9th September 2019

Voice Recognition

“He calls his own sheep by name….and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
John 10:3-4 (NIV)

As someone with poor hearing, I use subtitles a lot when I watch TV. Subtitling uses a voice recognition system (VRS)—no need to go into details of how it works except to say human beings and computers figure in it and, as we know, that is a fairly toxic combination. Inevitably there are blips.

For example, we were informed in a news item a few months back that over 200 species of mops were living in a London cemetery. This I would have travelled to London to see except a moments reflection told me it was moths. Back in 2010 when Gordon Brown resigned as leader of the Labour Party we were surprised to learn that he was being succeeded by an obscure musical ensemble, the Ed Miller Band! It turned out to be Ed Milliband. More recently, Theresa May met her most pathetic supporters (sympathetic), and a news reference to ‘The Duchess of Sussex’ came out as ‘the Duchess is a sausage.’ Clearly voice recognition has a way to go.

What about our voice recognition as Christians? Presumably we would not be Christians in the first place if we hadn’t by God’s grace recognised the voice of our Shepherd and Saviour, Jesus. But after conversion Jesus continues to speak to us through his Word and his Spirit. And if you’re anything like me we don’t always recognise his voice or at least we aren’t sure—“Is this my own reasoning” we ask, “is it circumstance, is it coincidence or even the deceptive voice of the enemy?”

So how does this verse apply in my particular circumstances? These are questions we may have to ask ourselves at times, and we aren’t always hearing the still small voice of God as clearly as we would like to. We can sharpen our spiritual hearing. One way is to get to know God’s word better and you’ll hear him more clearly. But at least as important is that we are worshippers of the One who has given us life. Continuous praise and gratitude in humility should be part and parcel of our daily walk as children of our God. It is a response to very personal sense of God’s love and closeness, not just an intellectual study. If we continue in such a walk, no doubt stumbling and mishearing sometimes, our spiritual voice recognition will undoubtedly sharpen, and we will recognise more clearly his specific will for us in our individual lives.

Prayer
Father, we owe our lives, our future, our everything to your abounding love and the sacrifice of your Son. Help us to listen for, and recognise, your voice. Inspire and encourage us in worship, praise and thankfulness for such wonderful kindness.
Amen

Study by Doug Bass
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About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Coulsdon
Coulsdon Community Church
Coulsdon Community Centre
Barrie Close
Chipstead Valley Road
COULSDON
CR5 3BE

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Brian Smith
Phone: 01243 699812
Email: coulsdon@gracecom.church

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