Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
All of us have voices that speak into our lives and impact our thinking and behavior. These voices can be either negative or positive, healing or condemning. Some of these voices are in the present; family, friends, and co-workers all share their opinions, evaluations, and perspectives that impact our viewpoints and choices.
Because these individuals are speaking in real time, we have the opportunity for questions, clarifications, debate, and challenge; however, there are other difficult voices interacting with us. They are voices from our past. Opinions, expressions, and declarations that come from a variety of sources can lodge themselves in our souls. They become a permanent and relentless echo of how we see and respond to life.
A few weeks ago, Agnes and I attended a three-day conference about emotionally healthy leaders. During our participation in the seminar, we were asked to venture into our past and identify voices that continue to impact us in the present.
Agnes was able to identify the voices of some mean girls from her childhood who established a club known as “People Against Agnes.” These early impressions of rejection have made it a challenge for her to feel accepted, wanted, and valued.
I also became aware of a voice from the past that has impacted my pace of life and ministry. The voice I am referring to is my father’s.
My dad was an amazing godly leader and a loving father; however, some of his verbal affirmations had a direct impact on me. Two in particular are “don’t quit” and “don’t disappoint (except your family, because they will understand).”
My interpretation of these phrases was, “always work harder and longer than those around you” and “always be available to others and if you need to sacrifice some family obligations, they will understand.”
Over the years, I have battled with these expectations and have succumbed to the pressure, leading to a feeling of shallowness in my soul. I am constantly convicted by conversations around Sabbath and find that one of my greatest challenges is cultivating solitude and contemplation.
Running has been a huge gift to me in listening to God, but I know I need to deepen my journey of silence. On many occasions, I have had to apologize to my family for neglecting them and disappointing them for choosing to meet the expectations of others while neglecting theirs.
Healing requires replacing these voices with the voice of God. God speaks into the deepest places of our soul. He tells us that we are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1), we are forgiven (Romans 5:1), we are deeply loved (Colossians 3:12), we are accepted (Ephesians 1:6), we are kept (Ephesians 1:13-14), and we are secure (1 Peter 1:3-5).
We can enter into rest because God is sovereign, and we do not have to fear the future because God is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). It is His voice that must become the voice in our lives.
What are the voices from your past that are speaking to you? It is time to identify them and bring them out of the shadows and into the light. Tune your heart to the voice of the One who loves you without condition and sings over you with unbridled love.
Please find the original version in C&MA website