“Any ‘word’ or suggestion that brings discouragement, condemnation, accusation – that is not from God. Neither is confusion, nor any counsel that would lead you to disobey what you do know. Reject it all, and carry on in your journey. Yes, of course, God needs to convict us of sin, warn us of wrong movements in the soul, discipline us for our own good – but the voice of God is never condemning (Rom. 8:1), never harsh or accusing. His conviction brings a desire for repentence; Satan’s accusation kills our hearts (2 Cor 7:10).” John Eldridge, Waking the Dead, p. 106.
I read this passage a few days ago, and the concept magnified itself in the days that followed. Today I have been inundated with words and attitudes that are not from Christ on all fronts. There have been attacks from all sides, including in my own head. I feel bombarded. How can I get my head above water and breathe in once again the thoughts of God?
As I continued on in my activities today, God sent some blessed reprieve. Thank you, God, for Yesmi, who has a similar heart and spoke words of patience, encouragement, and sisterhood. Thank you God, for Nancy, who hugged me and told me she was glad I was here. Thank you God, for Mikaela, who shared a cold Coke with me. Thank you God, for Luis, who always makes sure I am doing well, and wanted to share in the activities for Valentine’s Day even though Bolivians don’t celebrate that holiday until September. Thank you God, for Marco, who brought me tea and bread before he served himself so I wouldn’t have to get up.
Little gestures received as cold water to one who thirsts. Christ is here working. We sing a song in Spanish that says even though we can’t see God, even though we can’t touch his face, we know he is here with us. The Spirit of God is here in this place, and he wants to encourage our weary hearts. Sometimes my vision is clouded by tricks, lies of this world and lies in my own mind. It is easy to jump on the train and speak words of accusation and condemnation. It is easy to overlook the gestures of love and care that God gives us.
Now to go another step deeper, I must question my own actions and words. Am I speaking the words of Christ, words of encouragement, love, and truth? Or am I speaking judgment and condemnation, allowing my voice to be a voice for Satan and further his lies? Am I ensnaring others in the web of lies that Satan has woven? Or am I using my entire existence to free others from this web?
Lord, please use my mouth and my actions to share your love. May every action, no matter how small, be of you.