Day 9: Hearing God
READ- Psalm 23
REFLECT- Sheep know the voice of their shepherd. In a real-life scenario, when a shepherd calls to his sheep that have spent much time with him, they respond to his voice. A different person, with a different voice, doing the same call to the sheep will not be able to get them to respond. The sheep, despite their limited capability, know the voice of the one who cares for them. They will respond to the call and direction of their true shepherd. A false shepherd will not be able to lead them astray.
There are many voices vying for our attention in this world, but there is only one voice that truly knows what is best for us, that is the voice of God. Learning to discern God’s voice in our lives is one of the most important abilities we can acquire. The voice of our enemy can sound good and true if we do not know the voice of our true shepherd, Jesus. It is his voice that will guide us into green pastures, quiet waters, and through the darkest valleys. The voice of our enemy will lead us to the path of destruction. We have God’s Word, not only in printed version, but imprinted in our soul when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us and guides us. It is the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit in us that keeps us from sin, and will lead us along right paths.
RESPOND- Are you familiar with the inner voice of the Holy Spirit? Sometimes it reveals itself in what we call our conscience. Do you listen to or ignore that voice? Maybe a little bit of both? Learn to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and do what it says. Learn to recognize when the wrong voice is calling to you, and reject that voice. This takes practice. What are you hearing this week? Are there any convictions that something isn’t quite right? Does something else sound good, but at the same time, something about it isn’t quite right?
I have heard in the past that the "rod and staff" mentioned in Psalm 23:4 are representative of the Word of God. I thought this was an important point. We know that one of the ways God speaks to us is through the scriptures. And the word can be a comfort to us when we are in that darkest valley.