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Recognizing The Voice of God vs. Your Inner Critic

This devotional is part of a tutorial on doing a raw wood finish on furniture: Easy Raw Wood Finish with Paint

I’ve known about his love for me from a young age. But now I’m beginning to see with new eyes what it truly means that He loves me.  So often, I try to use human characteristics to parse God’s love for me and then my view of His love becomes distorted.  But God’s love isn’t earthly at all!

The parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 has been on my mind as I’m trying to grasp God’s love for me from His perspective, not just from my human, American worldview.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Sheep don’t have many responsibilities, and their job isn’t very difficult – they eat grass and move with the flock. 

I’d be willing to bet that the absolute worst thing a sheep can do is wander off. 

How would you expect the shepherd to react when finding you if you were the lost sheep?

But notice that upon finding the sheep on its worst day, when it was most disobedient, Jesus rejoices in finding you.  The Good Shepherd doesn’t pull a rope tight around your neck, scold you, and pull you back the flock while grumbling.

The Good Shepherd’s reaction is the total opposite.  His eyes light up upon seeing you and a big grin appears on His face.  He scoops you up in His gentle arms and rejoices to neighbors that His precious lost sheep is found!

I’ve come to realize my inner critic is very loud—often berating. Sometimes I assume Christ would act in the same way I would in a circumstance. At times, I think I get the voices of my inner critic and God confused.

My inner critic says to me on my worst day, “You’ve done it this time.  You have really screwed this up.  You will have to be extra good to get in the Shepherd’s good graces again!”

But fortunately, God’s voice and the voice of my inner critic are very different.  God loves me unconditionally and not in human terms of work and reward.  His grace has already covered my every sin on the cross and Holy Spirit permanently resides in me.

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When we let the voice of our inner critic be the prevailing voice in our head, sometimes we assume that the Lord’s voice sounds similar.  But God’s voice is never one of exasperation and scorn.

Thankfully God’s ways are not our ways.  You have His full attention and even on your worst days you are the apple of His eye.  You are precious to Him, created in His own image.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made and preciously held even now by your Good Shephard.  He loving refers to you as His Beloved.

Don’t let your inner critic tell you otherwise.

For more spiritual encouragement, click here for the rest of my Renovate Your Faith devotionals.

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