There's a very popular TV program called "The Voice" that garners millions of viewers each week.  People eagerly seek to hear the singing of the contestants, as well as the comments of the celebrity panel that listens to them.  I've only ever seen bits and pieces of the show, but I never cease to feel grief over the reality that in comparison, there are so few who truly wish to hear and follow the Voice of the only One whose words truly matter....Father God.
    Both within and without the professing church, there are people everywhere who are journeying through life convinced they are on the right track.  In the Old Testament, it was said of the people of Israel in a time of non-relationship with their God that "everyone did what they felt was right in their own sight."  It's a description that could easily be put upon so many of us today.  If it makes "sense" to us, to our fleshly thinking, our emotions, our desires and wants, then we see no real harm in carrying out the behavior.  God is loving, He's understanding, and He certainly wants us to be happy.  Being happy, and not holy is the overwhelming desire of most today.  Yet we are blind to the fact that happiness is always dependent on what's going on around us, and only good conditions can maintain it.  God never promised continual happiness in this life, nor did Jesus.  What They did promise was joy, and joy comes from a life lived out fully in Him.  Such a life will overcome.  It will know victory, wholeness, and yes, holiness.  Our flesh will never lead us to such a life, but His Spirit will.  Which, who, leads us in our lives today?
    In Acts 2:40, on the day of Pentecost, Peter preaches to the people of Jerusalem, those who would have been considered the church, and beseeched them to "turn from this generation that has gone astray."  I like the way the King James renders it, "turn from this untoward generation"  I heard one man define untoward as "towardlessness," a direction going nowhere.....but death  Many are walking in just such a way today.  We are caught up in pursuing things we think will make us happy, jobs, relationships, successful families, at least as we define that, even ministry.  We do it while all the while being oblivious to the reality that we are very much a part of that "untoward generation."  Yet there is hope for us in the power and life of He who is The Voice.  That Voice speaks today if we'll but hear it.  Can we?
   Speaking to just such people, the Father says to them through the prophet Isaiah in 30:21, "...you will hear a voice behind you say, 'This is the way; turn around and walk here.' "  The voice came from behind them, because they were walking in the wrong direction, away from Him.  Yet, in His great love and concern, He called out to them, to turn around, to repent, to change the way they thought, believed, and lived, all by His grace and power, and begin either anew or again, to walk "here," with Him. In and towards His life.  Where might our "here" be?
   What might His Voice be speaking to you and I right now?  What is going on in our life today that is leading us away from Him?  What seems right to us, but which the sound of His voice proves to us is not?  The voice of the world and the flesh screams at us.  His Voice whispers.  All of the world's noise cannot silence it....if we really wish to hear Him.  Do we wish to?

Blessings,
Pastor O    

       
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