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Whose voice are you listening to?

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for being willing to pray for revival.

Henri Nouwen, a Dutch priest, professor, writer, and theologian, was born in 1932 and died in 1996. He spoke a short message called, “The Voice of the Beloved” based on the beautiful words of the apostle John, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are” (1Jn 3:1). The voice of the beloved says, “I have formed you, I love you, you belong to me, you are my child.” Below is a brief account of what I enjoyed from his message.

The question that keeps us going is —Who am I? How this question gets answered is critical to our spiritual well-being. Sometimes we answer the “Who am I” question by what we do. We fill our lives with important tasks and in so doing seek satisfaction and a fulfilled identity. It doesn’t work. Other times we answer the question by what others say. When we do a good job, we get credit, a pat on the back and therefore feel important. When what we do is not to someone's liking, we get criticized or rejected. And still other times, the question is answered by what we have. With our resources, we acquire items of status and expect that these possessions will somehow complete our identity.

What happens when we live by these answers, is that life becomes a zigzag of highs and lows. Depending on how we perform, or what people might say, or what we own, we rise to the top or sink to the bottom. It is not a good way to live. It is the way that the devil wants us to live. When he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, these were his means of attack. First, he told Jesus to make bread from stones. Find your identity in what you can do. Secondly, he told Jesus to claim the glory of all the world kingdoms. Find your identity in what others will say about you. Lastly, he told Jesus to fall off the temple peak and be caught by angels. Find your identity in what you have. But Jesus remained faithful in his true identity. Prior to the wilderness temptation, he heard the voice of his Father saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased” (Lk3:22). Like Jesus, we too must find our identity in our Father’s words. As you pray today, let God speak his truth into your hearts, for you are his beloved child.

Thanks,

Bryan

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Contributing photos by Violet Light Photography at violetlightphoto.com 

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