It was an easy task; simply slide the disc into the CD player, and listen to my 14 year old self present one of my first lessons/sermons…Who knew it could be so traumatic?
If I am the only one, than I will gladly admit narcissism, but has anyone ever loved their voice the first time they heard it? Like I said, I started paying attention for the first time at the age of 14 (when one already has a plethora of image issues) and realized I sounded far less (*ahem*) scholarly than I first assumed. In all honesty, I have never fully shaken that gut punching feeling anytime I hear myself. Granted, I have accepted that I don’t sound exactly like Morgan Freeman in my speech, but that doesn’t mean I have to think I sound normal. I was reminded of this just yesterday as a buddy of mine posted a devo/video to YouTube where I played a cameo, and I had to endure that same reminder once again.
For those of us in the world, it is no wonder why we have such a hard time distinguishing who belongs to which voices (even our own at times). There are so many “voices” in the world when it comes to opinions and philosophies. In fact, we live in a society and world where each and every person is encouraged to have their voice heard! The problem is that sometimes we have become too involved with pleasing our ears with voices of those who have very little to say. We heed farfetched ideas, answerless questions, meaningless philosophies, and sometimes just outright nonsense. The problem with the general public is that we are looking towards all the wrong voices of the world for understanding and guidance.
In John 10 we see the popular account in which we find Jesus speaking of His likeness to a great shepherd to His sheep (us). In vs. 4 we find, “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” In this great example we see that there is no guide greater than that of a Shepherd to His sheep. The reason being that the Shepherd has the best interest of the sheep at heart, even to the point of dying for them. You see, if the sheep heed the instructions of the Shepherd, they’ll certainly be taken care of and brought to safety. But He does state in vs. 5 that, “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
My question then is this, do we actually know the voice of Christ, or are we stuck on the voice of our own preferences? You see, the rest of the chapter talks about many other individuals. Jesus talks about wolves coming to kill, thieves coming to make a profit, and even (apparent) well intentioned hired-hands who don’t have the guts to stay and protect the sheep from danger. If we are so stuck on the voices of our own interests, than we are settling for one of these three options, which all lead to disappointment. If we want true security, wisdom, and happiness, we must heed the voice of the one who truly calls us to safety. We must heed the voice of the One with everlasting life and eternal truth. You know, there may be a reason I can’t stand my voice after all…
P.S. For my song of choice after this devo, go check out the devotional song I Am A Sheep. I know it is older, but I just learned it this year, and I love it! (This version is a bit much, but it’s the best I could find…)