Father, this morning my heart and my mind is in Psalm 63: O God, you are my God, I earnestly search for you; my soul thirsts for you, my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
As I reflect back on my life of addiction, I walked many days in the land of the dry and weary. There was no water, no relief. I lived those days so deep in the pit of pain, and in no way could I see a way of escape. Every time I attempted to climb out, I just seemed to fall deeper and deeper. I can visualize and feel the pain as if it were yesterday. Oh, how deep the scars run, Abba, but this is also where we met. Thankfully, today the joy and the love I have found in you runs even deeper.
Throughout my recovery I would find myself having to choose from the many voices calling for my attention. So often the voice I heard when faced with temptation was louder than your voice, Father, your still small voice. (1 Kings 19:12) The loud voice I heard and still hear today seeks to define me. I think the loud voice comes from Satan himself. It is his mission to keep my mind in stinking thinking. He turns up the volume when he knows I am standing at a crossroad. He shouts, “choose me, choose me, Julie, and I will take you on a ride of complete delight and bring you immediate satisfaction.” If he had his way, he would take my hand and lead me right back into the pit.
Thank you, thank you, Father, for daily calling me ever so gently to turn towards the voice of reason, the voice of truth. This is my beloved Son whom I love; with whom I am well pleased; listen to him. (Matthew 17:5) I have learned, when I stand at a crossroad and need to make a choice, to recall your word: Whether you turn to the right or to the left you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
Today, temptations are always before me and the pits still surround me, but I don’t jump in because I choose you! I choose you every day and sometimes, as you know, I need to choose you every hour! I have disciplined my ears to hear you from my heart. For it is out of my heart that you live and where I hear you most clearly. It is in you where I am most satisfied and have found my joy. The days of choosing Satan are but a memory. No longer does the voice that spoke so loudly reign in my head, because you, Jesus, have taken your rightful throne in my heart.
Having heard His voice at the age of 43, I was given the grace to turn towards Him and walk the path He had designed for me – not to stay on the path of addiction held captive by fear, but rather to take the path of life. (Acts 2:28) Turning and making good choices is what we are called to do. The good news is that we don’t have to muscle up the power nor the courage to do it alone. In fact, we can’t. It is God who powerfully works in us and enables us to turn and change. (Eph. 2:10)
Have you been hearing God’s still small voice in your heart? Has it made you turn in ways you never expected? If so we would love to hear from you.