Wednesday, October 23, 2013

GUEST BLOG: Listen To My Voice

GUEST BLOG
written by Angie

Angie & I met in college.  We both married within a week of each other and we spent the first year of our marriages in a newlywed coed Bible Study together.  It was during this year that I grew to deeply respect her walk with Jesus.  She is currently a mother of 3 girls.  I know you will be blessed by her praying heart.

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I don't know about you, but I feel like there are a lot of voices out there.  We live in a very connected world and information flies into our minds (and our hearts) almost constantly.  

And, if you are like me, even when I am in complete silence, there are still "voices" in my head.  I hear my own thoughts and worries.  Conversations or events that happened earlier run around and around in my head.  

In the midst of that, there is the voice of God.  

And also the voice of the Evil One.  


Jesus speaks to the voices we hear in John 10 when he tells the story about the sheep and the Good Shepherd.  He was speaking to the religious leaders of the day and he said that the true Shepherd goes in through the gate and "the sheep listen to his voice (v.3)".  He goes on to say that they follow him because they know his voice and they will never follow a stranger because they do not recognize a stranger's voice (v.4-5)."  

Jesus goes on to talk about his care of the sheep- that he is the Good Shepherd to his sheep, that he lays his life down for His Sheep (v. 11), that He does not abandon them when a wolf comes to attack the Sheep (v. 12) and that he came for the Sheep so that they may have life and have it to the full (v. 10).  

I love this story because it speaks to the intimate way that Jesus wants to live with his children.  

In order to know someone's voice, you have to spend a lot of time with them, listening.  Hearing the voice of someone we love, like our spouse or a dear friend or family member can bring such comfort when we are hurting. We can probably all think of a difficult time in our lives when we experienced comfort at the sound of someone's voice.   

As we seek to obey God, we begin by listening to the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd.
As we seek to find God's will for our families, we begin by listening to the voice of Jesus.  

As I teach my children about God, I continually come alongside them and teach them what the voice of Jesus sounds like.  

This can happen through reading the Word together and pointing out how God interacts with His children.  

This can happen through praying together and making space in prayer time to wait quietly and see if God might speak to my child's heart.  

And, when I see my children listening to the voice of God, I can affirm that in them so they grow in their awareness of His Voice.  

My children are still pretty young, but they are already making many choices.  Right now, they have a safety net of making choices mostly in my presence and I can actively guide them through that process.  However, this will change quickly and the number of choices they will make independently will only increase as they grow.  I won't always be there to help them.  

Thinking about my children growing up and making choices that will have significant impact on their lives can overwhelm me.  

But I find so much comfort knowing that God is ever-present in each of my children's lives.  He is speaking to them and desires for them to listen to His voice and follow Him. If they know the voice of their Good Shepherd and they listen to His voice, I know that He will be faithful to lead them.  

Jesus, we thank you that you are our Good Shepherd. Thank you for giving us your voice to listen to.  I pray that you would teach us to know your voice more and more.  Thank you for speaking to our children.  We pray that each one of our children would know your voice.  We know our children will have many voices in their lives, but we pray that your voice would be the voice that they listen to and follow.  Thank you that as we follow Your voice, You give us life to the fullest.  We love You.  Amen.  

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