Training Our Hearts in Truth

by Araceli (Sally) Cardenas

by Araceli (Sally) Cardenas

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

(John 10:27 ESV)

 

The infection rate was going up, and the Italian government was threatening drastic measures to contain the pandemic while racing to administer the vaccine. After a few weeks of freedom, it was clear we were headed for another lockdown. When news broke at the gym I went to, one fitness buff angrily slammed his weights on the floor pointing to the news flash on the TV.

Antonio, my personal trainer, was quick to react, “Let’s train through What’s App.” His offer caught me off guard. After more than seven years training together, doing so virtually had never been an option, but this time so much had changed in Italy. Without virtual sessions, most professionals couldn’t survive, including Antonio, whose love for Arnold Schwarzenegger was contagious from day one. I agreed and turned to Amazon to turn my terrace into a home gym.

When the time came, I turned on my camera, and there he was, standing in his living room, shouting out his favorite motto to motivate me, “No pain, no gain!” holding up his weights. The first few seconds were awkward as I tried to adjust my camera, hearing him yell out, “Mi senti, mi senti. Do you hear me?” Soon I was training like I had done so many times before, counting on his voice to guide my every move, including his constant reminders, “Be careful with your knee.” Other times, he’d yell out, “Watch that right shoulder.”

Without missing a step, hearing his voice reassured me of his presence, his guidance, and the peace of mind, knowing how much I trusted him. He knew my every injury, from the ones I carried from high school, to those that were self-induced by carrying every handbag on my right shoulder. As I listened to Antonio, I was reminded of another voice. This voice was far greater and speaks with authority and ownership of His own beloved children, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27 ESV).

The voice of Jesus is unmistakable. It offers so much more than any other human voice directing our paths, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 ESV). As the Creator of all things, God’s voice guides and protects, including my body as a temple where His Spirit lives. With God, there’s no learning curve, no need to establish a wi-fi connection, no need for appointments or explanations as to what happened and when, because He knows us better than we know ourselves  “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30 NIV).

As we carry on with our daily activities and listen to the many voices in our lives, from trainers to teachers, family to friends, and every other voice on social media vying for our attention, may we be reminded to train our hearts to hear His voice, His gentle whisper, by devoting the time and space to read His Word. May God’s Word anchor our souls in His truth and safeguard our minds knowing that His ultimate desire is “to train us in righteousness by equipping us for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV), starting with a personal relationship with you.

 

Truth for Today

“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 ESV)

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV)

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