Category Archives: God’s Provision

Another Voice

This morning I awoke to the cheerful sound of a puppy barking. Pleasant as this was, I don’t have a puppy. I do, however, have a vivacious cockatiel that loves to entertain. Boaz has a whole repertoire of songs he likes to whistle, and sounds he likes to mimic.

Admittedly, there have been times that I have mistaken some of Boaz’s sounds for others, especially his imitation of the oven timer, which he has skillfully mastered. However, being bamboozled by a feathery friend is a far cry different than being deceived by an enemy. I would like to say that has never happened to me, but sadly, it has happened far too often.

This afternoon, I was reflecting on the ease by which a person can be deceived, when the following scripture came to mind:

And when he [Jesus] putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.   And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers (John 10:4,5).

The truth is, dear reader, that today’s culture tends to bombard each of us with all kinds of “voices” –voices which beckon us to turn this way or that; to do something, buy something, accept something. While most demand simple life decisions, all too many of those “voices” serve only to distract, or confuse us in our faith, if we aren’t careful. Sadly, in our present culture, what used to be black and white has slowly turned into varying shades of gray, and that which used to be absolute has become ambiguous, even in the church.

So how do we know where to draw the line? How can we, as Christians, be “culturally relevant” without weakening the foundations of our faith? It’s quite simple, really. As one of Christ’s sheep, we will know His voice. And if we purpose to listen to His voice daily, we won’t be duped into following another, nor will we be easily deceived by the adversary of our souls. I don’t know about you, but this brings me great comfort!

Running On Empty

I’m beginning to think my least favorite letter in the alphabet is E, but that’s only because I’ve seen it a bit too much lately. There I was, driving one of my kids to work in a vehicle that was parked in the driveway, emptied of gas by her sibling, yet again.

Oh, the frustrations of being a single car family –our second vehicle recently bit the dust– and oh the frustrations of realizing half-way where you need to be that you probably don’t have enough gas to get there. Fortunately, we weren’t going too far, and there was a gas station across the road from my daughter’s workplace.   Even though this was not my station of choice, I was able to drift there on fumes,  put a few dollars worth of gas in the tank. then drive to the preferred gas station and fill ‘er up. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Truthfully, there are times, when my spiritual tank is on empty, that I only have time to pray briefly, putting just enough fuel in the tank to get me by until I can “fill ‘er up”– more often than I care to admit. At times like that I have to remind myself that Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, in  Greek, means to pray without intermission. Paul wasn’t speaking of super-lengthy prayers, nor was he speaking of praying every minute of every day; he was merely encouraging his brethren to pray frequently, never letting long gaps develop in their prayer life.

What about you, dear reader, do you ever feel like you are running on empty, and cannot find enough time to pray as long as you would like, for whatever reason? What we all need to remember is that it’s not so much the quantity of time spent in prayer that matters; it is the quality. Let us, therefore, make every minute count!