Listening to Him
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: – John 10:27
We live in a world with many voices vying for our attention. It can be confusing to know which one to heed to. Some voices are full of deception, some are accompanied by lofty promises, some offer entertainment, while other voices offer fulfilment in things that are of the world. These voices seek to get our attention and can control us through whatever it is that they offer. Some voices are full of negativity and depression and can make us feel that we are of no use and perhaps will never be. We must learn to focus on the voice that is important, on the voice that can bring life.
A child knows the voice of the mother and the mother can recognize the voice of her child from hundreds. She knows the cry of the child and can distinguish that from any other voices around her. God has made mothers like that.
In the same way a good shepherd knows the cries of his sheep and the sheep know the voice of the shepherd. Jesus identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), as one who lays down His life for His sheep.
True spiritual acumen is knowing the still small voice that is the Lord’s. Can we recognize it like Elijah did? (1 Kings 19:12). We must learn to recognize the voice of the Lord in our sorrows but especially in our joys when our attention is often taken by other things. It does require practice.
Jesus says that He knows His sheep. He truly knows us like no other. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Our friends and family do not know us. Our social media circle scarcely does. They are only dependent on the image we project. But the Lord knows the real us. And He loves us still.
Once we learn to discern the voice of the one who knows us and loves us, it becomes a joy to follow Him. Obedience is the key to sharpen our spiritual hearing. Once we hear His voice, we must immediately follow what He tells us. This will keep us in tune with our Shepherd.
In the verse following Jesus says that He gives His sheep eternal life. Only in listening to His voice and in obedience will we find life eternal.
Let us pray that the Lord would give us ears that recognize His voice and hearts and will that obey Him throughout this journey called life.
Rev. Vijayesh Lal