If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. – Vincent van Gogh

Most of us have two voices in our head – narratives that run through our mind. Both are small inner voices, and both can offer similar words. But one voice – if followed – will guide us further into the life of Christ, while the other will lead us away from God's best plans for our lives.

John called that misleading voice a “stranger's voice” in his Gospel (John 10:5). But that misleading voice will be a stranger no more after today. We're going to name it the same thing Paul named it in Romans 7:15, 17.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. … As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

Sin is alive and well inside us; but while the power of sin is in us, it isn't us. The voice of sin is in your thoughts, but it's not your thoughts. The difference is incredibly important, for many of us can start to believe we have a “good side” and a “bad side.” But that's not it. We don't have two natures.

In Christ we are spiritually alive children of God – that is our nature. Before we knew Christ, we were spiritually dead. But it's impossible for us to be spiritually alive in Christ and still dead. So while the sin that lives in us tries to derail our journey toward God's best plan for our lives, that same voice of sin can never remove us from life in Christ.

Have you ever wondered what's going on when someone who loves Jesus does something very unlike Him? Here's truth: We all have the voice of sin speaking to us. We all hear the voice; we are all tempted. We are all capable of following the misleading voice. Knowng this will give us more grace for one another.

Father, if I truly believed that I was always and forever Your child – all sin aside – then the misleading voice would lose its ability to steer my day-to-day life. Whisper to me. Tell me all about my identity in You. Amen.