I have to laugh at what I read today in the Yahoo News. The Pope, who is used to doing things on his own, decided to place a call through the Vatican receptionist. Apparantly he identified himself as Pope Francis. This is a nono, as the Pope isn't supposed to do his own calling. So because it was never done before, the receptionist thought it was a prank call. He replied, "Yes, well I'm Napoleon!" That receptionist didn't recognize the 'Holy Father''s voice!
This incident made me think of our conversations with God. What, you don't have any? Oh, sure you must! When God, who is our Heavenly Father, calls you, do you recognize His voice? Or do you think you're hearing things? That maybe it's a prank call...maybe from your own thoughts, or even from the master of lies, the devil!
If you are like me, thoughts come into your mind. Some are subconscious, and you don't give much thought to them. Your mind may be trying to solve an issue, so you go over different solutions. Other times, you begin thinking negatively, without realizing it, and soon you have critical thoughts about a person, or you aren't content with your life or situation. And then, there are thoughts that give you a sense of peace.
Where do these thoughts come from, and which ones are from God? I believe what we listen to and look at sow seeds to our thought content, and eventually lead to our decisions and actions. Satan wants us to have miserable lives, and listening to him always leads to that. But God wants us to have blessed lives, so what He puts in our minds always lead to that. Here is what the Bible says on this:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -
think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me,
or even seen in me - put into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you.
- Philippians 4:8-9
Jesus came to be our Savior and our Shepherd. John 10:27 tells us that Jesus' sheep listen to His voice. He knows them and they follow Him. He gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then He is your Shepherd and is watching over you. When He calls your name, you recognize His voice, and follow Him. You may want to read Psalm 23 again. Our lives can be filled with not only good days, but bad ones, as the devil is like a wolf, lurking in the shadows, trying to devour us! Knowing we have a Shepherd who is right beside us, is very reassuring and comforting. We need to recognize His voice!
Perhaps you are trying to navigate life by yourself, but it isn't working out. Maybe you are being bombarded by negative and troublesome thoughts, and they are making you miserable. If you don't feel you have a Shepherd but are searching for Him, then now is the time. It is very simple. Just pray this prayer, sincerely, with your heart:
I come to You now, asking You to be my Savior
and my Shepherd. I know I have sinned against You,
and I ask for Your forgiveness.
Please come into my heart, be my Lord and Savior,
and lead me to eternal life.
I want to hear Your voice, so that I can follow You.
In Your Precious Name,
If you have prayed this prayer, then rejoice! You now have a Savior and a Shepherd who promises to be with you, guide you, comfort you and lead you to eternal life. Make every effort to find a Pastor to share this with, and get into the habit of reading the Bible. Find a Bible believing Church and enjoy the fellowship of other sheep. The best is yet to be!
And then, when God calls, you will recognize His voice!