In front of our house runs a four mile curvy, hilly, two lane country road. Over the last seven years of sitting on the front porch, I realized that I could hear the vehicles before I actually saw them. And that I could distinguish the sound of a car from a truck, and a jeep from the truck or car, and obviously the sound of a motorcycle was different.
I ponder over the different voices that we hear throughout our lives. Some speak the truth, some falsehoods. Some encourage and some are downers. Some try to lead you down the wrong paths, while others try to show you the way down the wonderful road of redemption. We need to be able to discern the good ones from the bad ones. Some will flatter and tell us what we want to hear, and others will tell us what we need to hear.
l Thessalonians 5:21-22 tells us it is our responsibility as Christians to be discerning, to decide between right and wrong, truth from lies.
It took time sitting on my porch and listening to the sounds, learning to distinguish one car sound from another. It is the same with discernment. It takes time being in the word, getting to know the Lord and recognizing His voice.
Our loved one seemed to have this discernment up to the age of 18. An extremely bright, intelligent, kind, and sweet natured boy who always listened respectfully and was loved by so many listened to the wise voices. But something happened after that 18th birthday. Suddenly, he began to listen and follow after the wrong voices. So many have asked, “How did that happen?” We do not know to this day. It’s obvious though, the enemy can snag and snare even the best of them. Did he let his guard down? Yes, I believe he did. After being with the wrong voices, he decided he knew everything about the Bible and didn’t need to open it up again. There is never a time when we should close that book ever! Did he ever really have it? I can say yes to that! We lived with him, taught him, played and prayed and were very close. We prayed the sinners prayer with him. But the devils schemes can be subtle and yet so strong, that we did not see what was coming. Yes, there were little red flags, but never in a million years did we think he would follow after those wrong voices. We were wrong.
You cannot just blindly follow every voice the way the neighborhood dogs blindly chase every thing that comes down our road. (I wonder what they think they would do if they ever caught one?) The dogs are taking a chance getting hit just like our lives can get hit and hurt by following, chasing the wrong voices. Our loved one was hurt as well as those left behind. But God was there to pick us up and stands ready to reach out with that righteous right hand of His to pick up the one who needs to raise his hand and his eyes to the one who can lift him up.
Our loved one wrote us a letter this morning saying he recognized the need to get rid of the wrong voices. That it was time to be alone, to get rid of the clamor, and that between God and himself, they would figure things out. Please pray with us that he will be still enough to hear that wonderful, still, small voice in his ear, in his heart and follow the One Voice that can lead him out of despair into a life filled with amazing grace and unconditional love.
The porch is a good place to start spending time in the Word, learning to recognize those false voices for what they really are and begin to understand those quiet discerning voices God plants within and around us.
We do not want to be described by the words of Ephesians 4:14 “…being tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
Let’s be like Proverbs 3:21 “…preserve sound judgment and discernment and do not let them out of your sight.”
So, I have a word for you or for someone you know that you believe is running in the wrong direction.
Before you go blindly chasing voices, open up the Word and see if their voices go along with God’s voice. I wouldn’t want you or a loved one to crash and burn.
And just another word of caution. If you’re driving down a two lane country road and dogs are blindly chasing your car, just smile and watch out for them. They just don’t know any better.
267. crushed ice and straws
268. chap stick with pretty colors
269. a Savior who bends down to listen
270. not having to know all the answers
271. being able to trust my God who does (have all the answers)
272. beautiful letters
273. beautiful words