My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. — John 10:27
Isn’t that a powerful statement? In a very short sentence, Jesus communicates so much:
- He communicates ownership. He redeemed us—gave His life for us, so we are His possession—His sheep.
- He says that His sheep listen to Him—to His voice. Thus, we can assume that He speaks to us, talks to us, instructs us. We are to be attuned to the voice of our Shepherd, not to another.
- He says He knows his sheep. I liken it to our awareness, knowledge and love for our pets—they respond to the one who cares for them. We respond to the voice of the One who cares for us. He cares for us because we are His.
- He says that as a result of our relationship with Him, and our ability to hear His voice, we follow Him. The implication is that He speaks to us, and because we are His sheep, we listen. Because we listen, we receive assurance, counsel, and direction. Because He gives us direction, we follow Him. Obviously, if we are following Him, He is leading us somewhere. Guess where?
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. — Psalm 23:1-6
There’s so much to say about what this scripture means, but I’ll summarize:
The Lord is a shepherd who takes excellent care of His sheep. His sheep lack nothing; they have plenty of food and water; they dwell in peaceful places. Even during difficult times, He is with us, protecting us. Even more, he allows our enemies to see how blessed we are—by Him. He ensures the quality of our lives on earth, and we have His promise of eternal life.
But what happens if we can’t hear His voice, or don’t have the assurance that the voice we think we’re hearing is His?
- How do we receive comfort?
- How do we make wise decisions?
- How do we avoid being deceived?
- How do we know how to pray and what to pray for?
- How do we plan for the future?
- How do we know if God really hears our prayers and our hearts’ cry?
There have been many times I thought I was hearing the Lord in my inner being (not audibly), but I wasn’t sure. My uncertainty caused me to waver, walk in doubt; make poor decisions and more.
One of my greatest life changes is when I asked the Lord to give me a better way to make decisions, so I could quit making messes in my life. He spoke to me and gave me a simple method for making wise decisions. I use it to this day and it never fails—no more major life messes!
How do you hear God’s voice?
This fall, I’ll be teaching an 8-week course called “Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” . When I first took the course myself, I learned so much about how the Lord speaks to me, but I also received assurance about times I wasn’t sure if I’d heard Him. I can assure you that your life will be changed as a result of taking the course.
“Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” will help you to gain valuable encouragement and motivation through communication with God.