Who isThat Speaking to Me?

Many years ago an evangelist friend preached a message entitled, "Who is That Speaking to Me?"  I remember the theme of that message as my passion is to encourage and teach newer Christians. One of the greatest challenges for newer believers is to be able to identify who is speaking to them.  The voice of the Holy Spirit is often counterfeited by Satan, sin, society, or self... our old nature and our acquired dysfunction from life experiences.  

 If you remember from previous blogs... Psychologists tell us that all of our emotions originate from three basic emotions, just as all colors come from a mixture of red, yellow and blue.  The emotions are love, anger and fear.  LOVE draws us TOWARD something or someone.  When we Love someone, we're ATTRACTED to them; drawn to them. Anger causes us to be against someone or something.  MADD (Mothers' Against Drunk Drivers) are against those who drink and drive, for good reason! FEAR moves us AWAY from someone or something.  That's why scripture tells over 300 times not to fear. It’s the devils' faith.  God works through faith and Satan works through unhealthy fear.  

WHY is it so important for "newer Christians"?  They lack a solid Biblical foundation and the enemy capitalizes on that fact.  The footing of that foundation is God's LOVE for us. We're attracted to Jesus because HE loved us while were living in sin; cursing Him and blaming Him for our problems; perhaps even enemies by working against Him and His kingdom. If He loved us that much before we began our relationship with Him, how much more does He love us now as his children.  Our enemy realizes the power of God's unconditional love and desires to push us "away" from God through his tools of unhealthy fear, anger and guilt.  The love languages of God never include anger, fear and guilt. That's why it's so important that we identify the voice and thoughts coming to us daily.

In the enemy's attempt to persuade us that Jesus may love others, but not us, he will utilize any tool in his arsenal to cloud or confuse us about the love of God.  Some of his titles in scripture provide us with some insight on how he functions: father of lies, deceiver, thief, robber, accuser of God's children, author of confusion, angel of light, etc.   He will attempt to do anything to hinder our relationship with Jesus that finds its foundation in the unconditional love of God.  Just as we love our children with unconditional love, how much "more" does our Heavenly Father love us.

In order to understand who is speaking to us, it's critical that we develop our RELATIONSHIP with the WORD.  God and the Bible are one.  Jesus is God wrapped in flesh (John 1:14), while the Bible is God wrapped in print (John 1:1).  When our thoughts or emotions are not in alignment with the truth of scripture, we know those thoughts originate with the enemy, sin, society or self, but certainly not God.

The PROCESS of renewing our mind begins with the truth expressed in Romans 12:2, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."  It's a life-long process, but can be simplified with the statement, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."  That was penned by Karl Barth, one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. He was from Switzerland and during his visit to America in 1962, he was asked how he would SUMMARIZE the millions of words he had published in numerous articles and books during his lifetime.  The next time your thoughts and emotions are speaking fear, anger, guilt and condemnation to you, why not respond by saying, "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so."

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, For the Bible Tells Me So  
Karl Barth

Of our three basic emotions: love, fear and anger... which one controls most of our decisions and actions? Love is the priority if we desire to live for Him.  Just as we love our children and grandchildren, how much "more" does He love us. The more we comprehend HIS love, the closer our RELATIONSHIP with Him will become.

In building your RELATIONSHIP with the Lord, may I encourage you to begin by finding several scriptures on love and begin to read, meditate and memorize them.  Did you know there's over 500 scriptures on love in the Bible?  Wow! Must be important.

Rom 5:8  "But God showed his GREAT LOVE for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
   
1 John 4:9-10  "God showed how much he LOVED US by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real LOVE - not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."
   
John 3:16-17  "For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

Matt 22:37-39  Jesus replied: "'LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'LOVE your neighbor as yourself.'"

1 Cor. 13:13  "And now these three remain: faith, hope and LOVE. But the greatest of these is LOVE."

1 John 4:15-16  "All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.  We know how much God LOVES US, and we have put our trust IN HIS LOVE.
God is LOVE, and all who live in LOVE live in God, and God lives in them."
       
Psalms 42:8  "But each day the Lord  pours his unfailing LOVE upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life."

The Love of God may not always change our current circumstances, but it will change us.  Several years ago, I was visiting a child in Cardinal Glennon hospital in St. Louis. I observed other children who were hurting. Some abused, some with disease and other challenges. I noticed one child who was alone and crying.  No parents or family members there. A nurse came by and picked up the little boy (3-4 years old). He was alone. She tried to love him. He began to resist the love she was attempting to give him. After a few minutes, the child relaxed and allowed the nurse to place his head on her shoulder.  She rocked him back and forth and began to speak softly to him, and to caress him. He finally quit crying and received love from her. That love didn't change the child's circumstances, but it did change him.  

The LOVE of GOD is powerful.  HIS presence changes us.  Remember, Love draws us closer to Him.  Will you allow His Love to change you…. beginning today?

The Christian does not think God will love us, because we are good,
but that God will make us good because He loves us;
Just as the roof of a sun house does not attract the sun because it is
bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

C. S Lewis

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