"The purpose of the voice of condemnation is to push you away from His presence -- that which is the very source of your victory. The purpose of the voice of conviction is to press you into the face of Christ."
Bob Sorge, Secrets of the Secret Place (1)
Sometimes I forget that mothering is a spiritual endeavor. That it is only through the empowering and equipping of God's Spirit that I have any hope of success. And somehow, Although I know it to be true, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, I sometimes begin my day without a moment spent in His presence. Brushing Him breezily aside, I dive into my busy day without taking even a moment to consult with Him. I wonder, how many of the "imperative" items on my to-do list might be cast aside if I had held them up to His wise eyes? Better yet, had I sat before Him with an empty page and asked, "Lord, what would YOU have me to do today?", how different might my list have been?
It is no wonder then, that when I fail miserably, the voice of the enemy shouts loudly and clearly words of condemnation into my ear. His voice causes feelings of failure, doubt, confusion, defeat. His voice pushes me away from the things that are good and right. His voice isolates me from those fellow sojourners whom God has placed alongside me to help. His voice makes me doubt whether I even have a right to an audience with the King whose presence I've neglected so many times.
But God the Father is long suffering and forgiving, slow to anger and abounding in love. (Ex.34:6) He forgets our sin of independence as quickly as we confess it, and He runs to take us in His arms and restore us to a right relationship with Himself. Do you realize that the only time scripture reveals God hurrying is when He, as the waiting and watching Father, ran to welcome His prodigal home?
Dear reader, whether you are enjoying success or are experiencing struggles, I encourage you to begin each day with an appointment with God. As you seek Him through prayer and His word, He will give you wisdom (James 1:5), strength (Phil. 4:13), freedom from fear and anxiety (Phil. 4:6), and clear direction for each day (Is. 30:21). Even 15 minutes with the Savior each morning is an investment in the quality and effectiveness of your day, of your very life! Time spent at Jesus' feet is never time wasted. And if your heart and mind are filled with HIS words, then when the accuser whispers lies in to your ears, you will recognize whom it is that is speaking. Dear reader, run to Jesus!
(1)-Lee's Summit, MO: Oasis House, 2001, 57-58.
Lori Hatcher lives in Columbia, SC, and is the wife of a youth pastor, homeschooling mother of two lovely young women, part-time dental hygienist, published writer, and author of the blog “Be Not Weary.”