Day 29 John 10:1-18
Usually people are in church for one of three reasons. For some, it is for religious reasons. It’s a family obligation or seems like the right thing to do. Maybe it is what they have always done on Sundays. Others come because they have a need and they decide to give God a try. Perhaps the situation is desperate and others have encouraged them to seek God. And the third reason people go to church is because they have had an encounter with Jesus. They come to church trying to figure this out; because they want to know Him better; because they want to hear from Him.
Wanting to hear and actually hearing from God are two different things even though the first can lead to the second. Hearing from God is a matter of where we are in relationship to Him. In chapters eight though ten of the Gospel of John, there are three examples of hearing – or not hearing – God’s voice and the reasons why.
In John 10, Jesus describes a believer’s relationship with God as being like the relationship of the sheep with the Shepherd. The sheep know the voice of the Shepherd and where He leads, the sheep will follow. Jesus was telling this to a group of Pharisees who, while very religious, did not know the Shepherd’s voice. But those who do know the Shepherd’s voice are those who know Him well.
How do we spend more time being as sheep who know the Shepherd well, recognizing His voice and following Him? This takes time. Like sheep, at first, we tend to follow the “flock” and do as they do. But as we spend more time with them, we begin to hear the Shepherd’s voice. Initially, we may not recognize that it is His voice, but over time it becomes more familiar. We begin to believe that He will be there. We will even begin to hear Him calling us by name, recognizing that it is the Shepherd’s voice we are hearing.
If we ever do doubt that it is the Shepherd’s voice that we are hearing, we can confirm it through the Scriptures. He will never say anything to us that is contrary to His written Word. And when He speaks to us, we need to listen to what He says. The more we do and the more we obey His voice, the clearer the Shepherd’s voice will become to us.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is the Shepherd. We can choose to be a part of His flock. If you want to know Him – if you want to hear His voice – You must choose to follow Him. Once you do, quiet your heart and listen. The Shepherd is speaking.