It’s 2017, and God is yet speaking! He wants us to “know” Him and become familiar with His voice! God wants an intimate fellowship that grows from mutual communication and a daily dialog with Him. This two-way communication is vital because we get to “know” Him for ourselves. How does anyone get to know another? Time spent talking, listening and sharing their true feelings and desires with one another.
God’s abundant love sent His Son, Jesus to the cross; taking our place and receiving the punishment we so rightfully deserved. Christ’s act of obedience paid sin’s costly debt and provided for us fellowship with God once again (Hebrews 10:19-20*). The Lord also wants us to be fulfilled, blessed and successful in the plan that He has established for our lives. We should become a reflection of His love and blessing on the Earth (Jeremiah 29:11).
This year, our desire at Truth Memorial is to “Hear His Voice”. *Jesus tells us in John 10:27*, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Our Good Shepherd is attentive and compassionate to every sheep’s need, desiring we recognize His voice above all other voices. When we “Hear His Voice”, we should listen intently, following Him where He leads. When we distinguish His voice, we will “flee” from all the other voices because, we “know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:5).
There are four voices that we can hear – (1) OWN, the voice of our own fleshly desires, (2) OTHER voices, (3) the voice of the devil and (4) God’s voice. We must train our ears to hear God’s voice. God by His Spirit will speak to us through the Word of God.
Our OWN voice, expresses selfishness and egotism. Most of the time, we are thinking only of ourselves. I call it the ‘I’ syndrome. What about me? How will I benefit from this? Will I be satisfied? The letter ‘I’ is the middle letter of the words sin and pride. In other words, ‘I’ is on the throne being controlled by our “lusts of the flesh” and our “desires of the heart” (Ephesians 2:3).
OTHER voices are the opinions, commentaries and verdicts of other people. They can influence us to serve self or serve God. Whoever we hang out with the most will be the person of influence. Deciding whom to listen to, the “flesh” or the Spirit of God requires an entourage of godly people in our inner circle (Galatians 5:16-17). We must be aware of the “wolves” in sheep clothing (Matthew 7:15). They are false prophets misleading sheep in the wrong direction.
The devil’s voice is cunning, seeking to divide and conquer. He confuses our minds with thoughts of doubt and unbelief. These “fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16), are the ideas and viewpoints of the world. The devil is a deceiver (Genesis 3:13), an accuser (Revelation 12:10), a tempter (Matthew 4:3) and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We need to be vigilant and train our ears to discern what voices are trustworthy. God’s voice displaces all other voices. But how can we know whether we are hearing the voice of God? The Bible imparts biblical truths that help us sift every voice through the scrutiny of God’s Word. God speaks with His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God speaks by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 8:10-11). He also speaks through godly counsel (Proverbs 11:14). There is confirmation when God speaks (Matthew 18:16). And you will have the peace of God (Colossians 3:15).
As we humble ourselves before the Lord, seek His guidance in our lives, the Good Shepherd will be faithful to lead us, “…in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3*), because without Him, we cannot do anything.