“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor. 10:4-5
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27
Exhausted from my lifestyle being on the road full-time for ministry, all the ministry growth by God’s grace alone, the intensity of my work, combined with caring for the 5 special needs ministry doggies, not to mention not great sleep on a regular basis, along with working on several major new work projects, well, let’s just say I found myself in a bit of a battle between sticking with my work for the day versus taking a much needed nap. That’s when the voice came. The voice from the past.
Know what I’m talking about? When the voice from someone long ago who had great influence in your life returns. Not necessarily the person. But the voice. For me, this time around, it was the voice of a loved one calling me a quitter. Now here I was decades later feeling I better push forward with my work despite my extreme fatigue so I wouldn’t be a quitter. Now you might not have a voice like that one, but perhaps you’ve heard other voices from the past.
You’ll never amount to anything. You’ll never measure up. You can never get it right. You’re such a loser. Get a life already. You’re ugly. You’re fat. Your’e a failure. You’ll never make it. Don’t even bother trying. You don’t belong. You’re not wanted. You don’t belong here. You better not do it that way because I’m always right and you’re always wrong. Forget even trying because you’ll never make it. Etc.
Get the point? Sometimes the negative voices and messages from long ago, even some of them from loved ones who were in fact well meaning, come back to haunt us. And deter us. And bring us down. Discourage us. Beat us up. Burn us out. Distract us. Sidetrack us. Do anything but love and encourage us forward. It’s like the devil gets a hold of long ago words and screams, or even whispers, them into our ears and hearts. And sometimes they echo. Again and again. Relentlessly. Like a broken – awful – record.
And if we’re not careful, we can bow down to those voices. Succumb to them. Answer to them. Be wounded by them. Maybe even all over again. Be pulled off track. Off the track of living our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. And following Him. Find ourselves following the voices like they’re in charge of our lives instead of following the Lord who should be in charge of our lives. Oh, those voices from the past!
What should we do? Test the voices. See if they line up with the Bible. See if the Lord is speaking to us. And when it’s not Jesus speaking, we need to get rid of the voices and messages. Obliterate them. The devil’s desire is to steal, kill, and destroy us (John 10:10). And sometimes he uses voices from the past as weapons against us.
Truth is I was a quitter decades ago. My loved one was right. But the judgment and condemnation that came with the voice creeps up on me all these years later, and the devil uses that voice from long ago to try to drive me until I’m exhausted beyond measure, irritable, angry, lose my patience and temper, and mess everything up. Until I’m pushing myself so hard I can’t hear the voice of the Lord and don’t have the ability to lovingly humbly follow Him. Oh, the power I give that voice from the past – and other voices from the past – when I fail to get rid of them!
Friend, first we need to RECOGNIZE those voices from the past. We need to TEST what we hear and see if it’s from God or not. And GET RID OF anything that runs contrary to the Lord and the Bible.
The voice we need to listen to, the voice we need to hear, the voice we need to be obey, the voice we need to follow is the loving merciful gracious kind sovereign all powerful almighty voice of the Lord Jesus Christ who will reign forever and ever AMEN!