I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32
After years of research, scientists have learned that wolves have distinct voices that help them communicate with each other. Using a specific sound analysis code, one scientist realized that various volumes and pitches in a wolf’s howl enabled her to identify specific wolves with 100 percent accuracy.
The Bible provides many examples of God recognizing the distinct voices of His beloved creations. He called Moses by name and spoke to him directly (Exodus 3:4–6). The psalmist David proclaimed, “I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain” (Psalm 3:4). The apostle Paul also emphasized the value of God’s people recognizing His voice.
When bidding farewell to the Ephesian elders, Paul said the Spirit had “compelled” him to head to Jerusalem. He confirmed his commitment to follow God’s voice, though he didn’t know what to expect upon his arrival (Acts 20:22). The apostle warned that “savage wolves” would “arise and distort the truth,” even from within the church (vv. 29–30). Then, he encouraged the elders to remain diligent in discerning God’s truth (v. 31).
All believers in Jesus have the privilege of knowing that God hears and answers us. We also have the power of the Holy Spirit who helps us recognize God’s voice, which is always in alignment with the words of Scripture.
What false teaching has God helped you combat as you studied Scripture? When has He used the Bible to encourage you?
Dear God, when the noise of the world around me threatens to make me wander from You, please help me recognize and obey Your voice.
Luke, the author of Acts, describes Paul’s determination to follow the Spirit’s leading and go to Jerusalem in ways that seem to parallel Jesus’ own determination to go to the city. Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51) despite knowing what awaited Him there. Paul said, “compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there” (Acts 20:22), despite being warned that this journey would result in suffering (v. 23). Paul’s single-minded purpose was to share the gospel by following Christ’s example of humility and love (vv. 19, 23–24; see also Philippians 2:3–5).