The Spirit of God speaks to us and the Spirit of evil speaks to us too. How will we know which is which? Then, what do we do with those thoughts? Here’s a 3 step process to listen to the Spirit of God and ignore the voice of destruction.
I Had a Decision to Make
In 1987, I had a decision to make. My husband and I thought about it over and over, logically weighing the pros and cons of each choice. At another time, I knew a person who got under my skin and I spent hours trying to figure out what to do deal with her. Both of these decisions about what to do next were made by my logic, my heart, and that little voice who spoke from outside of me. In one case, it was the Spirit of God, and in the other, it was the devil himself. (Video clip)
Step 1 – Figure Out Where Your Thoughts are Coming From
Thoughts entwined with intense emotion are given to us for a reason and we need to pay attention to them. Emotional thoughts that give us a call to action, fuel a passion or ones that feel peaceful are from the Spirit of God. Emotional thoughts that are sad, frustrating, disappointing, dark or annoying are from the evil one.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
I've discovered that when my thoughts are laced with emotions, I need to deal with them now. It's sometimes tough to face them. They won't go away if I figuratively shove them into a closet. Worse yet, some of these unattended negative thoughts get moldy and turn into disease in my body. (VIdeo clip)
Step 2 – Is the Thought True?
I need ask myself if my thoughts are true. So many of our thoughts are half-truths or something we are assuming instead of knowing absolutely that it's true. (see Byron Katie’s The Work).
Be careful of those 'always' or 'never' statements for they are rarely the truth. Writing your thoughts down is another way to get clarity about whether or not they are the truth.
Step 3 – Deal with it
For those thoughts that need to be discarded, we need a plan of action.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5
This verse is the bazooka that smashes those pesky thoughts from Satan. In the past, I've gotten tripped up on the ‘taking captive’ piece of this verse. It's felt like I need to just ‘THINK RIGHT!’ like the word obedience suggests.
But this verse can be seen as handing the captive thought over to Christ so He can place it in His jail. Hand it over, like a bottle of booze for an alcoholic or a credit card for the shop-a-holic. Don’t feed it, dwell on it, or give it any more relevance than it deserves.
For the thoughts that are from God, now is the time to act. He calls us to have a full life. You may be enlightened and then know it's time to do something new, take a risk or a step of faith. Overthinking the 'what ifs' of the situation will keep you from the power and blessings God has in store for you. Go ahead, listen to that voice and act.
God will keep knocking at our doors to see if we’ll follow His leading. Have enough courage to listen to the voice of God and follow.