As sheep, we have a Shepherd who guides us and leads us. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
God can “speak” many different ways. He can speak through the Bible. He can speak through prayer. He can speak through others. He can speak in visions or dreams. He can speak through our conscience.
But God is not the only voice speaking to us. The enemy has a voice. His voice can sound similar, but the words are not words of love–they are words of lies. Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
God’s voice leads and guides.
The enemy’s voice pushes and condemns.
In his book Hearing God, Peter Lord talks about positive focusing and negative filtering.
Positive focusing denotes listening for that one special voice we want to hear. When our baby was born, we could be in a crowded room with a cacophony of noises, and my wife could hear the faint whimper of our boy. It was incredible! In the same way, we can develop a sensitivity for God’s gentle voice.
Negative filtering allows us to filter out negative noises.3 My wife and I lived underneath the flight pattern of the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. Every 3 or 4 minutes, a jet would fly over. When we first moved there, it was quite annoying. However, in time, we were able to filter out those sounds. It was as if we didn’t hear them any more. Now, did the planes get quieter? No. We just developed negative filtering.
In the same way, we must learn to focus on God’s voice and filter out the voice of the enemy. By doing this, we will be led by love, by the very voice of God. Much of the fear and panic we feel is a result of the enemy’s voice. He speaks lies, doubts, fears and “what if’s” into our mind. We need to learn to filter those messages out and focus on God’s voice: “I love you, my child. I will take care of you. I will hold you. Trust me.”
Prayer: Father, awake my spiritual ears to your voice. As I hear you, help me to follow you as sheep follow their shepherd, never deceived by the wolf who threatens to lead them astray and devour them.