John 10:4-5 — 4 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice” (NIV).
A true shepherd (or pastor) tends to the needs of his sheep. He leads them down paths of righteousness, and he possesses the character of Christ. He never sacrifices the well-being of his sheep to protect himself. The good shepherd always goes ahead of his sheep, and they follow him because they know his voice.
It is absolutely vital for you to know God’s voice, because if you don’t, you will be led astray. You will not be able to distinguish between His voice and the voice of a stranger. It’s for this reason so many Christians are living outside of God’s will.
So why do people have a hard time recognizing God’s voice? I’m glad you asked. More times than not, it is because they don’t spend quality time listening to Him on a daily basis. When my wife Heidi calls me on the phone, I immediately recognize her voice when she begins to talk. Why? We’ve spent countless hours talking and listening to each other over the years. I don’t have to ask who she is, and she doesn’t have to announce, “Hey Michael, this is your wife Heidi,” every time she calls.
Prayer should be a daily, two-way conversation between you and God. A lot of people, though, have turned prayer into a monologue of complaining or asking God for things. I want to encourage you to listen during your prayer time. This means you’re going to have to sit still and be quiet.
Once you know His voice, you will never forget it. He doesn’t ever disguise His voice or try to fool you, and He will never say anything contrary to the Bible. Get to know God’s voice for yourself because even godly, well-meaning leaders will miss His voice from time to time. Have you listened yet today?
Psalm 46:10 — “Be still, and know that I am God” (NIV).
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