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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.