Monday, 6 June 2016

The Voices

Many of us hear voices in our head.  These voices accuse us of so many things.  Some condemn our previous bad choices, others pour contempt on our appearance and suggest that our friends are judging us.  All of these voices highlight our fear of exposure.  The fear that we will be found out and rejected.  When Joshua, one of the greatest leaders of Israel, was about to lead the Israelites into the promise land, God came to him and said, be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified or discouraged because I will be with you wherever you go.  The voices in our heads have sapped our courage, and we are sure that we are alone, but there was a time when this was not true.

In the beginning God created man and brought him to life by breathing into Him, and He placed man in the Garden of Eden.  At this point, I believe that Humanity had one single voice in their head, that voice was God’s.  But the Creator allowed a second voice into the Garden.  He let a dragon roam around, and with that Dragon he also gave Humanity strict instructions not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Adam and Eve, the first humans, eventually disobeyed and ate from the tree.  The bible tells us that humanities’ first interaction with God after their disobedience produced fear, a fear that came from the realization that they were naked.  But what is most interesting to me is God’s reaction to Adam and Eve.  He ask – who told you that you were naked?  From this point on, the human race has had to wrestle with multiple voices that deplete our courage and send us scurrying into the darkness, afraid of being found out by a Holy God and judged by our peers.  

In the Gospel of John chapter 7, Jesus stands up sometime during the end of the celebration the Festival of Booths and says that if anyone is thirsty, they should come to him and drink.  The result of coming to Jesus is a promise that streams of living water will flow out of us.  The text goes on to explain that this living water is the Holy Spirit.  The writer Paul explains, in his second letter to the Corinthians, that the Holy Spirit is given to those who believe as a mark of ownership and a guarantee of what is to come.  What is to come, is a life in the Kingdom of God that has only one voice – God voice.  At the present time, all things have not been made new, but we are in the process of shedding the voices of fear and accusation that dominate our life.  We are on a journey back towards the Garden of Eden.  This journey is the path of the Disciple.   The Disciples job is to learn what the voice of truth, Jesus, is and how to silence the many other voices that crowd our mind and heart.

Later on in the Gospel of John, Jesus explains how the Holy Spirit will interact with us.  He says that through the Spirit the Father and Son will make their home with us, and He explains that the Holy Spirit will remind us of Jesus’ words and teach us what we need to know.  There is also an indication that the Spirit will offer us the peace of Christ, and with that peace, give us information about the future in order to encourage our hearts as we live out our lives in the way of Jesus.  As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we will find that the number of voices in our head is reduced, and our courage bolstered.

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