By Stephanie Reck
We are bombarded daily with thoughts that come into our minds, but how can we know when it is God speaking to us?
Comparisons of God’s voice and the enemy’s voice:
God speaks in a still, small voice.
The enemy speaks loudly, intrusively, and obsessively.
God’s voice is heard through our spirit or deep within us.
The enemy’s voice is heard through our soul or our mind, will, emotions, and intellect.
God leads gently.
The enemy leads with urgency and impulsiveness.
God’s voice brings peace.
The enemy’s voice brings confusion, anxiousness, and worry.
God directs us to repentance that brings restoration and hope.
The enemy speaks condemnation and hopelessness over our sin and weakness.
God gives clear direction.
The enemy speaks a problem to us but does not show how to solve or rectify the problem.
God speaks life to us and things that bring life.
The enemy speaks destruction, discouragement, despair, defeat, and death.
What God speaks to us can be verified in scripture.
The enemy speaks half-truths and lies that cannot be supported by God’s Word.
When God speaks we always see a way out of our problems or circumstances.
When the enemy speaks he brings pressure and we feel backed into a corner.
When God speaks to us we will be encouraged, inspired, and motivated.
When the enemy speaks we feel burdened, weighed down, and lack creativity.
God speaks to our spirits, deep within us, but when the enemy speaks we can hear that voice in our minds or our souls. Have you ever had an intrusive thought just pop up in your mind? Next thing you know you are obsessing over that thought. That thought originated in your mind or soul, not in your spirit and most likely if you feed that thought by coming into agreement with it, you will lose your peace and joy.
When thoughts are put into our minds by the enemy and they are not submitted to Christ and we mull over them and entertain those thoughts, we can feel pretty emotionally unbalanced. If the enemy can get us to believe the thoughts that he sends us, we will eventually begin to act on these thoughts.
►Thoughts precede emotions (behavior). If the enemy can get you to think his thoughts, it will not be long before you begin acting them out.
Discipline your mind to take every thought captive and submit them to Christ immediately. Not every thought that comes into your mind is good or from God. The battlefield is in the mind. You can CHOOSE the thoughts that come into your mind, but you must know where those thoughts have originated from. It is almost like you need a filing system in your mind. Here is how it goes:
►Filing system for your thoughts.
When a thought comes into your mind, immediately check it. Does it sound like it is coming from God? If you are unsure, go back and review the above checklist for knowing God’s voice. If the thought is from God, keep it in your mind and then store it in your “filing system,” to bring back later to encourage you and remind you of what God spoke to you. Keep in mind that God does discipline us when we need it, BUT you will never feel condemned or that your sin is just too great for God to forgive. God makes our sins aware to us and areas that need to be discarded to restore and heal us.
If you have a thought that is causing you to worry, stress, fear, doubt, bringing temptation, condemnation, discouragement, despair, defeat, or any other negative, death-producing thought; immediately submit it to Christ. Do not “file” that thought in your mind or store it for later to mull over. DELETE.DELETE.DELETE. Then REPLACE and mediate upon what God says. Don’t just have an “empty file system” in your mind, you must not have a passive mind. A passive mind that does not think good thoughts and thoughts of God is an open area for the enemy to place his thoughts into your mind.
Think of your thoughts as a filing system that has to be maintained, with thoughts that you will file and store for later, and thoughts you will not file and store away for later use. Some thoughts are useful to us, and others must be discarded immediately.
Our flesh has thoughts as well. Let’s face it, our flesh is weak and it wants what it wants. We can hear our flesh speaking through our minds. All fleshly thoughts must also be brought under submission to Christ. Why? Because our flesh may not totally sanctified and our flesh can be weak. The devil does not always make us sin, sometimes our flesh wants what it wants. There can be an open door to the enemy’s thoughts and suggestions even more if we are not taking our fleshly thoughts captive. Fleshy thoughts can be those areas of addiction, sexual immorality, greed, lust, and perversion.
God speaks life and you will feel hopeful, peaceful, forgiven, more than a conqueror, loved, valuable, motivated, creative, inspired, encouraged, uplifted, strong, confident, equipped, empowered, and worthy.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27.
Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole. Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com.