I have been off-line for a week or so because my youngest son and his family came to visit me here in Florida. I have not seen them in over a year and a half’s time and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. During that time my grandson illustrated something to me. He’s approximately 15 months old and I had not seen him since he was about a month old and obviously he did not recognize me so when I saw him last weekend I went to pick him up and hold him and to show him affection. I was calling his name and immediately he began to cry and to reach out for his father despite my best efforts of trying to woo him and to demonstrate and show him love. He still with adamant fervor tried to make his way into the arms of his father, crying and with tears running down his face reaching for dad. In that, even though it was disappointing I saw the God lesson.
John10:4 – 5 “…and they follow Him because they know His voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” His sheep will not follow a stranger. They indeed will flee because they don’t know this strange voice.
Now in my case, as a grandfather naturally that is kind of disappointing but in the spiritual how much more should we have the reaction of my grandson? When we hear and listen to the voice of a stranger many times we are wooed and pulled in by the voice and its promises or perceived benefits. Draw back to memory the event of Eve and the serpent in the Garden. But the Word of God says my sheep know my voice. They know the tone, yes, they know the accent, yes, but they also have an intimate understanding of the being, the persona, projecting the sound, the voice. They have an understanding of who He is. This understanding is far more than words and sound. It is knowledge derived from personal experience. His care, His loving kindness, his provision, His protection, His tender touch when He draws you in close to Himself. However, His sheep, upon recognizing that the sound, the voice, is not familiar but strange will flee and turn away and will not follow it.
Now traditionally I think most “religious” people put that “voice” that “sound” into context of the stranger being the devil or being something of a demonic nature but let’s have a Nu Mind thought. A lot of times that voice, that sound which we should flee from, are closely related to us. It is recognizable DNA. It is a part of our nature from the first Adam. The sounds are comprised of many things that we are embracing instead of fleeing. These voices or more specifically this sound is foreign yet prevalent throughout the world today. Religious or not, a Christian or not, believer in nothing or an unbeliever in everything, can you hear them? The voice of greed, treachery, manipulation, deception, seduction, adultery, bullying, sabotage, false accusation, superiority, murder, destruction, pride (cultural, self, or national), self-love, racism, sexism, politics and religion etc. They are a strange voice not illustrating or eliminating the voice, the sound, and the character, of the Father. Yet for many these voices are seductive. The promise, the bribe of power, fame and fortune is alluring. Can you hear them? Come here and hear little girl, would you like come candy? Come here and hear young man, sell this dope and make a quick buck. Come here and hear government rulers, politician, corporate executive and “religious” leader and presume a dictatorial stance against your own people and amass personal wealth and prorogate fear to bolster you own insecurities. These are familiar strange voices.
I tried animal cookies to entice my grandson from his daddy’s arms, but to no avail. A one-year-old child said I don’t know this voice, and I am not trying to get close to it. This sound, it is strange and it doesn’t sound like what my Father would say.
My lesson learned and reinforced this past week was this. RUN with arms outstretched to the Father! Flee the voice of strangers and reach out and cry for the one you can depend on to protect, hold and shield you from the strangely familiar. Understand, no matter your race, creed, religion or nationality, these voices are not from without but are from within. They are family by nature. Quit pretending you do not hear them. They are whispering to you in the darkness of the night and beckoning to you in the brightness of the day. BUT my sheep know my voice, my sound, my character and a strange sound he will not follow.
Question, what is the voice, what is the sound that is trying to move you from your Father’s presence? What voice is trying to move you from the lap of He who loves you? What voice is making you curious? What voice is it trying to seduce you with things and with positions and with power and with fortune? What is the promise? What would it take to draw you from the lap of your Father into the arms of a familiar stranger? What is getting you to compromise?