Friday, November 18, 2011

The Shepherd's Voice

A devout believer, a friend of mine couldn’t understand why she was having difficulty hearing God’s voice. She assumed that He just wasn’t talking to her. I tried to explain to her that God talks to all of us all the time. She just had yet to learn how to differentiate His voice from all the others that call out to her on a regular basis.

The woods around our house are host to a large population of red-bellied woodpeckers, and for a long time I assumed that I’d never heard one call. Eventually I associated a peculiarly throaty birdsong with this particular species and suddenly realized that I’d been “hearing” it for years - I just hadn’t made the connection between the two. Once I learned to recognize the call I was able to readily identify it in the midst of all the other bird chatter that I hear regularly. I was thrilled to be able to tell when one was near, just from the sound of its voice.

Likewise it takes time spent in God’s presence for a new believer to recognize His voice when He speaks to her. Yet once we learn what it sounds like we recognize Him speaking to us wherever we are and whatever else we may be doing. From that point on we won’t confuse it with any of the other voices that compete for our attention in the spiritual realm.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
(John 10:27 NIV)

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