Who is the most influential voice in your life? Listen to the following bit from a message by C.J. Mahaney, given at New Attitude 2008, and see if you can relate. (If you’re using a reader and can’t see the audio player, click here)
I’m tracking with C.J. From the moment I wake until the moment I sleep a conversation is taking place in my head. And usually this conversation is not informed by God’s word. I evaluate my current circumstances, trials, and struggles based on my feelings rather than God’s word. The result? I experience, at a minimum, consistent low-grade discouragement.
But the good news is, this doesn’t have to be the case. By God’s grace, I can experience joy throughout the day. How? C.J. suggests two ways, both taken from Psalm 42.
Talk To Yourself
I need to stop listening to myself and start talking to myself. I need to do the hard work of reminding myself of God’s truth. Listening to myself is effortless. It takes no work to let my thoughts run their course. But speaking God’s truth to my soul is crucial. I need to regularly (we’re talking multiple times a day here) remember that God has saved me, is for me, is working all things for my good, delights in me, and is shaping me into his image. I need to remember that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. Joy will come as I speak truth to my soul.
Talk To God
Not only do I need to talk to myself, I need to talk to God as well. I must humbly, yet boldly pray the promises of God. What does it look like to pray God’s promises? It looks something like this:
Lord, right now I’m feeling physically sick, and am being tempted to complain. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through this trial. But you said that your grace is sufficient for me and that your power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9), so would you please give me grace right now? I thank you that you are going to give me grace because you promised to give me grace.
I desperately want to grow in speaking the truth to myself instead of listening to myself. Why? Because I want to experience the daily joy that God intends for me to experience.
What about you? Do you listen to yourself, or do you talk to yourself?
+you can download the entire sermon on the New Attitude website.