In my home it is not rare that there are a few voices trying to be the louder voice! We have four boys and each one of them think they have the floor whenever they want it. Maybe they get it from their preaching dad? But the other day there was one situation that my ears tuned into. My two youngest boys both thought they could talk to me and they were competing. I kept saying, “I can’t hear you?” Then simultaneously they would both speak louder and more aggressively. This went on for several rounds until I finally called each boy by name and said, “Ok, only you talk. What is it?”
I think our Christian walk with the Lord is often like this. We think we hear something from the Lord, so we ask for it to be repeated. We hear it again and again and again. But each time we may hear something different or not quite the same as the last time. We doubt the voice being spoken. We then begin to hear the voices that seem to be the clearest even though there not always the right voices. I refer to these voices as competing voices. As Christ followers we all have them. We hear what needs to be spoken but at the same time we hear other voices. It could be friends, a job, Satan, or even a loved one. And all of them can at times be competing voices with what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
The same thing happened with Jesus. We know that when Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days Satan came and tempted Him there. He gave the option of bread. He gave Him the option of calling Heavens Angels down. Satan gave Him the option of ruling over all the kingdoms of the world. Scripture does not give us any indication that Satan tempted Him again. But we do know that Pharisees, citizens, and even close friends all at times had competing voices. Consider the disciples who suggested to Jesus that they send people home hungry?
As Jesus approached the crucifixion something fascinating happens. The night before His crucifixion and just before His arrest He retreats to the Mountain of Gethsemane. He tells His disciples to wait while He prays. We know that this was a very difficult time for Jesus as He prays in Matthew 26:39 (NLT), “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” He also mentioned to His disciples that His ‘soul was crushed.’ In this section of Scripture, it doesn’t tell us that there were competing voices. But it does tell us He went straight to the most important voice. His Father in Heaven.
We all have competing voices. You can’t escape it. You can’t outrun it. You can’t avoid it. But how you choose to respond is entirely up to you. You are in full power of what you do with competing voices in your life. You can listen to them and do exactly as they say. You can consider them and even entertain them. The choice is entirely up to you. Or, you can do as Jesus did and go straight to the one true voice. Your heart may be troubled as Jesus’ was. You may be tempted. You may need healing. Go straight to the source. God is listening. But God is also speaking! And He wants to speak to you today. Are you struggling with competing voices right now? Do you know the direction to turn with life decisions or frustrations? Reach out to a dedicated Christ follower or pastor and allow them to help you. Hear the Word of God to you today. He is speaking!