I’ve never seen our country more disunified than it is right now.  Racial tension is at an all-time high for my lifetime (I realize others who lived through the 60’s have seen more).  And let’s not even mention political tension.  The proverbial lines in the sand are being drawn on both sides of most major issues.  Hatred is overshadowing love.  And even some of those who preach tolerance have let the pendulum swing to the other side.

Of course, any historian will tell you this is nothing new.  In fact, compared to the time of conquering empires, such as Alexander the Great, it’s quite peaceful.  However, at least in my lifetime, I’ve never observed such hatred from those on both sides of the issues.

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Parenting: It’s A Dirty Job But Someone Has To Do It Part 4

parenting

I really hope you have enjoyed this series of thoughts on parenting my wife & I thought we would share.  It is by no means a complete list.  I’m sure you have some lessons you have learned too –we’d love to hear about them.  Please share them in the comments below. If you missed any of the previous blogs, I would encourage you to check them out (part 1part 2 & part 3).

SUPPORT YOUR SPOUSE

I thought of putting this under BE CAREFUL LITTLE EARS WHAT YOU HEAR, but there is so much more to it than just speaking well of our spouses.  Parenting is HARD (Massive understatement)!!! And having a built in support system is wise.  It’s important to be on the same page as parents and to be unified on a decision, as much as possible.  Now this is a blog on parenting, not marriage — I don’t want to change direction — so I know there may be some saying, yeah but…

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