TITLE: SHEPHERDS AND SHEEP

VERSE: [Jesus said,] “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” JOHN 10:27

In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be hard to keep track of which voices are speaking to us. We’re bombarded by messages from all sides—some loud and clear, others whispered so quietly we have to strain to hear them. Some are tender and sympathetic; others strident and critical. And all compete for our attention.

But what if there were a way to identify those most important voices? What if we could listen for the ones that would help us find our way?

Jesus knows how confused we can be. That’s one of the reasons He gave His followers an illustration about shepherds and sheep. Sheep learn to recognize the voice of their shepherd so that when he calls to them, even in the midst of a multitude of other voices, they follow his distinctive sound. The other voices are just noise to the sheep of the Good Shepherd; they are uniquely tuned to His voice alone. When they hear it, they follow.

That’s what Jesus wants for you—to hear His voice above all others and follow Him wherever He may lead. He is your shepherd, and He will guide you through every valley and shadowed place as you seek His face and His favor in your life.

It's not always loud or booming, but it's always consistent. You can hear it when you're praying, or when you're reading your Bible. It's a voice that knows you and isn't afraid to call you out on your mistakes. It's a voice that wants nothing more than for you to be happy and healthy—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

You might think you've never heard this voice before because it sounds like someone else's voice; because it doesn't sound like what we're used to hearing from God; because we don't want to listen; because we're too busy listening to other voices—voices that tell us lies about who we are and what we can do with our lives. But if we listen closely enough, if we pay attention long enough, if we ask hard enough questions…we'll find that one true voice calling us into existence.

We all want to hear the voice of Christ.

It's a pretty simple request, right? We want to hear Him talk to us and guide us. We want to know that He hears our prayers and answers them.

But how do you know when Jesus is speaking to you? How do you know if it's really Him when He does speak? How should His voice sound?

The truth is, there are no easy answers. You can't just go by what other people say; everyone has different experiences of hearing the Lord speak to them. And most people will tell you they've never heard Jesus speak at all! So how do you know if your experience is valid or not?

My advice? Don't make assumptions about what Christ's voice should sound like. Be willing to step into a learning process. But know that it's not only possible to hear His voice, it's assured. Somewhere within your soul, you will hear His heart-to-heart words and know they are His.

LET'S PRAY...

Jesus, my Shepherd, tune my heart to hear Your words. Let them sink into my soul and become a part of who I am. Help me ignore false voices and listen to Yours alone.

𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐎𝐖𝐄𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐆𝐎𝐃'𝐒 𝐖𝐇𝐈𝐒𝐏𝐄𝐑
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