Lately, I’ve been struggling with people pleasing and negative interpretation. If you also struggle with these things, then you will understand having to battle all the lies that your brain tells you throughout the day. I have never been very good at capturing these intrusive thoughts and turning them over to God. I tend to set them free on the hamster wheel inside my head and they keep going, and going, and going… until I believe the them. So, yesterday, as I was reading John 10, verse 5 smacked me in the face.In this Chapter, Jesus describes himself as the Shepherd and his followers as his flock. He explains that his sheep “will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers”.
I immediately remembered a video I watched in school about Stranger Danger. I remember this video very clearly because of how dramatic I thought it was. In the video, a little boy is walking himself to school when a car drives up beside him. The driver rolls down the passenger window and says to the boy, “Well hello th–“. Before the man could finish, the little boy looks at the him and screams at the top of his lungs, “BACK AWAY. YOU ARE NOT MY DAD!” and runs for his life in the opposite direction. I remember laughing at this video because I thought it was fascinating how the kid didn’t even let the man finish. He didn’t take time to stop and see who the man was at all. He just screamed and ran. So as I read verse 5, with this video in mind, it hit me: why do I follow and believe the lies in my head when I know they are not from God?
In verse 5 it says that the Lord’s sheep will “never follow a stranger” instead they will flee him because they “don’t recognize the voice of strangers”. Just like the boy in the video, I want to immediately flee and run from Satan’s lies and deceptions. The moment I pause and entertain those thoughts, I am allowing myself to be kidnapped. But how do I learn to differentiate the voice of strangers from the voice of God? The only way I can do this is to know what my Heavenly Father says about me and believe them. He says that I am:
- His daughter (Romans 8:15)
- Loved (John 3:16)
- Valuable (Matthew 6:26)
- Never alone (Isaiah 41:10; Psalms 118:6)
- Designed (Psalms 139:14)
- Redeemed (Romans 3:24)
- Set free (Romans 8:2)
- Made new (2 Corinthians 5:17)
So as crazy as it sounds, every time intrusive thoughts enter my head, I need to tell them to “Back away. You are not from my Heavenly Father”, flee from them, and run toward Truth. I need to not even let the Stranger finish. Just the like the boy, I want to be abiding in Truth so much that my first reaction is to run for the hills.