In attempting to reach my goal of participating in a 5K run I have been fighting a voice in my head. This voice starts when I’m in bed, attempting to convince me that I will be in a world of hurt if I pursue my daily exercise goals. I fight the voice when I choose to get in my exercise clothes. I fight the voice in my car driving to the walking track.

My breathing becomes labored as I jog. The voice, sensing weakness, begs me to stop. At this point it is much easier to ignore. It seems to know when to cut its losses and quiet down, dormant in defeat; a spoiled child waiting for the next opportunity to oppress. And it has been oppressive. My body is a testament that I have followed the voice’s bidding far more often than I have resisted it.

It’s not just painful stuff that summons the voice. It comes to life when I am engaged in social activity as well. The voice reminds me how tired I am. It paints a picture of how nice it would be to spend time at home. I could relax. It encourages me away from activities that would benefit me.

The voice proudly proclaims that I am unworthy, and undeserving. When I feel confident, it reminds me of all the reasons why I shouldn’t feel that way. From its vantage point, the voice assures me that I will never measure up, and beats down any effort to better myself. It encourages indulgence and discourages initiative.

I don’t know where this voice comes from? But I do know the voice is not my friend. It is a sniper, patiently waiting to pick off a positive thought or action.

The ancient Hebrews had a word for a being that obstructed, opposed, and accused. They referred to this being as “The Satan.” It could mean the name of a specific person, but most often referred to a title for any entity that behaved in a certain way.

My voice behaves that way.  It obstructs. It opposes. It accuses. It doesn’t affirm my life, it’s intent on destroying it.

Voice, you obstruct, oppose and accuse me. I declare you “The Satan”. And to follow the path of affirmation in my life I must say; “Get away from me, Satan! You are a trap to me. (Mt.16:24)