He was charming and funny, handsome and sweet—an absolute dream in any girl’s eyes. How was I to know that deep down, darkness was laying in wait? Then something as innocent as a bowl of ice cream sent him into a rage and left me jagged and weak. Did I run? No, with denial high, I married him one fine day in May.
Then the put-downs came, followed by blame, curses, threats, and jealous fire that seared my heart. I cowered under the tables, behind every chair – anywhere I could pretend to hide. Who are you? What am I doing here? When will I see the light of day? Where am I anyway? And why am I living this lie? My heart caved in with each new stab. Eggshells crackled beneath my feet. I wore forgiveness like a badge, and tried in vain to leave my fear by the door. And every time the charmer returned, my heart played the same song – the darkness will never come again; the light will shine forever. I knew it was a lie, but there was no place left to hide.
But when he told me I didn’t deserve to be forgiven, my soul was set on fire. God always forgives me. Who are you? The lies came tumbling down. I left without looking back. Now I’m shining in the bright light. I won’t forget my darkest night, but I’m living this lie no more.
There is evil in this world. Sometimes it comes to us masked behind charm and promises. Sometimes the evil is more blatant and plain – curses, physical blows, threats… However the evil comes, its origin is always Satan. Satan is the father of lies, the whisperer of shame, the accuser of Christ followers. Satan says, “You have to stay no matter how you are treated. You deserve the punishment. You caused everything you’ve received. No one else would ever want someone like you. You are nothing. You cannot be forgiven. You are ugly to God.”
Satan speaks for himself, and his lies come from the pit of his evil. But Satan will never speak for God. And so here is the question: Can you tell the difference between the voice of God, your Father, and the voice of Satan, who is your accuser? When you hear those condemning phrases in your head, do you lean in and listen, as if God were speaking? Do you take the lies of the accuser down into your heart and let them guide your decisions? Does the voice of Satan make you afraid that he’s right, afraid that you deserve even worse than you have received?
Listen, my friend. God does not contradict Himself. He cannot be other than He is, and He is always the same – yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is not wishy-washy with His love. He loves you with an everlasting love that can never change. He does not take His forgiveness back. If you have asked, He has forgiven, and it is done for all eternity. God does not play games with your heart; neither is He the author of confusion or fear.
Do you know how to tell the difference between the voice of evil and the voice of God? The evil accuser will always remind you of your sin. He will keep bringing it up until you are paralyzed with the guilt and shame. He will make you doubt the complete forgiveness of God. He will make you suspicious of God’s love. He will twist passages from the Bible and use them for his own misdirection. He wants you to live spiritually uncertain, hesitant, mistrusting, and insecure.
But oh, hallelujah, there is One who is holy and good. The voice of our God is faithful to His Word. When He speaks to you, He will never contradict His own Scriptures. He will not bring confusion to you. Instead, the voice of God gives wisdom. The voice of God is our Father’s voice, calling you toward His forgiveness, His healing, His restoration.
Maybe you are only beginning to learn the voice of your Father. Sheep know their shepherds voice because they have spent time with the shepherd. The same is true for us. We will know our Father’s voice because we have been with Him. We desire to know Him. We long to hear.
Today, if evil speaks to you or shouts to you or calmly entices you, I pray you will recognize the source. I pray you will not be fooled by the voice of the accuser, but will reject every lie he offers. May your words and your choices demonstrate this response: “Satan, I will have no part of your lies. Your power over me has come to an end.”
Even more, I pray you will be quick to hear and respond to the voice of God. You are His beloved. He is your Father, your Redeemer, your Protector and Friend. His love for you is everlasting.