SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS
Too many voices! There are too many voices that will take you off course and encourage you to live carnally instead of living in the Spirit. Shut out unholy conversation and be quiet. It is vital that you are only moved by the leading of My Spirit. The enemy is seeking to demoralize you and remove you from your place of safety in Me.
Several days ago, I stopped writing, stopped reading, stopped hearing. I had become overwhelmed. It seemed as though everything and everyone was shouting — even screeching — from every direction and every possible corner, nook and cranny.
Then, earlier this week, I received my daily email from Bill and Marsha Burns. Some of you may also receive it. If you don’t, go HERE now to get it.
The first three words got my attention: Too many voices!
Ever so suddenly, I understood exactly where I was and what I had to do. You know it too. There is a cacophony of noise and discord all around you. Whether it’s on TV, the grocery store, your personal life, your finances, your job or all of the above and then some, it’s coming at us today from every possible direction. And, the craziness and the voices — both in number and decibel levels — are increasing!
Earlier today, I noticed my Facebook memory from three years ago. The post from June 11, 2020, was simple: The time is now. If not now, when?
It’s time to take action. Today, I stepped off of Facebook — the positive reinforcement of peaceful support and encouragement mechanism that it is — and I’m staying away from those marvelous friends over at Fox, CNN and other news outlets. I’ve re-found my downstairs quiet space, picked up where I left off in my latest reading, tuned in some Kari Jobe, Hillsong, Elevation and other inspiration. And I’ve begun again organizing my next book.
Too many voices will take you off course…
Ya think? Whether it’s a simple distraction to lure your attention away from what you know you should be doing, the voices will either stop you in your tracks or bait you down a road that is either unnecessary, time-consuming or destructive. It’s critical that not allow those voices to draw you away from what you know to be right and true.
…and encourage you to live carnally instead of living in the Spirit.
The detour doesn’t necessarily have to cause you to live carnally or even sin. Then again, if you are not on the course that God has chosen for us, we certainly aren’t living the abundant life and being all we can be! Have the voices baited you down a wrong road? Take a look around and give it the peace test. Is your heart at peace? Are the surroundings encouraging, hopeful and promising? If not, that may be your first clue.
Shut out unholy conversation and be quiet.
This is key and it’s our first action point. Don’t let the little foxes spoil the vine! We must become intentional, shrewd and even street smart. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
If we want to be someone whom he may not devour, realize that we are at war! It’s not a conventional war, and we must be savvy and discerning. Know this: You and I are the objects of that war, so it’s a constant battle to protect and defend. The attacks can be ferocious, and the onslaught will come from directions we never imagine.
You can start with social media and all those news channels. Maybe all those emails or IMs. At best, they consume valuable time; at worst, they are unhealthy and can quickly become harmful and destructive. How many friends — real friends — have you lost on Facebook? Perhaps you’ve cut off the wrong voices. Maybe it’s better to have a friend who sticks closer than a brother than to be right about something that isn’t lasting like politics or news. Choose friends over Facebook any day.
We’ve heard the word “essential” over and over this year. There is nothing more essential, however than your quiet place and your quiet time. You won’t survive without it.
Shut out the noise! Try it for a day, a week or a month. You’ll be amazed at the immediate impact.
It is vital that you are only moved by the leading of My Spirit.
When you shut out the voices, it’s so much easier to hear the still small voice of God. It’s been there all along, but is easily lost among the dissonance. Spend a few minutes with your Bible or devotion and you’ll start to clear out the buzzing roar.
The enemy is seeking to demoralize you and remove you from your place of safety in Me.
Yes, the goal of all the bombarding voices is to discourage, confuse, depress and demoralize. Ultimately, this leads to hopelessness and despair. Can you see the warning signs like I did? Are you already there? Believe me, there is hope, but it requires action. Remember, the time is now. If not now, when?
Ephesians 6 paints a great picture of the armor a Christian should wear. James Robison described the Christian who is standing straight and confident with breastplate and shield in place. “The perfect picture of a Christian is the fiery darts of the enemy falling harmlessly at his feet as they hit the armor.”
You can live in the safety of Psalm 91, but it requires the armor of Ephesians 6, the peace of Philippians and the wisdom of Proverbs.
In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. ~Ephesians 6:16.
If you find yourself where I did, perhaps it’s time to take a step back. Look at your surroundings and recognize where you are. Stop, tune out the world, be quiet and set a course correction if necessary. Don’t become demoralized, but take the time to be revitalized and rejuvenated.
Here’s what you can do:
- Stop what you’re doing and tune out the voices. Even for a few minutes or a few hours.
- Take inventory of where you are.
- Make sure you have some checks and balances or accountability. For me, it was a simple email that I subscribed to years ago. I read it daily, but it’s also important to have your support team in place.
- Realize that not all the voices in your life are good for you. You can start by tuning out everything but God, then adding back the others one by one as you determine their benefit. Be selective!
- Always remember: There is hope, no matter the situation or circumstance. Never ever give up, but go where the peace is.