“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed…
“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?..
“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you.” Galatians 1:6-8; 4:8-9; 5:7-8
When once we know the truth of the gospel and it has set our souls free, it is intriguing how subtly we get persuaded and detracted from it by strange voices. Our world is full of alien tongues that disguise and deceive with destructive affections, luring us away from our first love. We hear words so loud that when they lop off large segments of truth, we’re convinced it is adequate. There is a constant murmur of group-speak that omits true intentions and sways emotions with ease. We slide into thinking that since enough people are comfortable with a ‘new’ gospel according to man, it must be acceptable for us, too. (John 8:32 ; Revelation 2:4-5 )
Understanding our Lord and His truth requires daily discernment and wisdom, a searching out of His word in every matter, and filtering out what is not His light from the many shapes and sizes of all the world has to say. It takes a willingness to listen astutely for the Spirit’s voice, and zealous obedience as He clarifies and guides. When we put the Scriptures into practice, we develop a healthy fear of God and ready ourselves for deeper obedience to him. Close acquaintance with His truth sharpens our ability to detect foreign voices and deviant messages. (Proverbs 2:1-5; John 7:17; 10:27; 16:13; James 1:5)
Where do we go for our morning mindset? How carefully do we sift through the barrage of voices available to us, to know what aligns with the holy Word and what would lure us astray? What proportion of our time is spent directly in God’s Word, where we learn and recalibrate our plumb line, and so equip ourselves to process and assess the banter of our culture? (Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 50:4)
And when we speak, are we steadfast in putting a guard over our lips, and proclaiming only what is pure, true, and edifying? Are our words filled with the salt and light of the gospel that points others to Christ? Is our voice one that reflects the glory of our God and lifts high His name in praise? (Psalm 141:3; Matthew 5:13-16)
“Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.” ~Frances Ridley Havergal (1874)
Father, help me discern foreign voices and eschew their allure to alien affections and errant belief. Ever incline my ear to You, that I hear and digest Your words of life, and live by them, for Your holy sake. (Isaiah 55:3)