I’ve been seeing a wonderful, divinely-matched-with-me therapist for several months now. She has helped me work through a lot of baggage that I didn’t even realize I’d been carrying. Generally speaking, she approaches our time together with kindness, compassion, and patience. She gently guides me to discover things on my own. Except for those times I’m just not getting it. In these instances, she hurdles truth bombs at me with the grace and strength of an Olympic shot-putter. A smirk and crooked eyebrow raised heavenward follow her overhanded delivery of truth and I know it’s time to stop talking and listen.
Have you ever realized how stubborn we humans are? Beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we are told things just to turn around and test the truth for ourselves. “You say I can’t have this fruit? Nah, it’ll be fine.” We grow into taller, more educated toddlers who need daily reminders of basic truths. God loves us fiercely (John 3:16). With Christ on our side we can do really hard things (Philippians 4:13). All of our mistakes and sins can be completely forgiven (1 John 1:9). We are never too far away that God can’t reach us (John 10:27-28, Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:20). At our lowest moments, God not only is with us but God can take even our hardest, most awful emotions (Romans 8:26).
But something else has dawned on me recently. God’s steady, constant voice is often a whisper, even when he wants to get our attention.
Then He said [to Elijah], “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.”And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12)
But, the voice of the Enemy is different — persistent, incessant, annoying, hard to ignore. And one of the hardest things about being given free will is that we must CHOOSE to listen for God’s whispers over the noise of lies.
This quote from Jess Connolly stopped me in my tracks last week. “Don’t play telephone with the Enemy’s lies.” I sat with the following words in her Instagram post and let it sink in…
You know when you hear that horrible thought? The one that’s so obviously a lie from the actual enemy of your soul? Maybe it comes via a thought, a spoken word from another human, or maybe even your own mouth. But as soon as you hear it: you know – this is some CRAZY STUFF that should not be repeated.
But you know what I find myself doing? Repeating it. Telling someone else what I heard, processing how it made me feel, journaling about how real the lie seems even though I KNOW it’s not true. I was doing this just last night during worship, playing the refrain of a lie that I knew to be a lie – but still thinking on how painful it was, rather than thinking about how good my God is. I wanted to say the lie out loud, I wanted someone else to hear how bad it hurt – but I already knew THE TRUTH. And Holy Spirit said: You don’t have to play telephone with the enemy’s lies. You don’t have to pass that message around. You KNOW it’s some crazy trash, so why don’t you just stop thinking about it and replace it with some truth.
We’re not always going to be able to tell truth from lies on our own, sometimes it takes the Word of God or a friend getting in our face and reminding us of the truth – but let’s stop playing telephone with the lies that we KNOW are lies. They just get murkier and more busted as we pass them on, replay them AND as we relay them. If it doesn’t line up with what God has written over you: stop repeating it. If it goes against the knowledge of a good and gracious Father who made you in His image: you can keep talking about how it makes you feel or you can just replace it with some TRUTH. The telephone game never did anybody any good and at some point if we want to live in the light, we’re going to have to put true words in our mouth and have our minds stayed on Him. Amen?
I’m tempted to outline my list of lies for you, but they DO NOT BEAR REPEATING. That gives them fuel for constructing walls high around and within my heart. But, no, that’s a place where God dwells. A place He keeps wide open and swept clean. I’m currently working on handwriting the Truths of God’s Word that whisper of my priceless worth like the lullaby of a mama rocking her treasure to sleep.
Only your whispers, God.