“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.””
John 10:3-5 NLT
A shepherd knows his sheep but even more important, the sheep know the shepherd. They know his voice, they follow it and they won't follow a strangers voice. They only respond to the voice that has taken care of them and kept them safe. They know that if they follow his voice, they are going the right way and they have confidence in him that he will not lead them astray.
It has me wondering do I know my shepherds voice? To know His voice I have to know HIM. I have to spend time with Him. I have to know Him for myself and not depend on someone else to tell me what His voice sounds like! Right now we aren’t able to meet in our normal settings of worship. Many aren’t able to go to work or school and it has our entire lives turned upside down. It seems we have had all the comforts and routines in our lives stripped from us. But what if we are being put into the perfect setting to get to know His voice?
When our best friend calls we don't have to wonder who is on the other end. We know their voice, we've had conversations with them, spent intimate time with them and there is no doubt who is on the other end of the call when we hear their voice. I wonder if when He is calling me, do I know His voice, or do I have to wonder who it is? I want to be so in tune with Him that I know when His voice is speaking into my life! Whether it is a loud booming voice (which it rarely is) or a still small voice, I want to know without doubt that it is Him who is speaking. You know that little feeling you have when you see someone who is having a bad day and you know you should go and check on them. Or, when you see someone struggling in the store to get the item they need? Those are the times that His voice is gently calling you to love your neighbor.
I pray that during this time of uncertainty, that we will all spend time with the shepherd and will learn to listen to His voice so that we will always know when it is Him who is speaking!! I pray that His voice will be louder than any other voice we may hear. We may be fighting the voice of doubt, fear or uncertainty. But I know a God who can silence all fear, doubt, anxiety or uncertainty you may be facing. He wants to be the voice that speaks louder than any other in your life. He is going before you, you can trust Him not to lead you astray.