Posted by: Jo | October 24, 2014

Listening To His Voice

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
(John 10:4)

image When the telephone rings in our home and my husband answers it, I play a little game with myself and try to guess who is calling, just by listening to the tone and inflections of his voice. If I hear his formal, guarded response, I know it is either a stranger or somebody selling something that we obviously do not want. He has yet another quite different answering voice for close friends, but I always guess very quickly who it is calling, when one of our daughters are contacting us. Perhaps he is not even aware himself of how his voice softens with love as he responds to one of his own. It is quite obvious to me. This made me think about how important voices are and especially the way they are delivered. We cringe at the voice raised in anger. We move away from the loud, arrogant voice of another. We draw near to the sympathetic, gentle voice comforting us, but the voice that gives us the greatest joy is the voice, we know so well, of a loved one.

Jesus was very anxious for his disciples to grasp this incredible concept and the importance of recognizing and knowing his voice. He describes himself as a good shepherd, a familiar figure to those at the time, and also refers to the familiar sight of sheep following the voice of one they know is their protector. Jesus wanted this graphic picture to stay in their minds as he knew other voices would try to lead them astray and they needed to remember the one true and safe voice to follow.

image This is still true for us who wish to follow that loving voice of the Lord. We need to distinguish between the loud and misleading voices of the world and only be guided by the Good Shepherd’s voice. So how do we do that? How do we listen for warning signs / guidance in decisions / directions? God is always speaking to us, but the listening side depends on us. Firstly Our Heavenly Father desires interaction with us. He welcomes us into his presence through prayer, but too often we do all the talking not realizing that prayer is two-sided and we need to spend some of the time actively listening. I have found this to be a very rewarding part of my devotions, to sit quietly before the Lord, just concentrating on what he may be saying to me and time and time again a thought will come into my mind that is often a solution to a problem I have been grappling with.

The Lord also speaks through his word and we have to spend time reading, to hear exactly what he means us to hear. Over and over again I have heard from the Lord, when I am in most need of direction, just in the passage I am reading.

One of my friend’s pointed out a special verse to me just recently that describes how deeply and passionately the Lord wants to communicate with us;

“The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” (Psalm 25:14)

Taking somebody into your confidence is usually a big step in any relationship and usually trust in that person is a big part of the equation. Imagine our Creator finding us trustworthy enough to confide in and to make known imagehis covenant of love. Again he can only confide in us if we are willing to listen. He is always ready, we have to be sure to be available;

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

 

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Responses

  1. Timely for me Jo, because I’m not a good listener. Thanks again friend. God bless, Mary.

    Like

  2. It is incredible, how when we are making a decision about something ,just taking that moment to ask for the Lords advice we make the right one !
    Thanks Jo

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  3. One of the privileges that comes with aging is having the time and opportunities to sit in silence and read the Word, or just to listen for His voice. Thank you Jo for reminding us how important that is.

    Like


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