“And I know that I can survive. I will walk through fire to save my life. And I want it, I want my life so bad, I’m doing everything I can. You did not break me, I’m still fighting for peace.” – Sia, Elastic Heart
I am surprised at how often I hear the voice of the enemy, the enemy that comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).
These voices, these lies of discouragement, sorrow, and abuse, come throughout my day like a sly and cunning fox. Suddenly, I am left feeling less-than. I am left feeling worthless, useless. I am left feeling completely destroyed and defeated. By the time I realize these voices are not good, not my own, nor from God, it’s too late and the damage is done.
I’m left in a puddle of despair.
Unlike these sly, trickster, abusive voices of the enemy, God’s voice is good and beautiful, loving, warm, and encouraging. God’s voice isn’t as easy to identify. God’s voice is quiet. God’s voice is soft. It’s a voice that requires seeking, a voice that requires stillness. Yet, when I hear this voice, it breaks me into a thousand pieces and I melt into love and peace.
The voice of God can break me, but I know He will put me back together again.
Since beginning my work in grad school, I have been hearing the voice of the enemy far too loudly and I have been listening far too often. “You are too broken…You have too much darkness…Once people know who you really are, they will leave you…You are not enough…You are too much.” The dark voice goes on and on, reminding me of my weaknesses and my sin, stealing my joy and destroying my goodness.
The last thing the enemy wants is for me to realize these voices are not my own. The enemy seeks to kill and destroy. The enemy knows my weak spots and my insecurities, and uses them against me.
Hearing the voice of God takes work, it takes intention, and it takes lots and lots of prayer. I often sit in my bedroom, light a candle from St. Brigid (I’m falling in love with Celtic Spirituality!) and pray for God to reveal to me what’s true. Lately, hearing His voice has become easier. The scales from my eyes have lifted and my ears are able to hear the smallest, stillest, most peaceful voice I have ever known.
“Be still. I am with you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. You are mine. I am still working here.”
The voice of God washes over me like a waterfall of peace, and I know. I know He is there. I know I am protected. I know the difference between the voice of the enemy — large, brash, abrupt, pervasive — and the voice of God — quiet, soft, still, peaceful.
I still hear the voice of the enemy, clawing its way back into the crevices of my soul. There are days when I don’t have the power or strength to tell the enemy to “Fuck off!” There are days when I wallow in pain and suffering, struck down by words, yet somehow God has a way of reminding me of His goodness. Whether it’s a friend sending me a random text message, a song or Bible verse that gets stuck in my head, or a sudden urge to stop, pray, and listen to God, He always has a way of bringing me back.
God is always speaking to us, but we don’t stop to listen.
Regardless of what the enemy tries to feed me, the truth is, I am worthy. I have so much to offer. I am loved and cherished and known by a mighty God who will never leave me nor forsake me. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am worth the fight.
The enemy is lying to you. The enemy wants you to wallow in pain and sorrow, to forget your worth and forget your righteous, saintly position as a son or daughter of a mighty King. The enemy wants you to lose your identity in Christ, to fall away from the love we have in Him, and continue believing the lies we are told. The enemy is a real motherfucker!
I cannot fight this battle for you, but I can encourage you and tell you…
You are loved.
You are worthy.
You are seen, yet you are not cast out.
My hope and prayer is for you to realize your value and see the beauty God sees in you, the beauty I see in you. You are worth the fight.