a voice of reason

I finally admitted it yesterday to God and to my husband that I’ve felt distant from God.  I’ve felt uncomfortable coming into his presence– trying to fill the silence with noise. Avoiding quiet time, meditation, prayer. It felt like an awkward dinner party, when I have a million things to say but never appropriate to say them. Which is silly– I know– because God has told us in Hebrews 4 that we can come boldly before the throne of grace that we may receive mercy in our time of need.  Yes, this is a time of need, but I am uncomfortable so I digress.

I started a new book this weekend (which I still don’t understand why I do that when I’m currently reading four others), and in the chapter I read last night the author was trying for a month to find more times of quiet in her hectic life. She had read in a book about breath prayer. It is a form of meditation in which you inhale, call on the Lord by name, exhale, give a simple request. Ex: *breathe in* “Immanuel” *breathe out* “Bring us peace”.  Seemed simple enough so last night I gave it a try. It was maybe 60 seconds, but it was a start.  I can’t even explain the night that followed.. My husband and I were able to open up and connect spiritually and emotionally and it was so needed. I’m not going to say that’s completely cause and effect, but it did awaken an eagerness for more this morning.

This morning I made my breakfast and some coffee and was prepared to read my Bible, journal, just spend some time with the Lord.  I began to think on yesterday– the sermon at church, the book I was reading, the conversations George and I had, pretty much everything, and I heard from the Lord. I know that it was from the Lord because it was truth and it was applicable and he knew my thoughts.

It was like a breath of fresh air.

I have been struggling lately with my self-worth. It’s not something that someone said about me or a specific instagram post that I felt I didn’t measure up to or a way I saw myself in the mirror, but still these thoughts come into my head.  As I’m daydreaming, as I’m job searching, as I open a blank document to write a blog. I tell myself I’m not smart enough, I want too much, my dreams aren’t valid, no one cares what I have to say. All super ugly things. But this morning the Lord broke through that. He said:

The devil loves to hurl insults at you in a voice that sounds like your own.

Had the Lord given me that yesterday I probably wouldn’t have listened, but today.. today I feel that. Today I can reason that the lies being fed to me are not the voice of God.  They are the voice of the evil one.  He wants us to feel less than. He wants us to feel belittled by a voice of familiarity.

You cannot be empowered when you are belittled.

You feel smaller, less important, boxed-in.  When I feel that way I’m a whole lot more likely to lay around watching Netflix marathons than seeking truth, pursuing life, asking questions or really anything that brings whimsy.

I want to encourage myself and at the same time encourage you, to decipher the voice of God from the voice of Satan today.  When you feel inclined to think of less of yourself, stop and think, “Would the Creator God who created me in his image agree with that? Then who is this coming from?”

The most true thing about us is what God says about us.

So replace the lie Satan is telling you with the Truth.

I feel I am not doing enough for Christ >>> He has set us free from the law

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

I cannot get out from under ____. No matter what I do I keep reverting to this sin. >>> we have been set free from sin.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I’m pretty much all around the worst, can’t do anything right, messed up 100x >>> I am a masterpiece created by Christ himself, given endless grace that I could never earn.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I will leave you with this:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…  Ephesians 6:10-14b

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