I used to follow any voice than entered my mind. I still remember. The voice would start innocently as a little thought: “That person does not like you.” Then, as I dwelled on the thought, a belief would grow: “I am not worthy to be liked.” Eventually, after days following this voice, a pernicious power of hopelessness and meaninglessness would overtake me…and I would end up in the dark dungeon of despair.
I AM THE GATE; WHOEVER ENTERS THROUGH ME WILL BE SAVED. HE WILL COME IN AND GO OUT, AND FIND PASTURE. THE THIEF COMES ONLY TO STEAL AND KILL AND DESTROY; I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL
However, my life has changed. I do not follow just any thought that enters my mind, any more. One thought at a time, I gave my life to Jesus. As a result, I have gotten to know the Voice of Jesus. I know its characteristics. It fills me with Hope. It lavishes me with the Perfect Father’s Love. It feeds me with Faith. It leads me to green pastures of Peace. When I follow the Voice of Jesus, I end up where Jesus is—in Life to the full.
MY SHEEP LISTEN TO MY VOICE; I KNOW THEM, AND THEY FOLLOW ME
Child, become familiar with the Good Shepherd’s Voice—My Voice of Life. If you follow My Voice regularly, you will know My Voice. When you know My Voice, you will recognize the voice of the stranger, when he comes to kill, steal, and destroy. You will recognize the voice of the thief—the one that offers hopelessness, hatred, and death. And you will flee from him.
AND A STRANGER WILL THEY NOT FOLLOW, BUT WILL FLEE FROM HIM: FOR THEY KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF STRANGERS
I bless you to surrender your life to the Lord Jesus, one thought at a time. Submit the voices in your mind to Jesus, one by one, until they are all quiet, and only one Voice remains—the Voice that proclaims Hope, Peace, and Life. This is the Voice of Jesus. Follow this Voice!
Which voice do you follow, daily, moment-by-moment? How have you learned to recognize the voice of the thief? How have you learned to recognize the Voice of the Lord Jesus?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to distinguish between Your Voice that offers Life and the voice of the thief that came to steal, kill, and destroy. Lead me through the gate with Your Voice of Hope, Peace, and Life, so I may find pasture in Your Presence.
Maintain an Awareness
Discipline, the training to enter God’s Holiness, cannot be exercised AFTER we have already entered a route of escape to resort to a sinful solution.