“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:14-18
When you go to sleep at night, what do you hear? Do you hear the sound of the Father saying, “well done, good and faithful servant”? or do you hear self-condemnation for not meeting your own expectations and not living up to what you know to be the best? You know, of course, that this kind of condemnation is not of God, and yet we engage in it regularly – or at least I do.
When we’re “in tune with” what God is telling us day by day, we hear His voice and know when falsehood and lies come our way. And believe me they come our way all the time. None of us are immune to this bombardment of lies we hear and the lies we tell ourselves.
The gentle voice of God is kind and compassionate, stern when needed but not obnoxious or overbearing. It is not condemning or condescending. It guides and doesn’t force or shove. The voice of God in our lives is liberating and freeing. It doesn’t enslave.
We have a choice each day, whether to follow the gentle caring voice of God or the condemning voice of the evil one. The great thing, though, is that when we hear the condemning voice, we can recognize it as such and rebuke it.