I met Denise a few years ago, and I will never forget the horrible evidences of a life that is bound by listening to the wrong voices. Denise was a tattered looking, homeless woman roaming the streets of our community. Her face was badly scarred and burned because of the use of methamphetamine. Even though she was only between thirty and forty years old, she looked much older. Although Denise had opportunities to sleep in a warm bed and enjoy the comforts of a home, she refused these offers. She ate whatever food was given to her and chose to sleep in a broken down truck even during the cold, winter nights. The smell that reeked from her was enough to make you feel sick, even from a few feet away. She came to our church a few times, and I was able to briefly talk to her. Whenever she would hear something regarding the love God has for her, she would leave angrily, slamming the door behind her.
One particular Sunday, Denise came in during the message and sat down beside me. I prayed that I wouldn’t begin gagging due to her repulsive stench. Throughout the sermon, Denise would glance over her shoulder and mumble. I heard comments like, “Be quiet! Leave me alone! Get away from me!” After the service was over, I began talking to her, and she told me that God doesn’t love her because He doesn’t hear her or answer her prayers anymore. When I asked her what she was praying about, she said, “THEY don’t leave me alone, and when I’m by myself THEY hurt me! I’m afraid they will kill me!” I asked who THEY were, but her mind was so messed up and she was so controlled that it was hard to have a coherent conversation with her. I asked her why she came to church when so many things that the pastor said made her furious. She responded, “Because they are quieter and don’t hurt me while I’m here.”
It was evident that this poor woman was filled with evil spirits, and because of them, she was experiencing a small taste of hell on earth. We were beginning to reach out to her and attempt to help her become free when she suddenly…disappeared. No one in the community seemed to know what happened to her, and it’s been a couple of years since her disappearance. I sincerely hope that she has been set free.
How did she get herself into the condition she was in? This enslavement to Satan didn’t happen overnight, but it was the result of repeatedly following the wrong voice. These small decisions led to the destruction of her soul.
How can we learn a valuable lesson from the lives of people like Denise? Each of us are potential candidates to be misled by listening to the wrong voices, rather than the voice of our Heavenly Father. We may find ourselves running in circles as we strive to obey the various voices that are attempting to control our lives. We become angry, frustrated, and begin to feel trapped by the circumstances we are in. We are all daily exposed to many voices that fight to take control of our minds, and, eventually, our lives.
In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Can Jesus truly say this about you and me? Do we KNOW His voice? Do we follow HIS voice? Should we ever find ourselves tied up in knots if we are listening and obeying God’s gentle voice?
God desires for us to walk closely beside Him. His spirit will give us the needed discernment to recognize who’s voice we are hearing. God’s directives never lead us down a path that is destructive. He always calls us to come to Himself, thus allowing Him to tenderly speak to us. God has promised to love us for who we are and NOT for what we do. He never compares us with someone else. We will be able to hear His affectionate words whispered to us if we take the time to listen. Who’s voice will you listen to today? It’s your choice!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)