Tuesday, February 22

Hearing His Voice

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying "This is the way; walk in it." --Isaiah 30:21

"The Voice"

Sometimes when it's quiet, things are still and I'm alone,
I know without hearing a voice unlike any I've ever known.
It seems to tell me "what" and "where" and "how" I must do.
And then in an instant I know the voice belongs to you.
It tells me "this is the way; walk in it."
"This is your path; follow it."
Quickly deciding I make my choice
to follow God's spirit and follow his voice.

I'm always amazed at how God will speak to me when I least expect it. A few years back I spent the day with friends at a local Christian college, and I had the opportunity to attend a Bible study group with them. The speaker that day had chosen to talk about how we need to listen and be attentive to God's voice. He quoted Isaiah 30:21 which, at the time, was a verse I hadn't been able to get out of my head.

I first memorized that verse in 1997 after it was selected as the class motto for my older cousin's graduating class. At the time I didn't really understand what it meant to listen for God's voice. I hadn't been a Christian for very long, so I was still in the "just trying to be good" phase of my walk with God. I imagined that following God was like playing a game of follow the leader. He would lead, and I tried to follow.

More and more I am struck by the mental image I get when reading this verse. The part about the voice being detected behind us seems interested. To me it means that God allows us to make our own decisions, but the Holy Spirit is the voice of reason, prodding us from behind to keep us moving along the right path. Whenever we make decisions, there's a quiet voice inside us that tells us the right thing to do.

There's a line in Michael W. Smith's song, "Don't Give Up" that says "don't be surprised if the road divides; just take the one less traveled by." Listen to that voice behind you as it tells you what path to take. The more time you spend walking with the Lord, the easier it will be not only to recognize his voice, but to know which path to take. I pray that as I continue to walk the path that God has set out for me, I will be able to easily recognize God's voice. I will trust him to let me know when to turn to the right or to the left.



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