Voices In My Head
1 John 4:1,2 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.
I am, at times, a little slow to hear God’s voice. Sometimes, I allow other voices to distract me. Yesterday was one of those days. As I was trying to meditate on this passage, I was wrestling with distracting thoughts of discontent. I worked this weekend which always makes me resent the hours I put in at my real job. These thoughts yesterday, were interrupting my meditation on this passage and this blog entry.
I just could not quite concentrate on what spirits I was supposed to be testing. I could not really even figure out what God meant by testing. There I was, wrestling with a distracting voice in my head, not getting it that this passage is all about filtering out the distracting voices I allow into my head. Like I said, sometimes I am slow.
I regularly allow voices in my head that distract me from that which is most important. I put things in me daily that are not helpful in making me what I want to be. I used to find myself watching TV with my kids, thinking, Oh, they should not be watching this. Now, I watch, thinking, God, I should not be watching this. I need to do something productive that draws me to you.
When I find myself anxious, agitated, irritated or distracted, I need to test the voices I have been allowing to speak into my mind. If I am failing and struggling with some defect of my flesh nature, it is usually because I have not been filtering the voices I listen to. Make no mistake. I alone, am the gatekeeper of my mind. I may not be able to prevent the arrival of some thoughts, but I am the only one who can test and assassinate those thoughts that do not motivate me on to Christ. Dark thoughts may pop in, but I can choose whether or not I let them run free. Only I can decide what I allow in my brain.
Does a thing spur me on to Christ, or does it distract from Christ? I tend to think of my job as a distraction from that which is most important, but with discipline, I find that I can do my job while keeping my mind on God. In fact, it is when I do so that I am most sensitive to those interactions that truly matter. In keeping my eyes on Christ, I do my job in the manner that He desires.
There are however, activities that produce in me thoughts and behaviors that are completely incompatible with pursuing Christ. These are not of Jesus, but rather are of the world. These are the same as the pursuits of my defective flesh nature. I cannot claim naivety. I know what motivates me towards destruction and what motivates me towards Christ.
I need to constantly test the voices I allow into my mind. Sometimes I need to shut off the TV, close the computer, open my bible, go for a run, meditate, talk to a friend or just talk to God. It is my responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep my life focused on Christ.