A couple nights ago, I had the opportunity to catch up with a great friend over dinner. We spoke about our adventures and the opportunities that God had placed in our lives. We shared our struggles, hopes, and fears. Listened to one another with open hearts as the other told of their journey with God, the Father.
Much of the night I sat in silence, listening as the words flowed forth freely. I smiled as our conversation wandered from our time together at Anderson University to our jobs and journey after graduation, artwork and graphic design to missions trips, friendships and coworkers to God’s movement within our lives.
As I listened, I heard her say something that has echoed in my head the past several nights as I lay awake trying to sleep. It was a simple statement that has opened my eyes (and ears) to so much. It all seemed to click the instant she spoke, and I knew in my heart that she was right. Even though I didn’t want to believe it.
She stated that if the voice does not remind us that God loves us, will always love us unconditionally, then it is most likely not the voice of God, but of the enemy.
The Adversary. The Angel of Light. Prince of Darkness. Serpent. The Corrupter. The voice of our enemy has many names, but the truth is that he whispers lies and half-truths in our ears, confusing us more than we know.
He is pitted against God, and when we stand before the truth, he is pitted against us as well.
When God speaks, He constantly reminds us of His love for us. When He challenges us. When He gives us strength. When He tells us ‘No’. He always tells us that He loves us and that He has a plan for us. He has called us His own.
So many times I hear whispers in the darkness of night that I want to believe are from God. Words that tell me to take the easy path. To make and follow a plan that will make me happy. To be safe. Secure. Out of harms way.
That is what the Deceiver wants: for us to be out of the way. Content. And not to take a stand for what’s right.
When God speaks, we don’t always want to listen. His plan is never easy. It’s not always convenient. But, if we listen, He provides us the strength, courage, and/or audacity to chase after His path in our lives. But He loves us, no matter what.
When my friend spoke those words, something inside my head clicked.
Her words caused me to pause and realize that I had been listening to the wrong voice in my head. I had been listening to the one that did not remind me day after day that God loves me.
So, I was laying there last night, reflecting on the words that she said, I started to remove every voice that didn’t remind me that God love me. It left me with one voice.
That voice told me over and over again, stating: “I love you. I love you. I love you. No matter where you run, no matter how far you go, I will always love because I have claimed you as my own.”
Everything else went away. And for the first time in a long while, I felt the stillness of His presence. True peace that comes from Love. Unconditional love.
I look back on that conversation a couple nights ago and I find myself smiling still. To have a beautiful conversation about God and to walk away learning something that opens our eyes. To spend time with a friend and know that it has been blessed by God. To walk away and know that God has been speaking and continuing to whisper into my life. To remember that Christians don’t have to be perfect, but God accepts us broken as we are.
I walked away knowing that God loves me and will continue to love me. And that I am His and His alone. Nothing can change that.