Ever feel like you don’t know yourself? “Did that actually come out of my mouth?!?” Someone cuts you off in traffic and words come out of your mouth you’d never use in prayer. Then you’re at a funeral wake and feel tears well up as you hug the widow and pray for her. The tears are real. You ask “Who am I? I mean . . . really?” “Who’s in there?”
Well, if you’ve ever been saved . . . meaning you’ve authentically decided to believe that Jesus is the son of God, that you genuinely asked God to forgive you for your sins, believe He died a sacrificial death to pay for your sins, and was raised from the dead, then you have a split personality. In addition to your personality, there is another one living in you. It’s the spirit of Jesus (commonly referred to as the Holy Spirit). It’s that other voice you hear . . . the one urging you to be humble and kind, to be patient, to forgive.
So Jesus-followers have these two personalities . . . two voices speaking in their noggins all the time. When we listen to our own voice, we’re critical of people, hold grudges, stereotype folks, judge them and turn away. That voice of our ‘flesh’ reminds us of who we were. “You’re not different . . . you’re the same old schmuck you’ve always been.” My friend John calls this voice the ‘inner accuser.’ It’s the voice of the evil one trying to hang on to the old personality we had before we were adopted by the Father and the Holy Spirit of Jesus came into our hearts.
But the voice of God is also speaking . . . almost whispering. It’s always kind, suggesting, “Just forgive her, just like I forgave you!” and “Trust me, I’m with you. Everything’s going to be alright.” and “Drop that thought. It’s not taking you to a good place. Pray right now . . . I’m right here.”
The key to the quality of your life depends on which voice you listen to and obey. You don’t talk your way into righteous living . . . you behave your way in that direction by obeying the voice of God that’s in you. Over and over. And it’s not easy. Listen to the struggle of a guy who was visited by Jesus Himself and who wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else . . .
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. (Romans 7:15)
Why would the Apostle Paul want to do right but not do it? Because, just like us, he had a split personality. He had two voices talking in his head and sometimes, he obeyed the old voice . . . the wrong voice. The point is that all Jesus-followers hear the two voices. It’s which voice we obey that determines the quality of our lives and our usefulness to the Lord. Andrew Murray says the only way to be more filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus is through more obedience to His voice.
So, which personality will you live out today? Which voice will you listen to and obey?
Scripture: But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15 – emphasis mine)
Mentor Tip: Emerson is quoted to have said, “What you are, thunders so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Over the course of the mentoring season, your guys will be watching ‘what you are’ more that listening to what you say. Commit yourself to obeying the Spirit of Jesus living in you so that what you are (and what they see) is an all-in Jesus-follower.