Choices
His Master's Voice Once upon a time, back in the early days of electronics, one of the industry giants used as their logo a small dog staring intently into an old victrola. In case you don't remember what a victrola is, they were what we used before we had records. If you don't know what records were, they were what we had before we had CDs and that makes me feel really old. Their sales pitch was that the little dog couldn't tell the difference between the recording and it's master's real voice. We, as Christians, both new and "veterans" can also hear our Master's voice and know beyond a doubt that it HIS voice rather than another's. If we listen to His voice, obey it, follow it, and listen for every second of the day our lives will be better in every area. Listening to it is easy, so easy in fact that we can't always avoid it. Every time we slide someone else's pen into our own pocket, we hear it. Every time we cut someone off in traffic, we hear it. Every time we walk past a homeless person and pretend not to see them, it convicts us. Every time we shout at someone in anger, His voice whispers back at us. Every time our blood burns with passion for someone other than our spouse, His voice whispers to us. You probably have already figured it out, His voice is what we call our conscience. We can't lie to it, we can't rationalize our actions to it, we can't overpower it. It can and will never lie to us or tell us to do anything that is bad for us. It's voice is always soft, it doesn't shout (at least usually it doesn't) because He will not, by his very nature force himself on us. He wants us to follow Him by our own choice, not because we have to. Another wonderful thing about Him is that every time we ask Him, He will speak louder to us, louder and clearer so that we can hear only Him. This is a very good thing for us, because his isn't the only voice whispering to our hearts. The devil, or whatever name you choose to use for him talks to us to, but rarely in a whisper because he cares nothing for our ability to choose, he wants to destroy: "It's only one stupid pen, they're a big company and they can afford it", "the idiot shouldn't have cut me off in the first place, so he wrecked his car trying to avoid me, it's his own fault"," the bum should just get a job and leave decent people alone", "So you let her have it, you've had a bad day from the time you got up this morning, she can just get over it", " Oh yeah! How would you like a little time with THAT? A lot better than what you have at home, isn't it? LOOK at that walk!" His voice, the other voice, rationalizes, it soothes, it patronizes, it justifies, it numbs, it twists, it corrupts, and eventually it blinds, deafens, and kills. It will also accuse, point fingers, condemn, and damns. One of the old names for the devil is "the accuser", because he does it so well. "yeah, sure, it was only a pen, but you stole it and now you're going down for it", "YOU cut him off, YOU made him run off the road it's YOU'RE fault the guy's dead and HE, you call him GOD, won't forgive that, I know Him better than you do and I say it won't happen", "If you had just given the guy 5 bucks he would have been able to stay at a cheap hotel for a night and now he's dead and you could have stopped it.", " all you had to do was keep your mouth shut and walk away and she wouldn't have had that breakdown, now she killed herself all because of you." He is a loser, he has lost everything, and now he's going down and he wants to take you, me, and everyone else with him. He is the ultimate bully, and I hate bullies with a passion, I hate them so much that I became one at one point in my life. It seems to me that one of his nastiest tricks is to turn us into that which we hate the most. He also sets us up every chance he gets. It was your choice to steal the pen, but he made sure that you were offered one that you have always wanted because it had your favorite color ink in it. You cut the guy off, but he was also whispering into the other guy's ear to, telling him to not put up with that from you. He made the homeless guy just a little to pathetic and a little too lazy looking. You exploded and ripped her apart verbally and she got depressed and killed herself, but he had been hammering at her heart for weeks before that happened, leading her up (or down) to that point. Yes, you cheated, but he made sure that he or she was wearing the right clothes, the right perfume, moved the right way at the right time. He made sure that your blood was on fire. Ok, so the old saying "the devil made me do it" applies here? If everything in you whispers "WRONG", then you are hearing his voice, and that's good. No, the devil didn't and CAN'T make you do anything, he can suggest, he can urge, he can shout, he can do all kinds of things, but he can't make you do anything. If you don't remember a thing about this article remember this: He cannot MAKE you do anything wrong and he cannot kill you. He would like to make you believe he can, but he can't. Your choices will kill you or save you. God knows how strongly the devil taunts us. He knows how weak we are compared to our enemy and He will always, always without fail, leave us a way out of the traps. He might give us a sign with an arrow pointing that says "trap ahead", He may place something in our path that reminds us of our weakness, but there will always be a way out for us. We can never use the excuse that we had to sin, the temptation was just to much for us to resist. Contrary to what He would have us believe, the devil is still under control and can only do as much as God will allow him to do, and God will not let him place a temptation in our path stronger than we can resist. Listening to God's voice is easy, obeying it usually isn't. It will usually tell us to do just the opposite of what we want to do. We have to make the choice: a little pain and difficulty here and now or an eternity of perfection later?
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