For me the Esther Salon was a process in learning to differentiate between three inner voices; mine, lies, and God’s. Each voice has a different agenda and each voice has a different volume so to speak. I was able to change the volume of each voice as I realized that the loudest voices were the ones I believed more. (I am not a mental health specialist so I should mention this is probably different for those who suffer with depression and other mental health issues.)
My voice was the stronger of the 3 voices during my Esther Salon year. It’s really hard to argue with ones self as I really believe my voice most of the time.
My voice tells me all sorts of things that can send me into a tale spin. Your voice may be much more reasonable, but mine likes to take creative license. My voice can take a guy I see across the room, meet him, have a relationship with him, and then break up with him, all before we even meet. I don’t even need to say hi to him because my voice has already told me where this thing will end up.
My voice also has an uncanny way of choosing the exact wrong guy. My voice likes tell my heart to hang all hopes on that guy. Yes that one, the one with the emotional issues. “We can fix that heart”, my voice says. So my heart runs to that guy and then gets steamed rolled when it realizes it wasn’t ready for all that.
The problem with my voice is that I keep believing it. My voice is really good at disguising itself as God’s voice. I think Freud would call that Ego. My voice would establish such a good argument that it would sound exactly like what I believe God’s voice to sound like. Of course God wants me to be with that guy. That’s who I want and doesn’t God want me to have the things I want? He’s Christian and good looking and well, what more is there? Yes, yes that’s the guy who God wants for me. I know it. (Meanwhile in real life, the guy just wants to be friends.)
Your voice may say all sorts of other things. I have friends who’s voice tells them it’s okay to be with this guy even though they know it’s not going anywhere. The voice says, “Better than being lonely right?” Or maybe your voice says, “Well, he’s not exactly the standard I had in mind, but I’m getting older and I don’t see anyone better right now.”
My voice also tells me that bag of chips and pint of ice cream will help me feel better about this difficult day. Our voices lead us to our fleshly desires. Our inner voices can lead us to great things, but it can also deceive us into thinking that what we want is what’s best for us. The bag of chips and pint of ice cream comes at a cost that my voice conveniently forgets to mention.
As a follower of Jesus, we need to learn to do just that; follow Jesus. Follow his voice. “But what does that mean?” you say? Patience friend. That’s what I’m praying this blog helps us explore.
For today here’s an exercise in listening for God’s voice. Find a moment to be still and ask God what you can do to prepare for your husband. I know that sounds a bit 1950’s – have a martini ready for him when he gets home from work. But seriously, if we want to share our lives with someone than we’ll need to offer something to the other person. Ask God and then LISTEN. Be still and LISTEN. Maybe you get a couple words. Maybe you get an image or a song. Whatever it is, write down the first thing that comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, try it again later. When you get something consider whether or not you think that was God’s voice or your own. Then consider why you think it’s one or the other. This is an exercise and like all exercise, it takes time to develop.