John 10:27 - The Voice of God.
John 10:27 (KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and
I know them, and they follow me:
In Scripture, God often refers to His
people as sheep - which made me wonder what
attributes I share with the reputedly dumb animal.
Sheep are born with the strong instinct
to follow other sheep. Put a bold or curious
one out in front and the rest will trail behind.
Its called "flock mentality." All is well as
long as the leader isn't heading for a patch of
poisonous weeds or craggy cliffs.
Sheep are gregarious. They stay in a
group while grazing and are highly agitated when
left alone. They're vulnerable too; when on their
own, they fall prey to predators. They're easily
frightened and quickly scattered.
Sheep never walk a straight line.
Instead, they wander and turn, looking behind them
with first one eye and then the other. They also
depend heavily on their acute hearing and keen
sense of smell to warn them of enemies.
Do any of those traits sound familiar?
People too have a flock mentality - only we call it
peer pressure. If we don't pay close attention to
our leaders, we'll follow them right into new
ideas that pull us away from God's truth. Just
like sheep, we are vulnerable when isolated,
giving in more easily to temptation. We're prone to
wander away from God and the church, spending less
time in the Word, watching our lives unravel, and
even blaming God for abandoning us when we were
the ones who left. We need the accountability
that comes from the body of Christ. Only then
will we remember to look for answers in the Lord
alone. Finally, like sheep, we face danger, so we
need to be alert. Reading Scripture will keep our
spiritual eyes and ears sharp.
I am a sheep! I'm going to stay in God's
fold and stick close to the Good Shepherd. Where
He goes, I'm going. I'll listen for His voice
and run after Him when He calls. When the
enemies come (false teachers, God mockers), I will
be safe in Him. No one can ever snatch me away
from my Shepherd. And when the day is over, I
will lay my head on His feet and smile, content
and full of thanksgiving for the new dawn
Lord God, I know that I am like a sheep
in so many ways. I am weak, easily frightened,
a follower, vulnerable, with a tendency to
wander away from what is good. Thank You for being
the Good Shepherd who protects and cares for His
sheep. Help me to train myself to know Your voice
and listen for it. May I always stay close to
You, my guide and protector. [Earth Psalms by
The world has almost always been a noisy
place, but now more so than ever. We have access to
a multitude of voices every minute of every
day - through radio and TV, Internet and social
media, and more. The public discussion has grown
drastically larger and louder in our time. We're
virtually bombarded with opinions and noise.
Some of these voices are easily
recognizable, and we instantly know whether to listen to
them or not. Some are more subtle; they blend
into the background, come from a distance, or
bubble up from questions and confusion in our own
minds. Some are nice to us, and others are
downright rude. But all of them compete for our
Jesus gave us a profound illustration
about shepherds and their sheep. Sheep may hear
other shepherds calling out, but they have learned
to recognize the voice of the one who guides
them. They don't follow just any shepherd; they
follow theirs. They may hear other voices, but they
don't really hear them. They are tuned in to the
distinctives of their master's call. When they hear it,
they follow wherever he is leading.
Our goal is to be uniquely tuned in to a
singular voice. We can do that because the Shepherd
said He knows us - individually. He has taken
time to communicate with us, learn our
inclinations and characteristics, and appreciate us
individually. We are drawn to Him because of that, and His
voice resonates more deeply with us than any
other. Because He cares for us, we care what He
says. We know He's watching out for us. Our
interests are best served by His will.
Ask God to fine-tune your hearing to His
voice alone. You'll hear a multitude of other
sounds, but they won't resonate with you the way His
voice will. They are just noise. Let Him draw you
into a learning process that will connect you
with His heart and open your ears to hear. Know
even before you ask that this is possible. In
fact, it's promised. The Shepherd could not
possibly leave you in silence. His voice is waiting
to be heard. [The One Year Heaven On Earth
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
Whose voice do you love to hear when you
answer the phone? Your spouse? Your kids? A best
friend you've had since school days? We all have
caller ID these days and can usually know before we
answer who's on the other end of the call. But I
can remember that back before cell phones (yes,
there were these ancient telephonic devices called
"rotary phones" - you can google it), I wouldn't
know who was going to be on the phone when I
answered it. It could be a telemarketer, or it could
be my sister Lisa, or it could be Amy.
Obviously, I would recognize my sister's
voice or Amy's, and they could tell it was me from
my deep, he-man voice growling back, "Hello?"
Sometimes it's not so easy, though, even with caller
ID. If there's a lot of ambient noise, like in a
busy restaurant or at a big event, it can be hard
to tell who you're talking to.
I worry that sometimes people today have
so much background noise in their lives that
they don't recognize God's voice when they hear
it. With all the sound bites, songs, rants and
raves, comments, and commentaries, it can be tough
to find a few minutes to sit quietly with God.
But becoming comfortable with stillness is
essential if we're to recognize his gentle whisper.
Try to reduce the unnecessary noise
around you today and listen for your Shepherd's
Help me, God, as I become more intimate
with you in prayer, to be someone who recognizes
your voice. I want you to know me, and I want to
follow you. [Daily Power by Craig Groeschel]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred