When we ran a wilderness thing in the mountains, we had a fun little game we’d play on our ropes course. These adventure courses and team building are, to be blunt, a little cliche these days. As a result, very few people were interested in just climbing rope ladders, jumping off poles, and falling backwards into some outstretched arms.
To make things more exciting, we had our over-confident participants do the ropes course blindfolded. They’d climb the rope ladder and the put on a blind fold and navigate the rest of the course by listening to voices from the ground. But down on the ground, we had every voice but one shouting lies; telling the blind girl to move left when she should go right, or to reach higher when she really needed to squat down. Always, though, there was one voice that was the true one. And always, one she heard the true voice she was home free, able to quiet the lying voices by listening closely for the truth in the midst of noise, and responding to that.
“My sheep hear my voice and they follow me” is what the Bible says, and God knows that it needs to be true because there are plenty of other voices out there telling us lies. We’re told that we are what we own, that we are what we wear, that we are our % of body fat, that we are who we sleep with, where we travel, what music we listen to. Those voices are all, to be polite, rubbish.There’s one voice that matters, and it’ the voice that tells me who I am because of the reality of Christ. Though I could argue with a few details, I like the list presented here that reminds me of my identity in Christ. I have a similar list sitting on my desk at work, and read it often to remind me of who I really am. Listening to God remind me that in Christ I’m filled, whole, adequate, deeply loved, is significant for me because I struggle with inadequacy and self-doubt, and am prone to disengagement from all things meaningful because of this. The good news though, is that when I listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd and thank Him for these fundamental truths, I find the very thing of which I speak in yesterday’s sermon: encouragement in the scriptures. The fruit of this is hope, as I spoke of yesterday, and as Matthew Parris wrote about here.
Learn to listen for God’s voice in the midst of the cacophony that’s raging. Hear it. Believe it. Find increasing freedom. Abound in Hope.
Feel free to share habits you’ve developed to listen for God’s voice in your own life. Thanks.