A couple of Sunday’s ago we had a discussion at the RCIA session about how God speaks to us. As I have written before, with all the noise that surrounds us it can be difficult at times to hear Him.
One of the participants asked how we can tell if it is God or Satan speaking. If you have had the pleasure of raising children and they weren’t perfect like mine were, I am sure there were times when you needed to remind them to use their inside voices. They had inside voices and outside voices. When it comes to God and Satan I picture God as using the inside voice while Satan uses the outside voice. Why wouldn’t God use His outside voice to drown out Satan? Here is my theory.
God certainly wants us to come to Him, but He doesn’t want to force us. He wants us to come of our own accord. Satan, on the other hand, wants to drown out anything God may be trying to tell us, hence the more noise. He distracts us by coming at us from all directions. He sends temptation after temptation towards us. It is a struggle to tune all this out, especially if we are only luke-warm followers of Jesus. When we aren’t totally committed, Satan knows that the more noise he sends our way, the harder it will be for us to hear God and eventually we will give up trying. However, if he knows he can’t get through to us He will slack off some. He won’t give up but he will concentrate his efforts somewhere where he will harvest more souls.
It’s similar to when I take my dog out for a walk. She will go here and there, sniffing until something else captures her attention. Then she abandons it and moves on to next giving the new thing her undivided attention. Very rarely does one thing hold her attention for long. It can be the same with us and Satan knows this. This is why he will do everything in his power to distract us. We need to develop blinders so we only concentrate on Jesus.
Just because Satan quiets down, doesn’t mean he will go away. Remember the story Jesus tells of the unclean spirit:
Luke 11:24–26 (NABRE)
“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”
We need to train ourselves to hear God’s inside voice, to learn how to drown out the extra noise around us. He is there and He will lead us, we only need to listen.