“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
-John 10:27 NKJV
There is this cute story of when I was in my early 20’s and my sister was in her late teens. We have a big state fair where I’m from and we were there as a family. At one point my sister and I decided to make our way around the expo hall (getting sold on a sham-wow or Vitamix, to be sure). We set a time to meet back up as a family. As my sister and I were walking around we hear a very familiar sound, my dad’s whistle. We both start looking around for him and spot him a ways away smiling at us. We make our way over to him and the friend he was now talking with. They were smiling and laughing. My dad explained that he saw his buddy and ended up seeing my sister and I and said to his friend, “There are my girls down there, do you want to see something really cute?” So he whistled. And sure enough, just as he knew, his two adult daughters began looking around like little puppies for their daddy.
Recently I was reading about Saul’s encounter with Jesus and subsequent conversion, and the Bible says, “And those who were with me indeed saw the light…but did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me” (Acts 22:9 NKJV). I got thinking about this. How interesting that those that were right there with him could see the light, but they couldn’t hear His voice.
At this time Saul wasn’t a believer. Actually, he was about as far away from being a believer as you could get, he was a believer killer. Literally. Yet when Jesus spoke to him, he heard. Jesus gives Saul some directions, and he immediately obeys. Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if we, as believers, were a little more like this? See, Saul (turned Paul) was one of His lost sheep, he just didn’t know it yet. Jesus clearly says in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
During this fast, the prayer of my heart is that we would hear the Lord. Not just the noise, not just in worship music (though worship music is awesome), not just in messages (though messages are awesome), but to really quiet ourselves (this is the hardest part for me) and allow ourselves to really hear him speak.
When we spend time with him, when we are in the Word, when we just simply have authentic, non-religious, non-legalist, time and communication with him, we began to really know what he sounds like. So when he speaks, we hear, and then we can follow. I want to know His voice just like I know my dad’s whistle; that sound is distinct, and unlike anyone else’s whistle. I could be anywhere in the world, hear it, and know that is my dad. Let us be like that with the Lord’s voice. That as we approach decisions in our lives and the natural tendency is to try to figure it out that we would just simply stop and hear the only voice that matters, that we would hear his voice stand out above all the others, and that we would have the courage to follow no matter where it leads.
Jesus, teach us to hear you above all else. That we would truly know your voice and that we would follow. Thank you that you are indeed speaking to us, you don’t hide from us, you don’t change your mind, you are steadfast and trustworthy. Give us ears to hear what it is you are saying.
In Jesus name, Amen