..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Voice of Strangers

....the sheep hear his voice and he calls His own sheep by name
and leads them out....yet they will by no means follow a
stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the
voice of a stranger." (John 10: 3, 5)

What a great promise and a sobering warning this is to us!
God knows His own by name and calls them out. He leads
them safely and gives His life for them. But many strangers
try and raise their voice to lure the sheep toward them.
The land, the world, is full of such voices. They are
everywhere and they are in places you would not
expect them to be. So we must listen to who is calling us.

So many are trying to gather people unto themselves
for their own purposes. Some of those people are
naive. Some are misguided. Some are malevolent.
Some are ravening wolves. Some are in league with
the devil. None have a  shepherd's heart toward you.

Our sole job is to listen and know the Shepherd's voice.
We are in the midst of a war. Strange voices
are vying for our souls. Many want to eat us.
Only Jesus, our good Shepherd, can protect and keep us. 
It is not really a scary matter, but a simple matter of faith and
of hearing.

There is not much we can do to defend ourselves:
sheep don't have much in the way of offensive
resources. But we can trust our Shepherd and
listen to Him. That we can do. He will protect
us. The others do not care for our souls.

How will we hear? First, we must listen. Then
we must discern. Is this the One who loves
me and has given His life for me? Is this
the One who leads me beside still waters?
Is this the One who restores my soul?

When we spend much time with our Beloved
we know what He is like. We can feel His
protection and love for us. We know His
demeanor and His ways. We know His
protective Hand. But the voice of another
we do not recognize.

Dear Ones, when you do not recognize the voice, do not
follow it no matter how sweetly it calls to you. If it promises
that which fulfills the lust of the flesh, the lust of
the eyes, or the pride of life, beware! The hook is
hidden by the bait!

Listen! Listen! Listen!

photo taken in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

No comments: