Certain voices hold this odd pull on our heartstrings. They are like sad oboes or something, something that makes you want to throw all your money at the radio while yelling, “I love you.” I don't know what it is. – Jonathan Goldstein
Not every voice we hear inside our head is the voice of God. We know that. This is why Libby put up a sign in our kitchen that reads: DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK.
I was driving along Highway 80 a number of years ago, when I saw a billboard that read: Adult Books. And an oversize arrow beckoned passersby to stop at the dilapidated building below.
As I drove past, a voice inside me said, Slow down. You should stop there. I didn't stop, but the voice was clear in its instruction.
Last summer, I took an early morning bike ride. I rode all the way to the bottom of this trail, and then I turned back around. I was in a bit of a hurry because I needed to get to work. But as I rounded a corner, I saw a man sitting at a picnic table all alone. He looked despondent.
As I pedaled by, a little voice inside me said, Slow down. You should stop there.
If I had gone to the first place, bad things would have happened. If I'd stopped at the second, good stuff might have occurred. What's going on?
We know the Holy Spirit speaks to us from the inside. There are lovely examples of this in Scripture. Acts 8:29 says, “The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.'”
How specific is that? When was the last time the Spirit told you to go stand by that car, or go talk to that man at the picnic table?
My point is twofold:
First, God speaks to us through His Spirit. This inner voice of God is a part of our lives in Christ. How incredible!
Second, not every voice we hear inside our head is the voice of God.
This week, we're going to learn how to recognize the voice of God, but we're also going to examine this other voice. If we know what's at work, then we can work against it.
Jesus, some of us have heard You, some of us long to hear You, and some of us have gone so long without recognizing Your voice that we aren't sure You still speak to us. May we all end this week saying, “He speaks to me.” Amen.