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Whose Voice Will You Believe? – Gospel for Asia

February 17th, 2011

When we study the lives of those in the Bible whom God called for a specific purpose, we often find that many gained clarity regarding their identity and mission while going through trials and wilderness experiences.

Jacob, after 20 years of scheming and failures, finally came to the end of himself. In the midst of all hopelessness, he heard the words from the Man who wrestled with him all night: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel” (Genesis 32:28). Jacob understood his identity was no longer that of a deceiver but that of a prince. From that moment on, his life changed until it matched what God said about him.

After 40 long years living as a refugee and shepherd in the wilderness, Moses had even lost his ability to articulate well. That’s when God told him, “I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). Moses’ identity in God’s plan was that of a deliverer who knew God face-to-face. This became clear to him after all the glamour of Egypt had been stripped away and he stood alone in the wilderness before the burning bush. As he began to walk in his identity, Moses fulfilled God’s plan.

Gideon, hiding and scared to death of Israel’s enemies, heard the Angel of the Lord declaring his identity to him: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12). He first thought it was a bad joke. However, each time Gideon stepped out on this declaration with a tiny bit of faith, he found it to be true, and he increasingly gained courage. In the end, we see him boldly marching with 300 people against an enemy “as numerous as locusts”—and God giving him the victory (see Judges 7:12–8:12).

Even Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting, praying and facing severe temptations, before He started His public ministry. Although He already knew who His real Father was, He revealed His identity as Messiah only after His wilderness experience.

None of us looks forward to facing difficulties, loneliness, misunderstandings, problems and accusations. All these can present real wilderness experiences. I want to encourage you not to let these times be an end in themselves, but to find in them who you are in God’s plan.

Being aware of who we are in God’s kingdom is important for our stability on this journey. Every day Jesus encountered people who publicly declared that He couldn’t be the Messiah. Even His closest followers were oftentimes confused about His identity.

How did He ignore all those voices around Him and continue His journey toward the cross without being shaken? He listened to and believed only one voice—that of His Father. Each time people asked Him who He was, He confessed the identity His Father declared about Him.

We must follow the footsteps of our Lord. We too must refuse to give in to the voices of our mind and emotions and whatever negative things other people tell us. Instead, we must confess, believe and act upon the identity Jesus gave us in His Word and the calling of God upon our lives. This will lay a strong foundation for our life and service to God and set us free to live through Christ.

Whose voice will you believe?

This entry was written by K.P Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

 

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