Aug4TueI know my Fathers voice August 4, 2020
I ASSURE you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call.
John 10:1-5 AMPC
Ever wondered or asked the question, how do I hear God? Does He speak to us today? And when He does speak, how do I know it's His voice? I know I've asked those questions. It's true that the bible, the Word, is God's voice, and most often that is how He speaks to us. I was reading through John 10 today, and it struck me how Jesus said the sheep listen to His voice and heed it. They follow Him because they KNOW His voice. The Message translation says they are familiar with His voice. He doesn't say sometimes or maybe we hear the voice of God. No. We are His, therefore we know (in greek, this know is translated, to regard with favor, to understand) His voice. We, his sheep, regard with favor His voice and we understand Him. In fact He goes on to say, not only do you know His voice but you also know which is not His voice. His sheep NEVER follow strangers for they do not recognize the voice of strangers.
It got me thinking of how parents caution and warn their children..Never talk to strangers! Never go along with strangers! Why not? Because strangers can be dangerous, harmful and have evil intentions in mind. Some parents have safe words in place with their kids, so that if by chance a friend of the family was asked to pick a child up from school but was a stranger to the child..the child would ask for the safe word. If the stranger knew it, the child then also knew this was a friend, I can trust this person. So it is with us and our Father. If I spend a lot of time with Him, I know His voice..meaning I know what His thoughts are on things. I know what he would do and say in whatever situation. I know His will. And if someone came along and tried to tell me ,this is what Father God says...I can immediately tell yes, this sounds like what He would say. Or no, this doesn't sound anything like my Father's voice.
Think about someone you are close to. You've spent enough time with them to know their feelings on certain things. You've gotten to know their figures of speech. You know what they would say, sometimes before they've said it. Now if someone came along and told you, listen to what your friend said! And right away you knew, no my friend would never have said that. How did you know? You have spent time in your friends presence talking and sharing. You have a relationship. You can therefore differentiate between what is true or not.
So now I know that God is speaking to me ,but how do I know it's Him, what does His voice sound like? Reading the story of Samuel as a boy in 1 Sam.3, he was sleeping and heard a voice call him. Samuel immediately got up, went to Eli, and said Here I am, for you called me. But Eli told him, I did not call; lie down again. This happened again and then once more. The third time Eli perceived that it was the Lord and told Samuel so.
What struck me, even though it was the Lord speaking, Samuel had no clue. The voice sounded so familiar he assumed it was Eli. What if God speaks to us in this way? Just a still small voice in our heart. A familiar voice which we are acquainted with. A good (pleasing to the Lord) thought in our mind, a nudge in our heart to share the good news with a stranger, or to help or encourage a neighbor. An idea that just came to me that is just too good to not be from God. Maybe we just need to tune our heart to His frequency, in order to hear.
Psalm 119: 105 tells us that His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. He speaks so clearly through His word! This verse states that His word is how I know when and where to take the next step. Ever tried walking in the dark without a light and you ended up stumbling and stubbing your toe? Is it possible we stumble spiritually because we're not turning the light on? We get up too busy, don't turn the lamp of Gods Word on and end up saying and doing stuff in the darkness we never would have in the light.
In Luke 11 : 34, Jesus tells us that the lamp of the body is the eye, and if the eye is sound and good ( you're reading God's word) then your whole body is full of light (God's word).
If i am full of Gods Word, that Word can then be light and a voice to guide me, all day. That's another thing about Samuel, he was in the temple all day long, ministering to the Lord, he continued to grow in stature and favor with the Lord. He kept close to the presence of God.
The sheep that are my own hear and are listening to my voice; and I know them, and they follow me.
Hearing His voice means coming into His presence daily and abiding with Him so that I start to recognize His voice. So that when I come to cross roads or to trouble, I will be able to know and hear His voice in my heart and mind, and can follow His instructions for me. There should be no confusion if the Lord is the Lord of my life and the Shepherd of my life! He guides me along the right path. He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23.
His spirit leads to level ground. Psalm 143
I was looking up the word listen in Hebrew and it's the word Shema. It means to to hear and listen, pay attention to, focus on, to obey.
Listening, to the Hebrew, meant that you would also respond to what you have heard. Listening and doing were 2 sides of the same coin. In fact there was no word for obey in ancient hebrew. It's Shema. If you said, I am listening, you also meant I'm going to obey what I hear.
We've heard of how the prophets would say, They have ears but do not hear. For example in Isaiah 42:20..his ears are open, but he does not hear. In Ezekiel 33:31..they come to you as people come, they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it;
Am I listening when God is speaking to me? Or am I merely hearing Him speak but have no intention of obeying? You see.. He says Today! Today if you hear my voice Do not harden your heart. Hebrews 3:7. God knows that my choosing to hear and not obey will cause the ears of my heart to become deaf by degrees. He doesn't want that! He's my Shepherd, He doesn't want me to wander astray! Choosing to hear and obey softens my heart and makes me sensitive to His voice.
If I am His, I shema His voice.
Father, renew our minds and soften our hearts today, to hear and listen anew to Your voice. Let us be mindful of Your presence,Your spirit which guides us. Bless our ears to hear as You would hear and as You would have us hear. Help us to love and heed your voice above all others. Thank you for being our Shepherd, the Light that guides us. In Jesus name, Amen.