Friday, July 14, 2017

Rise Up and Build: Don't Believe Everything You Hear

I would like to have a word with the weatherman. He said that yesterday was supposed to be mostly sunny with a high of 72°—beautiful weather for taking the dog to the lake. The only problem is that he was WRONG!

It was not mostly sunny; it was quite cloudy all day. It was also windy and cool. Thankfully, I had taken a jacket for the morning chill. I ended up wearing it the entire time. My hands were so chilled I could barely write. The temperature was 58° when I began my hike. It was 60° when I was done. Ooooh, heatwave!

I'm not complaining about the weather, mind you. The cool temperature was quite a relief from the extreme heat we've been dealing with. No, my complaint is not with the weather—it's with the weatherman. If he doesn't know what the weather will be like, he should just say so. It just goes to show us that we can’t believe everything we hear.

We’ve already discussed how the world’s teachings don’t line up with God’s Word, so we must be careful to block out their voices or at the very least, to take what they’re saying with a grain of salt. Nehemiah learned that lesson as well.

Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me. (Nehemiah 6:10-14) 

Shemaiah was supposed to be on Nehemiah’s side. He was a fellow prophet and supposedly a good guy, but when he told Nehemiah that he should hide in the temple, Nehemiah knew that something wasn’t right. Even though the source was trustworthy, Nehemiah was smart enough and clear-headed enough to run those instructions through the filter based on what God had already told him. When he did, he figured out that Shemaiah had been hired by Tobiah and Sanballat (yes, the same old enemy). Their goal was to make Nehemiah fear for his life and run to the temple to escape his fate. But Nehemiah knew that his fate was in God’s hands, and that Tobiah and Sanballat couldn’t do anything to him unless God allowed it.

We cannot believe everything we hear from the enemy or even so-called friends. And we especially cannot trust what our emotions are saying to us. They are the biggest liars of all! They will tell us that we’re all alone, that no one cares about us, that things will never get better, that we might as well help ourselves because no one else will do it, and on and on. Don’t listen! Our feelings and emotions, when left to their own devices, will seek to do what Tobiah and Sanballat attempted to do to Nehemiah—they will make us fearful and ineffective. Don’t listen. Do what Nehemiah did and compare the statements of your feelings to the truth of God’s Word. Here’s what you’ll find:

Feelings say, “You are all alone.” God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Feelings say, “No one cares about you.” God says, “I loved you enough to send my Son to die for you.”

Feelings say, “You’re such a loser. You’ll never accomplish anything.” But God says, “You are more than conquerors through me, and you can do all things through me.”

Feelings say, “You’ve tried before and failed. This time won’t be any different.” God says, “Though you fall, you will not be cast down, for I’m upholding you with my hand.”

See what I mean? Don’t listen to the myriad of voices around you. Tune in to the only one that matters!

*Excerpt from Rise Up and Build:  A Biblical Approach To Dealing With Anxiety and Depression



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