Morning by Morning, August 9 - Hearing and Discerning the Voice of God
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I speak out Your name and listen for Your voice. ...
"The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.... I am the good shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father" (John 10:2-15).
I open the gate of my heart to You today. You know me and I know You. I want to hear Your voice and sense Your leading, as You go ahead of me into every moment of my day. And at the same time, You not only go ahead of me, You also go with me because You're abiding in me and I in You. "Christ in (me)" (Colossians 1:27). By "the Spirit of Christ" abiding in me, You're "with (me) always" (Romans 8:9; Matthew 28:20).
Help me test and discern every word I believe I hear in my heart. I want to follow the voice of my Savior, not the voice of the stranger. Sharpen my discernment. Sensitize my spirit. Anoint me and empower me to "test everything" and "hold fast to what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Your Word invites me to listen attentively for Your words and also commands me to test carefully the words I believe I hear. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.... By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God" (1 John 4:1-3). ...
As I wait on You to listen for Your voice this morning, it seems I hear You saying: "My son, know My voice that always aligns with My Word, that reflects My nature, that bears good fruit, that leads you to Me. As you listen and hear, as you test and see, you grow in discernment and trust so that I can lead your heart by My Spirit."
Yes, Lord. The stranger doesn't lead me to Your Word, doesn't reflect Your nature, doesn't bear good fruit, and doesn't lead me to You. Let this test of discernment of the thoughts that come to my mind and the impulses that come to my heart be a plumb line of truth, so I can hold fast to what is true and reject what is not. Following You as we hear Your voice is one of the great blessings of the children of God. "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God" (Romans 8:14). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.