by Elaine Morley
My husband and I were lying in bed in the early morning hours and God awoke my heart with a thought: “I have made you a better person, more kind, more patient … more like Me.” I cuddled closer to my husband and said to him, “God has really changed me and I realize now I wasn’t always as good of a wife as I thought I was. I’m sorry for the times I wasn’t as good of a wife as I should have been.” It was a very tender moment with my God and my husband. It was a gift waiting for me as I awoke in the morning light and I was so thankful for it.
As I lay in bed for a few more minutes, I continued to think about how God changed me and how it has set me free from my past wounds. It has allowed me to shrug off the chains that were binding me to past regrets and past hurts. An important part of my spiritual transformation has been learning to recognize God’s voice and to turn away from the lies of the deceiver.
You may call him the Devil, Lucifer, or any other name, but I always call him the deceiver because I let him deceive me for far too many years. That name also reminds me that he still lurks around waiting to find a weak spot in my armor. His lies usually have a ring of truth to them or they prey on our human frailties. But they aren’t The Truth. They aren’t God’s Truth. Once you learn to recognize and deny the deceiver’s lies, your life will change like you never thought possible! I know, because it happened to me.
A beautiful thing happened several years ago when I started to truly seek God and His word and His truth. As I studied God’s word and went through small group studies about recognizing God’s voice, winning the battlefield of my mind, and even reading Christian fiction like the Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, God opened my eyes to how the deceiver works. He taught me to be on the lookout for the deceiver’s lies.
Are you feeling condemned for something you did in the past? Do you feel shame over decisions you’ve made, paths you’ve taken, or things that were done to you? Is a voice in your head telling you that you better not call yourself a good Christian, or a good wife, or a good mother because of what you did ten years ago, last year, or this morning? If you said yes to any of these questions, I can tell you with absolute certainly that is the deceiver’s voice.
God’s voice convicts us to confess our sins and then leave them behind. He does not dig up old dirt and He does not hold things over our heads that we’ve already confessed and turned away from. God does not shame us. He offers us grace.
The thought that God put in my heart that morning didn’t make me feel condemnation or shame for how I used to be. It simply shed light on how much I’ve changed and how far God has brought me. It filled my heart with such joy and love that it took my breath away. The focus wasn’t really on the past behavior; it was on how far I’ve come. That is what God does! He celebrates who He has made us, He tells us to focus on what our next move is. He reminds us that we already have victory if we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior because He died for our sins, our past regrets, and the paths we wish we hadn’t taken. He stands us up strong and tall so we can defeat the lies that the deceiver tries to plant in our heads. He makes us strong for the battles ahead, not weak from dwelling on the past.
Elaine Morley and her husband, Paul, have been married for 20 years and have called Grace Family Church their home for the past seven. She has two wonderful step-children who still live in Minnesota, but visit Florida often. She serves as a Beautiful small group leader and loves the friends she’s made at Grace who help strengthen her walk with God.