Mark Affleck


September 26, 2016
Spiritual Growth

I lived for many years with a self-destructive “NEGATIVITY FORCE” roiling in my head and creating a barrier between me and God. It was HORRIBLE. The noisy and painful narrative that invaded my mind took the form of thoughts like:

  1. Nothing counts and nothing ever matters.
  2. This can never and will never change.
  3. My life’s glass if always half-empty.
  4. I’m the victim and it is their fault.
  5. Eventually, they will reject me.

As the NEGATIVITY FORCE gained velocity with every revolution, it became more difficult for me to move toward God. My self-defeating thoughts had formed a seemingly permanent barrier. I was trapped by what I call the “Voice Villain” (Satan) spewing lies like a smoke bomb going off in my car and sending me off God’s road and into a ditch.
When my car finally rolled to a stop, I wondered if it would be possible to get back on God’s road. I hadn’t planned to veer off his road; I just failed to do anything that would keep me on God’s road.
Is there any good news in this story? Absolutely. Stick with me.
God does not ask us to destroy all of the darkness and chase away the smoke created by the voice villain. He asks us to look ahead and take the confidence he provides to push aside the negativity.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25
I wish there was a formula to chase away the Voice Villain from his residence in our head. I have searched for one and, believe me, it is not there. Why not? Why do those voices keep talking to us and thwarting our effort to find God’s peace and joy? Is it because we are not good enough as Christians? Absolutely not!
The only technique we can use to deal with Satan’s voice villain is to stop focusing on him. The process of defeating the voices transcends the obvious power of God over Satan. That would be too simple. The barrier is our failure to call on God’s power to knock down the voices with his truths. To do that we need to call on the supernatural powers available to us through the Holy Spirit when the voice starts to “speak.” But we don’t.
In that sense, we are not victims of the voice villain so much as accomplices!
The voice villain has convinced us we can’t be like the “good Christians” we idealize and put on a pedestal. We wonder why God would have a plan for us, with all of our weakness and pain. We wonder why God would want to use our failures, imperfections, and inadequacies. Those thoughts have devastating consequences.
The negativity that comes from listening to the Voice Villain prevents us from seeing that the idealized, perfect Christian is an illusion, and that God’s plan for each of our lives is precisely to use our failures and our weaknesses to show us how much we need him in charge of everything.
“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

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