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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)

By Cindy Barclay



My brain is a menagerie; a cacophony of sounds and voices. Sometimes, Iíve listened to these silent voices for days or even years, before I realized some were cleverly crafted words of deception. Perhaps, if my thoughts were audible, I could quickly embrace truth or dismiss lies. Iíve embraced certain outlooks and opinions, not bothering to analyze their content. Learning to discern between three ďvoicesĒ is changing the outcome and duration of my battles.

When we are saved, God begins a renewing process that will continue until that day of total redemption. Until then, our old man, our carnal nature still speaks quite loudly. Unless daily renewal of my mind is happening, Iím comfortable with that voice because it sounds reasonable and familiar. However, it seems my old nature wants to justify something instead of dealing with it. One way to discern if itís me (the natural man) talking is the focus. Is it me or God? Is the focus the problem or the solution?

When a voice brings despair and condemnation, but not conviction, it should be a red flag that whatever is speaking is demonic and anti-Christ. Somehow, I listen to this voice way more than I should. Itís loud and intrusive, and subtly insistent. Just as Satan twisted Godís Word in the Garden of Eden, he is still twisting the truth to bring oppression and fear.

To borrow a phrase from a Casting Crown song, ďBut the Voice of Truth tells me a different story- the Voice of Truth says do not be afraid.Ē I have to train my ear to hear this voice. My mind needs to be renewed daily to recognize its truth and power. Spending daily time in His Word deposits treasury of wisdom and truth. As I grow in knowledge of His revealed Word, and my love relationship with the Lord, that voice begins to overshadow the other voices. His voice holds correction but it is chock-full of love. Reading on, Iíve shared a sample of these three voices.

Carnal/Natural Man
Iíll never lose weight. Iím just a fat slob. I hate myself. Iím such a failure. Iíve tried so many times before and I just canít keep it off. I know I need to exercise but when do I have time? Iíd have to live at Biggest Loser Ranch and have someone monitor my food and exercise for me to ever lose anything. You know- why try? I think Iíll just give up. I hate being a failure. Besides God loves me just the way I am.

Demonic/Anti-Christ voice
ďLook at you! Youíre a disgrace to God. Your body is supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Gluttony is a sin, and itís evident Jesus hasnít set you free. You know youíll conquer this- youíre trapped for the rest of your life. Itís too hard to overcome, so quit trying. In fact, why donít you grab the rest of that chocolate ice cream, youíve already blown it so go ahead, eat - it will make you feel better.Ē

The Voice of Truth
Oh, my dear child. Let me help you overcome this obstacle. Donít hate yourself. I love you with an everlasting love and I understand you better than you understand yourself. Let me guide you into freedom from this bondage so you can experience life to its fullest. Letís just take one day at a time and Iíll teach you that true life comes from my Word, not what you eat. I want to fill every empty space you have. I want you to turn to me when youíre tempted. I love you and I am your partner in this life, equipping you to overcome the desires of the flesh and every temptation known to man. I will never leave you or forsake you.

Jesus is incredible! He desires to liberate us from our old selves and expose the lies of the enemy. He promises to equip us with His Word to discern the myriad of voices that run rampant around us. He covenants with us, ďIf you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.Ē Letís learn to discern and walk in the "Voice of Truth.Ē

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Member Comments
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Loren T. Lowery08/20/10
Very nice devotional. I especially liked your last paragraph, especially where you said, "Jesus is incredible..."
What a thoroughly unique but succinct way of depressing this truth. It truly reveals your honesty and creative talent.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/20/10
I really liked how you gave great examples. I have a feeling every one of us has had similar voices talking in our heads. You did a great job in presenting the voice we should listen to.
Loren T. Lowery08/20/10
Wish there were an "edit" button to correct mistakes in the comment section. Of course I meant expressing the truth - not depressing it. : )