A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. (John 8:34-36)
Don’t you hate that Voice?
I’m sure you know the Voice I’m talking about. It’s almost impossible to miss:
It’s the Voice that greets you in the morning, reminding you of all the things that went wrong the day before and how the day ahead is only going to be worse.
The Voice that pipes up in that conference meeting telling you to pipe down because you are shy and you don’t actually have anything of value to contribute.
It’s that Voice that points out all the things that are ‘wrong’ with you when you look in the mirror and tells you you will never be pretty enough or thin enough for anyone to love you.
It’s that Voice that is oh-so-quick to inform you that because of where you come from, who your family is, or what you’ve done, you will never amount to anything or be anyone.
And whatever it says to you, it always has quite a lot to say!
Maybe you just do with the Voice what most of us do and shove it in a box in the back of your mind and try to get through your day, even though you find it resurfacing at some point or the other. We have, for some reason, just learned to live with the Voice and try our best to be positive in spite of what it says.
Unfortunately, thinking positive doesn’t get you very far with the Voice. You might win the battle with positivity today, but tomorrow, next week, a month, year, or decade from now, the Voice will resurface, even louder and more poignant than before. And at more than one point in our lives we will find ourselves succumbing to the Voice – believing everything it tells us about ourselves and our circumstances. We become slaves to that Voice in our heads – to the lies it tells – and slip into destructive patterns of self-doubt, sin, deprecation, and depression.
The reason we become slaves to that Voice is this: we have come to believe that the Voice is something we have to live with. We have lived under its authority for so long that it is nearly impossible to fathom a life where we don’t wake up to that Voice incessantly whispering fear and worry, and where insecurity doesn’t plague us every time someone else is chosen for a promotion over us or we don’t measure up to someone’s standard.
But Jesus said in Galatians 5:1 that it is for freedom that Christ came to set us free. As much as we are saved from the condemnation of sin, hell and the grave, Christ also has freedom for us from the lies that keep is captive to shame and fear and insecurity.
I’m here to tell you today that contrary to what you’ve believed, you don’t have to live with the Voice and all its lies. When Christ moves into your neighborhood, the Voice must move out. It might come knocking every now and then – and it will – but it doesn’t have to stay.
Why do we believe some of the things we believe?
If someone told me the sky was green, I’d easily call them a liar. I know for a fact that the sky is blue. That is the simple truth. I can see it with my own two eyes.
But what if someone told me that the sky was blue because Oxygen was blue? For those of you who know that it’s really blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than red light would know that that statement is a lie as well. But if you didn’t know the WHOLE truth, you might so easily believe that lie. It’s why we can tell children their younger siblings were delivered by a stork and other more simple white lies to quench their incessant questioning – they don’t know any better. They’ve seen storks – they know they exist. And they have a baby brother or sister out of nowhere. So the correlation is not unbelievable.
And that’s the way the Voice works – it shrouds a lie in facts, so in our minds, the fact justifies the lie.
It tells us we have folds or deformities (fact) so no man will ever love us (lie)
It tells us that our fathers abandoned us (fact) so we will never be good fathers ourselves (lie)
It tells us that we were abused (fact) so we are destined to abuse others (lie)
The Voice states fact as support for its lies, because if at least one part of the statement is true, its easier for us to believe the whole thing without question.
So how do you set yourself free from the Voice when it is so cunning in the way it manipulates your beliefs and your thoughts, emotions, and actions?
You can only beat the Voice with the WHOLE truth.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)
Sanctify them in the truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)
Earlier this month, I came to the realization of just how powerful of a negative impact the Voice had over my life. But I also came to the realization that while it might always try to tell me something, I didn’t have to live with it as a permanent resident in my mind, controlling my actions and making me its misery slave. Over the last few weeks, I have mastered a tool I use to overcome the Voice any time it comes knocking, and of course, I had to share it.
It’s not always easy to recognize the Voice when it speaks, because our minds and hearts are like sponges, quickly soaking up and internalizing everything we hear before we even know what we’re hearing or where it’s coming from. Either that or we try pushing it to the back of our minds – we run from it because the possibility that it holds some truth scares us. But I have found that the first step with dealing with the Voice is confronting it head on. Work through it. Instead of trying to ignore it or simply taking it at face value, lay it out and break it down.
Think about it this way:
When you’re home alone and someone comes knocking at your door, do you just open up and let them in? Do you pretend not to hear the incessant knocking, even though it keeps coming back? Or do you ask, ‘who’s there?’
That is the same response you must have with the Voice. When it begins to pipe up, pull a Kanye:
“Imma let you finish but… who are you? Where are you from? Who told you that?”
