“My sheep hear My Voice and I know them and they follow Me.”
The question is “To whose voice are we listening?”—for that determines whom we’re following.
We’re not comfortable with it. Whether riding down the road with a carful of folks or going up several floors in an elevator with strangers, we don’t like silence. Why is that? It could be because of the “noises in our heart” or we’re afraid of what we might hear God’s Spirit saying to us.
So, we fill almost every waking moment with noise.
Blaring radios or MP3 players. Mindless chatter on the newest IPhone. The latest headlines on television or the roar of the crowd at our favorite sporting event.
Then, we wonder why we don’t hear His Voice.
Serenity of soul must be nurtured. We can’t recognize the Shepherd’s Voice when we don’t know the Shepherd. And, we can’t know the Shepherd without spending time with Him (Ps. 1:2-3). Even then, the cacophony and din of sounds is deafening. . .all clamoring for our attention.
That’s why it’s important for us to learn how to “be still and know that He is God” (Ps. 46:10).
We can’t leave our times of communion with Him to a “I’ll do it when I have time” approach, for more times than not that time will not come or be sparse at best. Jesus’ most precious, intimate times with the Father came early in the morning, not late at night—for He knew He needed that time with Him BEFORE the day dawned rather than offering up to Him the leftovers at day’s end.
Sheep are somewhat stupid and definitely defenseless against predators or thieves.
That’s why they needed a shepherd.
And, so do we.
Unlike western cowboys who herd their cattle or sheep by driving them, Oriental shepherds LED their sheep, knowing their sheep would follow them because “they heard his voice.” How we need to remember this when we’re feeling harried in this hectic, fast-paced world where our “to-do” list is never finished and driving us to complete it.
Our Shepherd is wanting to “make us lie down in green pastures and lead beside the still waters” (Ps. 23:2). And, it’s only when we’re willing to let Him lead that He’s able to “restore (Heb. ‘shuwb’—‘restore, revive, return, draw back, etc.’) our soul and lead us in the paths of righteousness” (Ps. 23:3). The key is “panting (Heb. ‘arag’—‘to long for, cry out to, etc.’) after Him”—i.e., “hungering and thirsting” for Him (Mt. 5:6)—even as the thirsty deer “panted after the water-brooks” while being pursued by bloodthirsty hounds and hunters (Ps. 42:1). Stop even now, dear Pilgrim-Sheep, and hear the Shepherd’s Voice. He’s calling to you.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 31, 2009