I Hear Voices {...and so do you...}

Happy New Year!

If there is one thing that will have defined your 2014, this next late-December, after the gifts have all been opened, and all has been said and done and 2015 is what comes next...

...if there is only one thing I could tell you for sure will have been the single most important factor in your experiencing a stable 2014, that one thing will be which voice you decided to hear this year.

Because we all hear voices. In fact, it's all about the voices . All of human history - mine, yours, tribes and nations - can be boiled down to whose voice is heard, valued and followed.

"In the beginning", the voice of God generated the cosmos. In the garden, the voice of the adversary generated the chaos that has characterized every moment of every day since the first man and woman were cursed for heeding the wrong voice.

At the end of Scripture, we hear the voice of Christ promising "Surely I am coming soon", and it still boils down to whether we will heed that voice and stake our lives on what He said...

...and is still saying. The Holy Spirit is active and very real in His distinct personhood, and is constantly speaking to us today.

One of the most confusing things in all of life is to be torn between many voices, each one saying something different about something that matters. This will be our plight - yours and mine - in 2014,
if we don't decide today to bow our knees, plant our faces on the ground, and desperately search the Scriptures for a "now" word for our situation - His voice, as it addresses our circumstance.

See, I have this nagging fear that is trying to set the atmosphere...based on a few heartbreaks we've experienced with our sons, one in particular, in 2013.  What happened in the past is making it very hard to look forward with hope, and resist all unholy forboding.

Most do not know the painful year we have endured - others only see the happy, thriving art business,
 or our joy in our calling, or our passionate and respectful marriage, and can't imagine fear almost
incapacitating my days.

There is another fear-based-voice that intimidates me about my husband's health, and what could happen if something went wrong while he is in hot and humid Haiti this February. As I read my Bible today, I saw these words: "Do not be afraid of sudden fear, or of the ruin of the wicked one when it comes. For The Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being taken."

If I am wise, I will plant my feet on that verse. That word is a promised land as real as any acreage - living fearlessly is a way of life given to me as sheer gift. Fearlessness will define my 2014, because the voice of God can be radically trusted.

There are more examples I could share. I am a vessel in whom The Holy Spirit is pouring a fearless spirit in 2014, and promised me that my Father will be speaking clearly to me this year, and that His generous abundance can handle everything that will happen tomorrow, next week,next summer, next New Year's Eve.

So whose voice will it be? A colleague you admire in your business? A book written by someone who doesn't even acknowledge God in the face of Jesus Christ? The accusations of your very.personal.adversary.?   Trust me, the accuser knows all it takes to take you down is to inject a few cc's of cynicism into your thought-stream, and that cynical, sarcastic voice in your head will then mentor you right out of the inner circle of involvement, and into the peripheral.

Those who hear and value and pant after the voice of God will be the steady ones in 2014. They will be the joy-girls who are so confident in what God has said through His word and their spiritual advisors and authorities, the resulting happiness and serene trust will draw others to their brand of beauty - to that true beauty never asks for attention.  (Their brand of beauty gets noticed because true beauty is composed...peaceful...)

Which voices will you hear? If it brings positive change and challenge, if it places the emphasis on Christ, if it imparts faith and a desire to serve others and a will to win - listen. Value what you hear.

If another voice brings any sort of anxiety or fear - don't listen. You can't have a conversation with fear or cynicism or lies, and not come out of the exchange tweaked and affected, and not in a good way.

Guard your heart's counselors, and your 2014 will be a safe and sweet one.

Grace and Peace,

Sheila Atchley

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