Jesus has told us that his sheep know his voice. Do we really listen? Or do we doubt, or miss his voice because the circumstance does not look like God?
Jesus appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus, but the Bible says, "their eyes were holden that they should not know him." He began to talk to them, but they did not recognize his voice. What a shame! Such a glorious moment, and they missed it!
Later, when they realized who it was that had walked and talked with them, they chided themselves, "did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way?" (Luke 24:32)
Jesus is trying to talk to many of us today, but because our eyes have been blinded, we can't see his directions. We don't recognize his voice. We depend on circumstances to give us direction, when, if we'd listen to his voice, we'd be better off.
I'm told that when a shepherd takes his sheep into the sheepfold, he's not the only shepherd there with sheep. Many shepherds may be using the sheepfold to protect their flocks at night from predators, while they catch a little peaceful sleep.
But when the shepherd of a certain flock of sheep leaves the sheepfold, he merely talks to his sheep with simple words. Perhaps just, "come sheep." But only his flock will follow him out of the sheepfold, because they "know his voice."
God wants his children to be as sensitive to his voice. Most of us are not tuned in like we should be. Maybe we just don't have enough conversations with him to recognize his voice when we hear it.
Reading his Word also helps us to get to know his voice. The more we study his Word and his ways, the more we begin to recognize his voice.
When I write a letter, the person I'm writing to, if they are familiar with me, will know who is writing even if they have not read the signature. They "know my voice" even on paper. They recognize my form of speech and identify with my way of talking.
It's the same way with the Lord. We can know his voice if we begin to identify with his way of speaking. It's really very simple. We make it complicated.
Is God trying to talk to you, and you don't understand because the circumstances seem wrong to you? Is he trying to direct you into a certain path in your ministry, and you don't understand because it's not a "normal" way to do things? Try listening to see if you know his voice. If you recognize his voice, then you can rest assured that it's time to go, it's time to follow the shepherd, no matter what others think.
Before we can walk deeper in the Lord, we've got to spend some time "getting to know him." This will be a great help to us as we continue to walk our Christian walk. Once we know his voice as we should, not one will be able to sway us. We will be that obedient servant that he desires to lead into greater depths with him. And even though it doesn't seem right to the flesh, the spirit of our being will identify with his voice, and we will obey.
Only then, can we truly follow the shepherd into the path where he's leading, no matter what the circumstances dictate.
Jacquelyn Horne is a former newspaper reporter who has won various awards including two Delaware School Bell awards. She has poems and articles published in magazines and Christian publications. She moved from Delaware to central Georgia 13 years ago.