Daily D – Psalm 119:176
I have wandered like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. PSALM 119:176 (NLT)
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.
How can we distinguish God’s voice from all the noise in our world?
The sound and fury of social media, the endless varieties of broadcasts, the limitless offerings of podcasts, and a preacher for every persuasion can cause confusion. How can we learn to hear God’s voice as clearly as a mother differentiates her child’s shrieks of delight and screams of pain from a hundred others on a playground? We listen with ears of focused attention and deep affection.
Two things above all others make it possible to discern God’s voice from the legions of sounds assaulting our ears. One is the habit of daily Bible reading. The more we listen to God’s voice through his written word, the better we distinguish it from every other sound.
The other way to distinguish God’s voice is by committing the Bible to memory. Favorite verses that provide special meaning to us are a good place to start. The model prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) is a simple passage easily memorized. The twenty-third Psalm is another passage everyone should sink deep into their souls.
The best way to focus enough to commit God’s words of truth and life is through dedicated times of solitude and silence. If COVID has been a blessing in any way, it may be that we have had to learn to get comfortable with more solitude and silence than normal. Why not make use of this new reality for knowing and experiencing God?
All of us tend to wander off God’s path now and again. Fortunately, the Good Shepherd always seeks his own. He knows us by name and calls us to himself. We recognize him and return to him when we know it is truly him. We know it is truly him when we recognize his words of truth and life. We recognize his words of truth and life as we read them, memorize them, pray them, and pass them along to others.
These three life-giving habits empower us to hear and recognize God’s voice. They empower us to know and experience God. They empower us to join him in what he is doing to build a better world.
How will you strengthen these habits in your life day by day?
I will learn to discern God’s voice ever more clearly.
Our Father, please give me ears to hear what you are saying to me. I will read your words of truth and life every day. I will memorize them. I will ponder them and turn them into prayers. I will do what they say. Amen.
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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”