“Remove all clothing…Remove all clothing…”
My office is in the hallway behind Mrs. Pennye’s desk. As I hear people come in I can’t help but try to figure out whose voice I am hearing. One day last summer, Mrs. Pennye and I were the only two in the office, so you can imagine my shock when I heard a male voice repeatedly say, “Remove all clothing.” Several thoughts ran through my mind. Should I run out the back door and leave Mrs. Pennye to fend for herself? Should I call 911 and hide until the police showed up? I kept listening and hearing the same phrase being repeated over and over. Mrs. Pennye never replied to the voice, so I assumed she must be tied up with duct tape over her mouth at this point. I decided to be brave and rescue Mrs. Pennye. I silently crept down the hallway preparing myself for the worst. To my surprise, I saw Jordan Allen, our athletic trainer standing at Mrs. Pennye’s desk…but no Mrs. Pennye. Apparently Mrs. Pennye had stepped out of the office and Jordan had come in to test the batteries on the AED (the machine that shocks your heart). The voice I was hearing was the instructions from the AED. I was so relieved!!
This challenge of determining whose voice I hear coming from Mrs. Pennye’s office got me thinking. How am I doing at listening to God’s voice? Can I decipher His voice from my own? John talks about how it is the Holy Spirit who gives life, and our flesh (sinful nature) is “no help at all.” The NIV says, “the flesh counts for nothing” and KJV says, “the flesh profiteth nothing.” I love this verse in all versions. My flesh is no help at all! This is SO true! My flesh is my enemy, making me doubt God and try to earn grace. My flesh causes me anxiety and never lets me rest. My flesh demands the glory and credit for success…but the Spirit gives life and reveals truth and keeps all things in proper perspective.
I want to do a better job recognizing when I am being controlled by my flesh. This happens as I spend time in the Word and in prayer each morning. There is no substitute for time in God’s Word. There are many wonderful Christian books and podcasts which I love to read and listen to, but God’s Word…the Bible is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Wow! That’s what I want. Join me this summer in committing to being in the word each morning. His voice will be a lot easier to recognize!