Life as a River
Do you know His Voice?
“The sheep listen to the Shepherd’s voice. He calls His own sheep by name
and leads them out... His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”
But the Eastern shepherd was, and in many parts of the world still is, very different. He raised his sheep from the time they were lambs and maintained responsibility for them twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, year in and year out, for their entire lifetime. There were no dogs or fences or tattoos or computers. In Jesus' day the countryside was filled with deep crevices and ravines. Patches of grass were sparse. So the shepherd had to establish a personal, working relationship with each sheep, developing its love and trust in him in order to lead it to where the path was the smoothest, the pasture was the greenest, the water was the cleanest, and the nights were the safest. The shepherd always led the sheep.
He knew their names, and when he called them, they recognized his voice, following him like a swarm of little chicks follows the mother hen. When he stopped, the sheep huddled closely around him, pressing against his legs. Their personal relationship with him was based on his voice, which they knew and trusted.
In this parable in John 10:3-4, you and I are the sheep, the Good Shepherd is Jesus, and the voice of the Good Shepherd is the Word of God. Our Shepherd speaks to us through the written words of our Bible, and His words are personal.
- When our Shepherd speaks, He speaks to us personally — by name.
- He knows us inside and out.
- He knows our thoughts before they’re on our minds, and our words before they’re even formed on our tongues, and our emotions before they’re felt in our hearts, and our actions before there is any movement.
- He speaks in the language of our own personal lives.
Am I following the Shepherd, or is He following me?
When was the last time I heard His voice?
Does He call me by name? Am I listening for His call?
Do I know His voice when He calls? Does He know my voice?
When I read my Bible, am I focused on the facts and information,
or am I listening for His voice/
Anne Graham Lotz, excerpted from her book - I Saw the Lord
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