Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
John 10:4 “He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”
When I woke up this morning, this verse kept going through my mind over and over. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew 15:8 This is not a cheery verse or one to make you feel good. It’s a verse first spoken by Isaiah the prophet and then repeated by Jesus as a rebuke. This verse replayed over and over in my mind as I was lying in and then getting out of my bed this morning.
As I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard this, “That’s you – you honor God with your lips but you heart is far from Him.” It took the form and feeling of an accusation. I knew that voice. First, all voices within our head sound like our own. The devil does not have a body. The devil doesn’t have a voice. He can’t read my mind. He can only work to plant thoughts and temptations. He can quote scripture and try to pervert it. That is what he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He doesn’t have a voice. The only voice he has is what we hear in our mind and repeat out our mouths. If we believe the lies, temptations, and evil imaginations he brings to our minds and tries to accuse us with, and succeeds at getting us to believe them, and then we begin to agree and speak about them as though they were true, we have then given him a voice. “I just know this is going to be a horrible day. I dreamt it was all night.” Our words will give life to the thoughts Satan tempts us to believe.
I rebuked his accusation. It was scripture but I also knew it was spoken as an accusation of the enemy. I knew that because there was no truth in it. I do honor the Lord. I love and live my life for Him. That is what I spoke in response out loud to that lying accusation.
As I am coming back from the bathroom, I realize that Renee had been lying up in bed with her light on studying. She has a very large women’s Bible Study she teaches at every Tuesday morning called Homemakers. (Have a free download: http://smallgroups.lwcc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=8&Itemid=119) On average 220 plus women plus attend. She pours her heart into it studying all day Monday usually late into the night. Tuesday morning she is normally just getting herself ready to go. I was surprised to see her sitting up in bed still studying. I looked at her and said, “Are you still studying?” “Yes,” she replied, “I fell asleep last night while I was studying. Then I had restless sleep all night. I kept waking up from a repeating nightmare I’ve had before about the Bible Study. I dreamed that I showed up at the Bible Study, and I wasn’t prepared – I didn’t have anything to say – half the ladies didn’t show up – I sounded stupid – and the day was a disaster.” She laughed as she told me. I could see she was tired.
At that moment I put my hands on her face and began to pray the peace of God that passes understanding upon her. I prayed for abundant grace for clarity of her thoughts and teaching and supernatural strength to make the day not only a joy, but the best day ever!”
Renee and I have learned to laugh in the devil’s face at these kinds of mental accusations and dreams. Everyone experiences them at times. Sadly, not everyone knows how to discern the voice of the enemy and rebuke it. They think they are the victim of whatever hits their mind in that they just have to put up with those kinds of thoughts. Then the devil comes along and says they are true. I once had a sweet 85 year old man tell me that he had these horrible thoughts saying he was a pervert. After many questions I came to realize that he still liked to look at pretty girls. He wasn’t thinking anything sexual. He just liked looking at their pretty faces. The devil told him he was a pervert. If Satan can get you to worry about or believe his accusations, they begin to take on life. They create fear, worry, and even despair.
When you’ve given your life to Jesus, you have His love and voice (through the Holy Spirit) attempting to guide your thoughts and heart. God is the ultimate father and He is not like a natural father. He won’t lose His temper and throw accusations at you. Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd saying, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) Jesus goes on to say, “… He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. (John 10:3-4) The voice of God is out to help you and lead you. Even if we were to need correction from disobedience, He is tender and He is not out to condemn you and get you to run from Him. That is Satan’s strategy. You need to learn the difference.
The Holy Spirit will help you in times like this if you know the authority you have in Christ. God gives you authority and power over Satan’s lies and you need to use it. 2 Cor. 10:4-5 says, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.”We demolish imaginations and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
The next time Satan comes to accuse you, remind him where he will spend his eternity and mention to him, “Oh yea, and by the way – I’ll be in the loving arms of Jesus.” Say it out loud. Declare your love to God. Put words to right thoughts that bring strength, life, and blessing!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.