If you've watched the World Cup, you have no doubt been annoyed by the sound that drowns out even the TV announcers. The sound is from the vuvuzela, South Africa's answer to the Thunderstick. It's a small plastic trumpet that cost less than a dollar to make and creates no known musical notes. But when thousands of people blow them simultaneously, you get a loud, incessant hum that makes the entire stadium sound like it's being attacked by bees. It's normal to find them at any South African soccer match. Ask just about anyone though and they will tell you they hate them!
This past Sunday I preached a message from John 10 where Jesus describes himself as the "Good Shepherd." He tells us that we need to hear, listen and follow His voice. He then, in vs 5, warns us that there will be other voices and we need to learn to not listen to them. In fact, He tells us we should "run away" from those voices.
Jesus knows that just like the vuvuzela, Satan wants to distract you and create noise that drowns your ability to hear and listen to Him. If he can do that following Jesus becomes more difficult. Jesus gives us a simple and somewhat unexpected way to eliminate the distraction of the strangers voice. It's sacrificial love.
In vs 10 he tells us that Satan wants to "steal and kill and destroy." In other words distract us with the noise of this world and therefore kill our ability to hear Jesus. He wants us to have "life, and have it to the full" if we will only listen and follow His voice. In vs 11 He tells us how to hear that voice when he says the "shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
The strategy for silencing the other voices and noise of the world is in first recognizing and accepting the sacrificial love that Jesus has for us and then practicing that same kind of love by sacrificially loving others. If I want to lead the rich and satisfying life that Jesus offers I must let everything I think, do and say be colored by His love. In order to do that I have to silence the incessant noise of the world that wants to steal my attention and joy.
As you watch the World Cup don't let the sound of the vuvuzela keep you from enjoying the matches and as you live your life don't let the noise of the strangers voice steal your love for Jesus and the world he wants to reach.
Whatever It Takes!