Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One Voice

We live in a world that appears to have gone mad. Actually things went wrong in the Garden of Eden and they’ve been wrong ever since. Adam and Eve heard two voices—God’s and Satan’s. One voice presented abundant life and the other a handout of delightful fruit. Without thinking about the bigger picture, they chose to obey the voice offering an immediate benefit. Their choice led to profound consequences affecting us today. 

On the other hand, the patriarch Abraham heard the voice of God calling him to leave his country and begin anew in a new land. Scripture tells us that “Abram (as he was initially known) went forth as the Lord had spoken to him” (Genesis 12:4).  Abraham choose to obey and God eventually blessed him. God said, “ you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:30).  Just like Adam, Eve, and Abraham, we’ve heard the voices of good and evil. Which voice do we choose to obey—one rendering rapid results or One furnishing a faithful finish? 

Voices all around the world proclaim loyalties to various ideas with varying emotions. Some voices are raised in defiance and rebellion while others are silenced. Some voices shout dominance over people while those people lament in fear. Some voices cry out in judgment while others howl about unfairness. Some voices offer a quick fix while others recommend a time-invested solution. One Voice speaks truth, extending life and peace. What voices get our attention? Which voice do we choose to obey?

Many of us were raised with the voices of parents teaching us right from wrong. Others of us grew up listening to any voice directed our way. Whether voices of flattery or voices of wisdom, we have a choice. It’s a big world out there with many booming voices. How are we able to hear amidst such racket? Whose voice pricks up our ears? Which voice are we attentive to? How do we choose correctly?

Stop right now and listen to the Voice of reason. Quiet your mind and hear the words of your Creator. Open your ears and receive the direction of your King. Breathe in the salvation of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Give ear to the promises of God......“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

“Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
“Surely My hand founded the earth,
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand together.
“Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon,
And His arm will be against the Chaldeans.
“I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him,
I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful.
“Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the first I have not spoken in secret,
From the time it took place, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” 
Isaiah 48:12-16 (NASB)

“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”

A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. 
“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
As for the idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
He who is too impoverished for such an offering
Selects a tree that does not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To prepare an idol that will not totter.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
“To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. 
Isaiah 40 (NASB)

You’ve heard His voice, now will you raise your voice in accordance with His? Will you lift your voice in a mighty way and tell of the good news of Jesus Christ? How will people hear if you don’t tell them?

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  Romans 10:14-17 (NASB)
Adam and Eve obeyed the wrong voice and suffered the consequences of being expelled from the Garden. Abraham obeyed the right Voice and received many blessings from God. God told him,  “...In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:18 (NASB)
Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;
For the Lord speaks,
“Sons I have reared and brought up,
But they have revolted against Me. 
Isaiah 1:2 (NASB)
Are you listening to His Voice? Are you raising your voice with His? Go—tell it on the mountain top that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

The sword of the Spirit—the Bible—is the weapon God has provided for us to use in this battle between truth and deception. Make it a priority to wield that sword skillfully.   —Billy Graham

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