I remember sitting in a meeting one day and speaking up about during a discussion. Suddenly the Voice said to me: “You’re not very eloquent under pressure. That was dumb. You should have kept quiet.” And in the past my response would have been to believe it. I would have kept quiet for the entire meeting or been depressed for the rest of the day. I might never have spoken at another meeting again.
But this time I was ready. I was like ‘Hol’up, hol’up, hol’up – where did THAT come from? Who made this correlation of not being eloquent under pressure with being stupid? That doesn’t seem very sound. I don’t believe I’m stupid. Even if what I did say wasn’t the most eloquent way of phrasing it, doesn’t mean I’m stupid or should never speak again. Why would I even think that?’
And suddenly the Voice was silent. Because I questioned it and I recognized it for what it was: an implant. A lie shrouded in fact meant to keep me in a place of bondage to what I thought others thought about me and prevent me from ever reaching my full potential.
You have to question the Voice when it speaks up:
Who says today is going to be a bad day?
Who said I’ll never amount to anything?
Who says I’ll always be in debt?
Who says my marriage will never work? Or that i’ll never be healed? Or that I will never graduate with that degree? Who is calling that shot?
And you’ll find after questioning that it’s not you – you don’t want to believe those things about yourself. And it sure as heck isn’t the One who created you. So you’ll know it can’t be founded in any Truth.
But questioning the Voice isn’t enough. It’s not enough to just spot the lie. You have to replace the lies the Voice tells with the Truth.
Call on the Truth.
Just as you can only end darkness by turning on a light, you can only defeat the lies told to you by the Voice by knowing the Truth. Only the Truth will truly set you free from the lies.
But you have to KNOW it.
Let’s go back to the knocking situation.
So you ask ‘Who’s there?’ and whoever it is tells you they’re here to deliver a package you ordered – but you know you never ordered anything. A look through your peephole tells you that the person standing behind your door only has three objectives: steal, kill, or destroy. So you run to your phone to dial the number for the police and realize quickly that you don’t know what the number is (and you didn’t pay your internet bill last month, so Googling it isn’t an option lol). The help you need is readily available, but you can’t access it because you don’t know the number. And the stranger at the door will keep knocking until he eventually breaks the door down and invades and takes everything that is yours.
You can’t defeat the Voice if you don’t KNOW the truth. And God’s Word is truth. You have to know what He thinks and says of you, because the Truth will help you both recognize and defeat the lie. You have to read and meditate and know God’s Word by heart so that when the voice begins to state facts, you can come back with Truth and silence it because Truth trumps facts and lies EVERY SINGLE TIME. Truth is grounded in testimony and report when facts and lies waiver uncontrollably. If you KNOW the Truth, it can and will set you free from the lies!
So let’s run a couple simulations:
The Voice says: the bad situation you’re in is God punishing you for not being able to get out of that cycle of sin.
Question it: Yes, I sinned, and I fell short of God’s glory, but could that really be correlated with my situation? Would God do that? Would He punish me for falling short?
State the Truth: No, He wouldn’t. That is a lie. The Truth says in Psalm 103:10: He has not given us the punishment for our sins, or the reward of our wrongdoing. God is not spiteful. He is loving – the Truth says so. Not only will He not punish me, He can help me get out of this sin.
The Voice says: You suffer from depression. You tried to take your life/others tried to take it from you several times. You should have died. You are better of dead. The world is better off without you.
Question it: Yes, I am depressed. Yes, I nearly died. But I am not dead. I am alive. Who determines what makes the world better off? Who is the world’s spokesperson?
State the Truth: God has the authority over life and death. Jesus holds the keys. God says I will live and not die. God says that He created me with purpose and I am here for a purpose, so the world could not possibly be better off without me. In fact, the world NEEDS what God has deposited inside of me.
The Voice says: You will never have enough to survive. You will always struggle to get by. That’s just the way things are in your family – you are poor. Poverty is your portion.
Question it: Yes, my family was poor – but does that mean I have to be? There are people who are from poor families who are doing very well. People have overcome the odds stacked against them, and so can I – even more so because I have God on my side. Why would I ever think that I will never have enough? Where is the truth in that?
State the Truth: He says He will provide. He says He is my portion – and if the One who owns all the cattle on the hill is my portion, then I will never EVER have to worry about having enough. He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. He is Jehovah-Jireh, my provider. I can trust Him.
I promise you this works every single time – and the Voice has tried its hardest in the last few weeks, trust me lol. No matter how loud the voice shouts its lies trying to get you to accept defeat, the Truth will always always set you free.
You CAN be free!