And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. -1 Kings 19:12 (KJV)
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” -Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)
Remember the cartoons of the 1940s and 1950s, where characters often had an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, trying to convince them which path to take?
Before I was a believer, I just thought it was a funny way to portray our conscience. After I became a believer, I could see that the idea of good and bad voices are not so funny or cute, but illustrate the spiritual warfare that rages in our minds and hearts every day.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us in a still, small voice in our hearts, as He did to Elijah after all the opposing prophets of Baal were vanquished in 1 Kings. But, we only hear the Spirit whisper in our hearts when we stop talking over it to get our own way!
Meanwhile, Satan attacks us from the outside, through the influences of the world around us, as well as whispering in our ears. He’ll plant seeds of doubt, betrayal, indulgence, and hate. But, Satan only has the power to suggest; he cannot make us do anything. Just as with Eve in the Garden of Eden, he only had to tell her that doing what God forbade would be the right thing to do…and would put her in a better place. (We know what happened next.)
Two voices meet our free will
And both of those voices, the holy one within and the unholy one at the gates, meet our free will. It’s really easy to give in and let the gates come down. It’s often the easier route that will let us indulge the will of the flesh…the fun stuff.
But we’re ultimately more enriched and nourished by always choosing what will please and glorify the Lord…even if it’s not popular. If it’s right by God, it’s right.
So, the next time you hear the voice of temptation in your ears, you know who it is. But still yourself so you can hear the Spirit’s whisper deep in your heart, and when you obediently follow Him, you will never face the regret of listening to the other voice.