The AMI QT Devotionals for August 5-11 are provided by Doug Tritton. Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently serving as a staff at Symphony Church (Boston), while pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary. He is married to Cindy and they are proud parents of Audrey.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Yoked Part 3 – The Yoke of Lies”
“So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11 But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the Lord.”
When I graduated from college, I bought my first car. The dealership offered a warranty plan—and they assured me it was worth it—where I was guaranteed my money back on the warranty if no issues ever arose with the car after five years. In my naïveté, I bought the warranty; and five years later, having had no issues, I brought all my paperwork back to the dealership, and they said they’d be sending a check in 6-8 weeks. Eight weeks went by and no check. When I returned to the dealership, they said there must have been an issue, reassuring me a check was on its way. Time went by, still no check. I kept going back and kept being given false promises, so I eventually gave up. Sadly, I was duped by a lie.
Though that is a more extreme example, we are often led astray by various lies the world throws our way: promises of happiness with certain products, promises of success with certain programs, or promises of comfort with certain vacations. Lies surround us, telling us we need to be influenced by this or that. These lies want to yoke us to something and thus influence us.
This was what was happening to the people in Jeremiah’s day. False prophets were going around selling a message of peace and comfort, a message of false hope. But the Lord saw through the lies of these prophets and told Jeremiah to warn the people about these lies. Only the Lord knew that truth, for His yoke is best. The other yokes were all lies.
Many of these lies in the world are external, but there are also internal lies we hear from our thoughts or even from the enemy. These lies tell us we are not good enough, we need to work harder or to get this or that job, we need to have the best Facebook pictures or Instagram posts, or we are incomplete without this or that person in our lives. These lies trap us and give us false promises, resulting in anxiety and hopelessness.
Just as the Lord said to the people in Jeremiah, He says to us as well: “Don’t listen to those lies!” Let’s listen to the Lord, for He knows best, as we talked about yesterday. It’s His yoke we need and nothing else, for He is our Good Shepherd.
Prayer: Lord, help me to discern the lies that I hear in the world and in my mind. Help me to hear Your voice, since You are my Shepherd who calls me by name. May I hear You and follow You, while ignoring all other voices and lies. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 9
Lunch Break Study
Read John 10:1-5: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Questions to Consider
- Who are the thieves and robbers?
- How do the sheep know to follow the Shepherd?
- Are you able to hear the voice of the Shepherd?
- They are those who do not enter the sheepfold by the door. These false prophets use lies to get ahead, and they try to take advantage of the sheep for their own purposes. They are not true shepherds. These are the yokes of lies we need to avoid.
- They know His voice! This is a great promise for us. We have a God who speaks to us personally, who guides us in His ways. He searches our hearts, leads us away from grievous ways, leads us toward what we need, and restores our souls. He cares for us. This Shepherd is Jesus and He can be trusted, for He knows us and we know His voice.
- Hearing God’s voice is an important part of the Christian life. The Bible is full of promises, like in this passage about us being able to hear God’s voice. Today, try listening for His voice. He is faithful and He speaks to us!
Tonight, as you go to sleep, take time to quiet your soul. Our minds are often filled with lots of voices – the voices of bosses, friends, and family. Take time to surrender those voices and listen for God’s voice above it all.