The Quiet Noise Of Deception

The challenges of hearing from God in our noisy generation.

It is quite a challenge, I must admit. I wouldn’t lie that writing about this article in this season of my life is the most easiest thing to do especially when I still find myself struggling almost everyday to declutter the overwhelming noise in my head. Most of it has to do with my own internal monologue and little of it from the world. Not only am I struggling with decluttering, but simultaneously I am also navigating the path back to wholeness after making decisions and choices that didn’t align with God’s plan for me. It is only when things crumble into ruins that you are approached with the decency to reevaluate your own folly or to soften it, what I will call the typical weak spot of being a human. Perhaps a woman.

One cannot escape asking themselves many questions after reading 1 Kings 13 about the tragic story of the old and young prophet.

I must admit again that this story is like a mirror by which I can view some of my ungodly decisions. Let us be Frank, it is very challenging to really hear the true voice of God especially in our generation because of the unlimited resources of information and knowledge out there. Don’t get me wrong, even biblical knowledge from great scholars and theologians and all other faculties of life can somehow pose a potential threat to our budding faith and become an invisible barricade that prevents us from hearing God’s true and original words to us. And as if that alone is not enough, We are daily threatened by our own inner voices. There is not a single day I am not reminded about some decisions in the past I could have taken differently today. It is not surprising to know that a bulk of all the choices and decisions in our lives, if you are like me, often tend to come from what’s in our heads and what we feel most often in our hearts.

I hope you read the the full text in 1 kings 13 to get a grip on this writing and I wouldn’t be astonished to know that you found yourself asking the same questions I did, “What was the young prophet’s mistake? Has he not done what God sent him? Has he not given the prophecy to Jeroboam and even healed him? Has he not refused to eat or taken any money from Jeroboam?

In fact He had done 99% of what God had asked him and the 1% was for him to safely arrive back home. But then it saddens me how much the enemy chanced on his 1% ; how he devised ways and means to find a way to sneak into this 1% because mostly our 1% is when we are very much close to the fulfilment of the promise and that’s the place we are most vulnerable too. 

And because the enemy is always fighting against us, If he doesn’t win with an unfamiliar voice like that of Jeroboam entreating the prophet to stay and eat which he refused, He goes further to take a familiar route he knows we may be tempted to believe and just like the case of this young prophet from Judah, He used an old prophet as an opportunity to weakened the young prophet’s obedience. And where are most vulnerable, we are less guarded and where we are less guarded, we are most likely to fail God. 

And where are most vulnerable, we are less guarded and where we are less guarded, we are most likely to fail God. You have heard it said that guard your heart, but I say to yo, do not just guard your heart but guard your heart with the sword of the spirit and be ready to denounce every entry and proclamation that is against God’s original voice for your life.

And it makes me sad because undoubtedly, the young prophet may have been genuinely tired and hungry from his trip and was innocently resting under a tree when the old prophet came and told otherwise what God had already said to Him. The young prophet didn’t inquire from God because he believed him. And I would have done same at a heartbeat because it was coming from a prophet. I would have done exactly what the young prophet did giving any circumstance. Perhaps I will think God had asked the old prophet to bring me food. I will have no reason to doubt him. But the Bible says the old prophet lied. Sometimes we don’t need to rest at all, we need to get going because being our resting place may be the place the enemy catches up with us to strike us.

Why did the old prophet do that ? Nobody knows. Did he want fame ? Or what? Nobody knows. But because we have read this to know the end result we can boldly say that all that was needed was for the young prophet to go back to God and ask for confirmation. But He didn’t and how would he have known? He died but we are privileged, though very sad, to learn from his mistakes and live our lives according to the lessons learnt. He was sure it was from God. I would too. After all, another prophet had said so. 

But you see, we must have God’s original word in our heart. David said “Your word have I hidden in my heart, so that I may not sin against you”. To think of the verb “hidden” means to bury something deep. To conceal, to be kept out of sight.  We must keep an original word, an original promise, an original faith deep in our hearts by which we run every other voice by to confirm its credibility. It doesn’t matter what voice comes to us- we must ask ourselves, does this new voice overrides God’s original voice in my heart? 

We will know when we ask. Matthew 7 doesn’t only admonish us to ask for physical needs but to go before God and ask for clarity and confirmations of our day to day decisions, opinions and choices either from ourselves or from others. Sometimes, when we go to God in prayer and ask, we will come to know that It is God Himself giving us another word but sometimes we will realize it isn’t from the Lord at all, just mere instinct and emotions and intellect around a situation.

Jesus says “ My sheep knows me and hears my voice”. There are so many voices that compete with the voice of God in us today in our generation, and most of them genuinely do not seek to harm us or hurt us but anything that goes against the word of God eventually brings pain into our lives no matter the genuineness of human intention. And the danger is that sometimes these voices can come from the people in our lives we have no reason to doubt. It can be from our spiritual leaders, our family and friends, fellow believers in the body of Christ and the safe list goes on and on.

There are so many voices that compete with the voice of God in us today in our generation, and most of them genuinely do not seek to harm us or hurt us but anything that goes against the word of God eventually brings pain into our lives no matter the genuineness of our human intentions.

I must be honest that discerning God’s voice amidst the crazy noise of this world is hard and gets harder each day but sooner or later when we keep exercising obedience to God’s word, we will come to appreciate when God speaks even if it is a still small voice.

Again, I must be honest to say that I haven’t always followed God’s words and promises all the time. Again the difficulty in discerning some of these voices is the fact that unlike the people of the old whom had the privilege of hearing God’s word audibly and explicitly, most of us hear God through His word or our intuition and often we find ourselves doubting if we have heard God at all. 

So what I can admonish here is that we learn to incline our ears to the word of God. Hide something He has said in your heart and run all advice and opinion and suggestions by them just like Mary kept all the words of the Angel concerning her son, Jesus, in her heart. Because of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, we can tell if something isn’t of God. There’s that missing peace about it. You can also realize sometimes that often we find ourselves doing so much, and whatever it is we feel is the will of God doesn’t give room for us to trust him anymore and mostly it goes against the initial word of God even if it came to us mimicking the voice of God, just like the devil did with Jesus after his fasting.

Like I said, it’s not one of the easiest things to do as a Christian but we can learn from our mistakes and even that of this story and make the resolution to run all decisions by God’s original word, weigh new directives by God’s word, humbly scrutinize and divide the word for truth even from the people we trust so much so that we are not laid astray or use our feelings to advice other people. I have done that a lot of times but recently often I make it clear what I think about an issue and ask people to also pray about it and find the truth for themselves.

I really wish I knew some of these things earlier in my life. There’s so much I could have avoided in my life and even that of others. I pray God gives me the wisdom to discern His will and also to not falsely confirm what appears to be God’s will into the life of others.

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