Just the other day, I opened the ears of my heart, and listened. But, I didn't listen to the right sounds and voices. No, I didn't “hear” the happy sounds of the steady breathing of my healthy family. No, I didn't hear the twittering birds and the chirping crickets singing praises to their Maker. I was totally deaf to the breaking of a new day, where His mercies are new, and His grace flows in a waterfall of an endless supply of never ending love. I didn't hear the rustle of the blankets that kept me warm all night. I didn't listen to the sound of the shoes that sheltered my feet from the cold slapping the sidewalk. I definitely didn't hear the song of gratitude that I normally tune in to when I wake each morning. I missed it all. My heart's ears were full of sounds, but they were definitely not tuned in to the right station.
No, instead of all those wonderful praiseworthy things above, here is what my heart heard as I went about my day… “You are incapable of doing anything, aren't you?” "Why can't you just jump in and get it done?" "Others have so much to offer, but you, ha! You are one big looser!" “You are the problem.” “Why should everyone else have to be uncomfortable, just for you?” "Everyone else has talents, and can accomplish so much, and you, what have you accomplished?" "You have nothing to offer the world." "Look at (insert name here). They are talented and can do so many different things." "What is your purpose? What can you contribute? Ha! Nothing!" “You are a bad mother.” “Your children are irresponsible." "You are irresponsible." "You can't even teach your children basic things they need to know."
It is amazing how when we give weight to even one of those toxic thoughts, others come flooding in. I should have fought the first thought with God's truth instead of entertaining it. Yet those thoughts were exactly the things Satan wanted me to hear. And my heart heard. Yes, my heart heard loud and clear. My heart got the message. And it was, “You cause more trouble than you are worth. You are no longer wanted.” And I became very discouraged, and dwelt right where Satan wanted me.
Is that what my Heavenly Father wanted me to hear? Is that what my Heavenly father wanted me to listen to?
Absolutely not. But, even knowing better, I listened. I fell into Satan's trap once again, and I played those accusations from him like a loop between my head and my heart…and in the process, I got really upset. Life for me, and those I love the most became very uncomfortable. The sounds continued, “See, you blew it. You really have messed things up now! You REALLY can't get anything right can you?” Confirming the earlier voices…
I don't know about you, but I hate it when Satan wins a battle. I hate it when Satan drives a wedge. I hate it when he gets his foot in the door, and whispers lies that my heart believes, even if for a little while.
But, I love the way that God steps in, and redeems a spiritual “mess” like me. He pours on His lavish grace, and lathers it all up with His mercy. He rinses it off with Jesus' precious blood, shed on the cross of Calvary. Then He wraps it all up in a big soft bundle of forgiveness. He sits me on His lap of love, and whispers truth to the very core of my soul.
“Satan is the father of lies.” “He is great at taking a tiny element of truth, and turning it into a murky marsh full of the quicksands of guilt and self condemnation.” “You don't need to do anything yourself, because if you try to rely on yourself, you will become prideful, and fail. Lean on me. I will help you. I will see you through.” “Serve others. Look for needs that you can meet, both small and large, and meet them. You were created by me to serve.” “You are not the problem. I see your heart. I know how you long for restoration. You live in a fallen world, where sin is the problem, not you, my child, not you.” “You are not a bad mother.” “Your children are human, they will make mistakes, but they are kind, good hearted children who love me and serve me. Forgetful…yes, sometimes. Wasteful…yes, sometimes. But keep working on them, keep teaching and training them in love, and they will get it one day. Don't give up hope.” “Now, my daughter, just as your children make mistakes, and forget what you feel you have told them over and over, you have made a mistake. Does it make me love you any less? Absolutely not! It makes me long for you to draw nearer to me, and spend more time with me, and fellowship with me. Remember that when you stray away, the voice of the world is what you will hear. Abide in me, so that my voice is the only voice you will hear. Rest in me. Quit all that fretting that gets you nowhere, and trust me. I will work everything out for the good of those who love me. I love you! I knew what this day would bring. Allow it to draw you closer to me, and all is not lost, it happened exactly as I had planned."
Ah, the sound of His voice. That healing balm for my battle scarred heart.
I am once again close enough to Him that Satan's lies and accusations are merely background static. This is where I long to dwell. Under His protective wing. In the shadow of the Almighty. As His child, it is where I belong. Where I cause no trouble. Where I am wanted more than I will ever know or comprehend. Where I am loved unconditionally, and free to share that love with others.
Is your heart listening to the father of lies? Or is your heart listening to the Heavenly Father and the many blessings He sends your way? It may be time to change to a different station. Who are you listening to today?