My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. ~~John 10:27 ESV
Children recognize the voice of their mother and fathers. I remember watching my boys when they were babies. I walked into the room talking and their heads turned toward me. I watched them as the watched me and listened to me talk to them. They cooed back to me as I held them in my lap and spoke to them.
Interestingly, on the flip side, I could recognize my baby’s cry out of all the other babies in the nursery. Or even when a group of children were playing together, I could hear the sound of my child’s voice in the group. The Lord gave parents an ability to distinguish their child from others.
I remember studying about zebras with my youngest last year when I homeschooled him. Each zebra has it’s own particular pattern of stripes. When the foal is born, the mother doesn’t let it see any other zebra’s except her until it can recognize the stripes and sound of it’s mother. Then she’ll let it wander in the group.
Jesus stated that He is the shepherd and we are the sheep. As His sheep, we recognize his voice. I do not know much about shepherding, but I gather that the shepherd spends much time with the sheep that they get to know his voice.
Are we spending enough time with our Shepherd that we know His voice? Voices can be deceptive. There are lots of voices vying for our attention. Competing with the Shepherd’s voice are the voices of others, our own voice and the voice of the enemy—the devil.
Why do we need to listen for the voice of our Good Shepherd, Jesus? He desires the best for us. As humans, our hearts are deceitful. We can fool ourselves into believing anything. And the enemy prowls around looking for someone to devour, so we must stand firm. Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
How do we listen to Him? First, I suggest reading the Bible daily for if we know what it says about matters, then we won’t be easily fooled. Second, I pray about everything asking the Lord for advice and answers. I pray about my schedule, which fruit to buy, if I should buy those pants or blouse. I pray before I take a test. I’m working at praying more before I spout out answers (as it does avert disagreements). And then I practice listening for His voice. Sometimes, it pops into my head as an idea or a thought. Other times, I’ll think of something, but dismiss it then to hear it on the radio, television or someone else later.
Our Lord speaks to us in a myriad of ways. If we spend time with Him then we will know His voice like our children know our voice and we know theirs. Take time daily to hear His voice.