How to Quiet the Roar of Doubt
By Rachael Adams
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Rachael's Story
God, I must have heard you wrong, I silently prayed at my first writer’s conference.
I had just returned to my hotel room after an appointment with an acquisitions editor from a publishing house that I hoped might be interested in my book. I’d worked for months studying, brainstorming, crafting, and editing the words I felt like God had spoken to me, and during my fifteen-minute block of time with the editor, I had the opportunity to pitch my book proposal.
After pouring my heart out to the woman across the desk, I was met with a cold stare and silence. In an awkward attempt to fill the void, I continued to try convincing the editor that this idea was publishable, only to hear that she thought it wasn’t. I nervously glanced at my watch to see that we were only five minutes in, but the meeting was obviously over. I gathered my emotions and my belongings and stood to leave. With one final handshake, I left the room and began my walk of shame back to my hotel room.
I held in the tears until I closed the door and sank deeply into the loveseat in defeat. There was one more day left of the conference, but I seriously considered packing my bags and driving back home. Sitting there alone, the enemy’s lies were deafening.
You don’t belong.
You aren’t good enough.
What were you thinking?
You aren’t talented.
Just give up.
God didn’t tell you that.
I let myself sit with the enemy for far too long. I allowed my mind to come into agreement with the condemnation. Then, out of the blue, I had the urge to turn on worship music on my phone. I listened to the prompting, and the first song that played was about fighting the negative voices in our minds. The songwriter’s plea for God to remind her who she was echoed my plea. The lyrics proceeded to list who God says we are. Each positive affirmation began to take root in my heart. I began singing along and claiming the truth of my God-given identity.
I am beloved.
I am chosen.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am valuable.
When I am weak, You are strong.
I belong and I am Yours.
This time tears fell in gratitude for God’s comforting presence and reassurance of an identity that cannot be taken away. I had let one person’s reaction and one-time comments make me question what God had spoken to my heart and confirmed numerous times. The voices in the world are loud, aren’t they?
The devil is loud too. The Bible tells us he is our enemy and that he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). A roar is not quiet.
The devil wants to create so much noise that we become distracted from God and His plan for us. And not only does he want to distract, he wants to destroy. In John 10:10, Jesus warned that the devil is a thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy. However, Jesus reassures us that He came so we would have life to the full. He also tells us that He is our Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and states that His sheep know His voice (John 10:27).
As His sheep, we can learn to discern His voice by reading His Word, worshiping Him, and praying to Him. While God can certainly speak to us clearly and loudly, I’ve discovered He often whispers in the quiet recesses of my heart. This was also true of Elijah. In 1 Kings 19, while Elijah was waiting to hear from the Lord, a great and mighty wind tore into the mountains and shattered the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. God wasn't in any of these loud, obvious things. Instead, God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice (verses 10-13).
Whether God is speaking loudly or softly, in order to know His voice, we have to spend time with Him. The more time we spend with Him, the more recognizable His voice becomes and the easier it is to identify the counterfeit voice of the devil.
I'm not sure what lies the devil is tempting you to believe today, but I have no doubt he is roaring. Of course he wants to try to make us feel discouraged and defeated. He wants us to quit. But, we can’t.
There is too much at stake and you are too valuable to forfeit your purpose in God’s kingdom.
I’m so grateful that I didn’t quit that day at the writer’s conference, even though, at the moment, my circumstances seemed bleak and unlikely to change. I didn’t sign a contract, and no one told me they liked my proposal. However, my perspective changed. And so did my heart. That was enough to keep me going for another day, and eventually, I did have a breakthrough in my publishing journey.
Sweet friend, I pray you keep going for another day too. It’s time to silence the enemy’s lies and replace them with God’s truth.
My prayer is that no matter how loud he gets, we hear God louder.
When you start to question, “God, did I hear you right?” remember that if what you heard is in His Word, then the answer is a resounding yes!
The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest writer series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.
Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day.
Learn more about each of these five postures:
1 | Seek: If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?
2 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
3 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
4 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
5 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?
New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!
Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Rachael Adams is a writer, speaker, and host of The Love Offering podcast. Through her ministry, she hopes to encourage women to live faithfully and love fully. Her devotional, A Little Goes A Long Way, will be released next year, in October 2022.