I am so thankful that God gave us emotions. What would life be like if we couldn’t get excited and actually enjoy something? On the flip side, there are times of pain that I wish I could erase completely.
Life can feel rather daunting at times carrying that sort of weight. Sometimes it feels so heavy that we don’t think we can carry the responsibility of managing them…that they just happen and exist.
Why am I talking about this?
Because before we dig into the idea of identifying God’s voice, we have to understand this important lesson:
We are responsible for our emotions and pursuing God’s truth.
Emotions do not come from nowhere. They are incredibly complex, but they come from delegating authority to a statement…a lie…or a truth. Emotions first start as a thought that we come into agreement with; a small seed that we let grow into a manifested emotion. You are responsible for de-weeding your thought garden as well as cultivating seeds of truth that grow into joy.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not some cold guy talking about behavior modification and shutting off our feelings to be a better person.
What I am getting at, is that when you are absent of the fruit of the Spirit, you have a responsibility to yourself and the Kingdom to pursue identifying the reason WHY. Why you don’t have peace, joy, love, etc. That “why” comes down to a thought that has been spoken to us at some point…many times without us fully realizing it.
Relationship with God is everything. He is the solid foundation that always grounds us when things get hard. He wants us to live in joy and feel fulfilled more than we do because He is that good.
He never condemns us for where we are at, but always draws us closer because that is where everything changes. His presence replaces the lies of the enemy with truth that provides an abundant life.
So Jordan, how do we practically go about this pursuit? Glad you asked.
1) Stop, and Give God Your Time
If there’s anything I have learned in my walk with God, it is that I need to focus on Him every morning or else it will be hard to walk straight. Many of us get in the habit of waking up and immediately getting into the busyness of the day only to find later on that we have not given God a single minute.
Get in the habit of making room in your day to see what is on His mind. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you can spare a few of the ~900 minutes you are awake everyday.
In order to identify counterfeit money, Federal agents study the real thing first. The more you study the truth of God’s word, it becomes incredibly obvious when a lie gets sent your way. It’s is called putting on the armor of God.
If we get in the habit of giving God our attention, we will naturally identify His voice because the counterfeit voice becomes obvious.
For instance, if we soak in the truth that God loves us (pretty much open any page of the Bible), anything that pops in our mind that makes us feel devalued becomes an instant red flag.
Sounds simple, but it takes constant practice just like anything else. If I stopped playing guitar for a month, odds are I would feel a little rusty the next time I played. It doesn’t matter if you have been a Christian for 40 years, keep soaking.
2) Identify the Voice You Are Listening To
We either hear our voice, the enemy’s voice, or God’s voice.
Your thoughts are, well, your everyday thoughts. If you learn what God and the enemy’s voices sound like, it should be pretty obvious to know which are your own.
The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. His voice always leads us away from hope, discourages you and makes you feel less-than. [John 10:10]
God is love. His voice always leads us to hope, edifies and makes you feel more-than. If the word you hear aligns with the Word do not overthink it and thank Him for speaking to you. [1 John 4:8]
3) Write it down and Declare Truth
Journaling is really a great practice for processing.
I cannot tell you how many times just writing along the lines of “I feel this…” to “This is why I feel this…” to “This is what God says about that…” dissolves all discord. Some of you dudes out there need to man up and give it a shot. David did it all the time 🙂
At the same time, there is also something so profound about declaration. When the enemy is yelling at you over and over, lies such as, “This will never work out,” “You are not loved,” “You have no purpose,” stating the truth of what God says gives those voices no stronghold in your mind.
The last thing is probably my life goal – be thankful in all circumstances, no matter what I feel.
Philippians 4 says that supernatural joy and peace that transcends all understanding comes through thankfulness. It is a choice and has incredible power to turn your discouragement around.
I write all of this because just the other day, I was doing fantastic, felt close to God, and accomplished a lot of good things. The next morning, I woke up with such heaviness that I could not seem to shake or pinpoint to a cause.
Walking through the process I outlined above, Holy Spirit showed me that everything came down to a simple statement the enemy was shouting at me. No event triggered it, but the enemy does not need that to try to bring us down.
He’s terrified to see us believing and walking in God’s truth. God is always there to build you up, show you how good and gracious He is, and to bring you to the fullness of peace and joy. He can do a lot with just a few minutes of your time.
You may also be interested in these posts!
- 3 Ways the Enemy Attacks Worship Leaders: And What You Can Do About It
- I’m a Worship Leader But Why?
- Activating Your Relationship with God: Practical Steps to Hearing His Voice
- 5 Keys to Spiritual Breakthrough
- How to Be Your Most Productive Self Through Rest [Podcast]