You go on. You set one foot in front of the other, and if a thin voice cries out, somewhere behind you, you pretend not to hear, and keep going. – Geraldine Brooks, March
Sometimes I get nasty emails. One morning as I was reading one of these rare gems, this little voice inside me said, You should write THIS back. It wasn't very nice.
That same morning, I was reading in the book of Revelation. My notes mentioned that the book is comprised of letters written to a complacent church. This little voice inside me said, Read the book again and ask yourself: “If John wrote to the complacent church, who is that telling us to wake up?”
Two little voices, two very different messages.
Not every voice we hear inside our head is the voice of God. There are two strong voices inside us – I call them the leading voice and the misleading voice. Both are described in John 10:3-5.
“The gatekeeper opens the gate… and the sheep listen to his voice. … And his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice.”
Two voices: your Savior's and a stranger's. The author assumes we know the voice of Jesus, but that's not always true. Many of us don't know Jesus' voice. What's more, we don't always run away from the stranger's voice. And if we don't run, then we risk being misled.
So what does it look like to be led by the voice of Jesus?
Romans 8:14 tells us, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
To be led by the leading voice is to be led by the Spirit.
Now, I know God speaks to us through the Bible. But consider how that happens. We'll be reading a passage, something strikes us, and we think, Wow, I've never seen that before. And then we stop and have this inner conversation with God. We interact with Him. He talks to us with His inner voice – a conversation spurred by the Word. That's one of His favorite ways to do it.
This is the leading voice. But what of that strange misleading voice?
Lord, I trust You, but I don't always trust my ability to discern between the two voices. I beg You, either speak louder or equip me to always know the difference. Amen.