Isaiah 49 has an interesting phrase that appears twice: “But I said…” (vv. 4, 14).
Notice that first word: But. That conjunction means that “I” am saying something in contradiction to what someone else has said. Sadly, in this case the Someone Else that is speaking in this chapter is God Himself!
The phrase “this is what the LORD says” is used three times in this same chapter (vv. 8, 22, 25). Look at what God is saying to you and me:
- I made you
- I called you
- you are My servant
- I reward you
- you have My favor
- you have My comfort
- I never forget you
- I will never disappoint you
A consistent strategy of the devil is try to get us second-guessing or doubting God’s promises. He did this to Eve—“Did God really say that?”—and he tried it with Jesus—“Are You really the Son of God?”—and he’s still trying it today.
Jesus said the devil’s native tongue is lying. He lies and he slanders you. He wants you to simply listen to those lies without questioning them.
Someone once asked Smith Wigglesworth, “Smith, how do you feel?” He replied, “I never ask Smith how I feel. I tell him how he feels!”
That’s good counsel for us today!
Don’t listen to yourself, especially when you’re tired or lonely or anxious or scared, but talk to yourself. Remind yourself what God says to you and what He says about you. Remind those negative thoughts that God never lies, that He is all-loving, that He is all-powerful, and that He has a unique plan and purpose your life.
Whenever you feel like saying, “But I said,” change those thoughts around to, “But this is what God says!”