“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27
It is interesting how a mother knows her child’s voice. There can be a crowd of children playing, laughing and screaming on a playground, and if a child calls, “Mommy!” she can discern her little one’s voice from all the others. God has built moms that way – to know the voice and cries of their children.
Part of the job of a shepherd is to know the cries of his sheep; and the sheep know the voice of a good shepherd. John 10:14 calls Jesus the Good Shepherd, and this is a wonderful description of Him. What does a good shepherd do? He cares for his sheep, protects them, feeds them, and keeps them from wandering away. Hasn’t Jesus done this for His children?
One of the most compelling illustrations of knowing Christ’s voice is found in John’s gospel account of the resurrection. In John 20, he recounts Mary Magdalene’s first encounter with her Lord after He was raised from the dead. Mary Magdalene loved Christ with all of her heart. Throughout the Scripture she is present in His life and clearly had a deep, abiding faith in Him. When she went to the tomb and found it empty she was deeply distressed, thinking someone had moved His body. When Jesus first approaches her, she thinks He is the gardener…until He says her name. One word, “Mary,” and she knows it is her “Rabboni.” She falls at His feet to cling to Him and worship Him.
What a beautiful picture of sheep and Shepherd. When Christ spoke her name, Mary recognized His voice…she knew Him personally. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a true Christ follower is the recognition of God’s voice. It comes through conviction of sin, through Scripture, and through a still, small voice in your heart and mind. It’s impossible to fully explain it to someone else, because as a believer, we just know when God is speaking. And the longer we walk with God, the more recognizable His voice becomes.
Have you heard God speak to you lately? If you are a Christian, you should know His voice. And as Christians, we must be careful not to allow the world to drown Him out. He has so much to say – and we need to hear from Him, our Good Shepherd.
Father, I am so grateful that You speak to me through Your Spirit who lives inside me. I know that apart from You I can do nothing. Please continue to teach me how to hear You. If there are any ways that my lifestyle is drowning out Your voice, please show me and help me to change. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Topics: Holy Spirit