“The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 20:27, KJV)

I love candles. Candles give off a soft glow. The light from the flame mesmerizes, speaking romance, and inviting relaxation. It doesn’t overwhelm. When I am in a room lit by candles, I naturally lower my voice to a whisper. If I walk by candlelight, I move slowly, almost on our tiptoes, with my hand cupping the flame, or the candle may blow out.

“The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” When I first read this verse from Proverbs, I had to pause and think about it. I expected to read, “The Spirit of the Lord is like a candle.” It doesn’t say that. It says, “The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord.” In other words, God uses our spirit as a candle to show us what He wants to show us. His Spirit walks hand in hand with our spirit to lead and speak to us. And He does it gently. He doesn’t use a glaring spotlight like the ones that blast on when a prisoner is trying to escape. He uses a candle and cooperates with our spirit to draw us to Him.

Many times, I wonder whether the thought lingering in my mind is coming from me, or from God. This verse helps me let go of a bit of that confusion. My spirit and His Spirit and working together. I realize that my mind often takes me in destructive directions. I beat myself up unnecessarily. I harbor resentments and judge other people, worry and become afraid instead of trust. This is why I hold those thoughts up to the wisdom of Scripture. As I do this, combined with listening to my spirit and God’s Spirit in me, I begin to hear the clear voice of God. I know from Scripture that God loves me and does not condemn me for each little failing. That is the harsh light of the Accuser, like the light from the prison seeking to keep us behind bars. The Lord’s light, working in sync with our spirit, glows softly like a candle.

These words from Proverbs help me discern between the many voices inside my head, realizing that the voice of my spirit and His Spirit partner together to speak words of encouragement, counsel, affection, affirmation, and on occasion, gentle correction. I will cast aside the angry voice of the Father of Lies, the Accuser, the Thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, and trust the clear Voice of the Shepherd who leads me beside quiet waters and restores my soul.

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