March 14, 2022

Listening and Following

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace.

Isaiah 55:12
How can I tell the difference between joy in the Lord and a good time? How can I distinguish between peace that comes from avoiding conflict and the peace of God which surpasses my understanding? How will I know when to come and when to go? These are all questions that are part of the life of a disciple of Christ. 
The fancy word for this is discernment, and this is (at least in part) what Jesus is talking about when he says that he's the Good Shepherd, and that the Shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [John 10:3].
Perhaps a good definition of a disciple is one who first listens for the voice of Jesus calling above the noise of the world, and then follows.
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Lead, kindly Light, amidst the grey and gloom;
the night is long and I'm far from home.
Here in the dark, I do not ask to see
the path ahead—one step enough for me;
lead on, lead on, kindly Light.

I was not ever willing to be led;
I could have stayed, but I ran instead.
In spite of fear, I followed my pride;
my eyes could see, but my heart was blind;
lead on, lead on, kindly Light.

And in the night, when I was afraid,
your feet beside my own on the way,
and each stumbling step where other men have trod
shortens the road leading home to my God.

Lead on, lead on,
my God, my God,
lead on, lead on, kindly Light.
 John Henry Newman (1833) alt. by Audrey Assad (2013)
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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Text selection ©2021 Evangelische Brüder-Unität. All scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.