Monday, February 22, 2016

The Voices

Revelation 12:11
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth. The one who accuses them before our God day and night.

There is an event that happens every Saturday, shortly after noon. It begins as a subtle whisper in my head. It has happened for over 18 years. You'd think I'd be use to it by now, but each time it occurs, it is like it is the very time to have happened.

Usually be noon on Saturday, the hay is in the barn when it comes to the meeting that we have that night. I usually try to be home around noon, eat some lunch, and sit down for a bit before I head out to the church. Sitting in my chair, the first assault comes. "You are not prepared for tonight." The voice is soft and low, yet very present in my mind.

Next comes, "You haven't prayed enough." 

Did I? Pray that is. Have I spent enough time in prayer about the service tonight? Or did I just schlep through the week, giving no thought to spending time in prayer?

This is usually followed up with "You didn't study enough."
Now this one usually does get me. I don't spend an inordinate amount of time on messages.
As I read my Bible, there will usually come a verse that seems to stand out from the others. I find myself returning over and over to the verse. I will jot down thoughts and point that come to me. By Saturday, I may have  a loose framework from which a message will hang. Even then, I hold such very loosely because there has been many, many times when I stood to give a message and God would tell me to junk the whole thing. Those times can be scary because you standing there with nothing to say. Suddenly a thought will enter your mind and you'll chase it like an elusive rabbit only to find a message that burns on your heart.

As the afternoon progresses, the voices of accusation get louder and louder. 

"You didn't choose the right songs for worship"....
"Look how anointed the other worship leaders are....and're just pretending to be a worship leader."
See how this works?
The devil truly is our accuser.
His job is to bring doubt to our minds.
After all, his first words to Eve in the Garden were...."Did God really say...."

Then as it nears 7 p.m. the last accusation comes...
"You're not going to have many show up tonight."

That one isn't to bad, because God let me know in no uncertain terms that our meeting would always be small. Such an illumination from God has given me the mind set that we'll have our meeting even if it is just me and God. So that accusation doesn't bother me to much.

Like I said, these voices have plagued me for nigh on 18 years, and yet I finally garnered some real peace about them Saturday. I was at the must have been 4:30 p.m. when I met Jim Bentley in the big room. We stopped to chat and the usual "how are you? What's God doing?" kind of encounters. I confessed to Jim about how the voices were up and running, when it suddenly dawned on me (told you I was not to sharp). The accusations had come every week without fail. Oh yeah, by the way...Jim suffers from the same thing, only his is for the Sunday morning meeting. 

The accusations come every week...
Every week, so far, God has shown up and someone has had an encounter with Him.

Someone comes up and tells me that the message really spoke to them.
Someone gets healed....
Someone gets saved...
Someone comes back to relationship with God after being away for a number of years.

Not this isn't really about me, but that's a pretty good record for someone who was accused of not preparing or doing enough.
Seems to be that being obedient is more important than listening to a bunch of accusations.

Not letting the accusing stop you, or cause you to give up and quit.

I know that I'm not the only one who hears the accusations.
"You'll never recover from your addiction!"

"You've made to big of a mess in your life to ever be free from it!"
And on and on and one the list of accusations pile up, till you feel as though you are going to be crushed under the sheer weight of them.
Don't give into this game the devil plays with all of us who are trying to follow Jesus.
Don't listen to the accusations and remember them for what they truly are.
A plot and a plan to sidetrack you from moving forward into the life Christ has for you.

Philippians 4:8-9
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts (Your mind) on what is true, and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me----everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

God on you...

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