Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, January 9, 2017
Listening Sheepishly – Part 1 of 2
If the God of this Universe had something to say to you, wouldn’t you like to hear what was on His mind? Well, believe it or not, the Almighty God of this Universe does have something to say to you. He has something to say about every circumstance, decision, and detail in your life. He is vitally interested in you and I believe God wants to communicate with every one of us. It is normal for Him to express Himself to you and to me, but a common problem is that God is speaking more than most of us are listening (John 8:47)!
God is speaking to you far more often than you realize. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to become spiritually sensitive and alert so you are constantly listening for His voice in your life? I’ve been praying for myself, that I would walk so closely to God and be so in tune with Him that He does not have to speak at earth-shaking volumes for me to hear Him. I’ve been praying that I will hear His voice whenever He simply whispers! But I’ve also been praying He will help me learn how to distinguish His voice from other voices (especially Satan’s) and learn to recognize and identify His voice when He speaks.
This endeavor is admirable, but success is not guaranteed. Many people have done some pretty foolish things and then blamed their foolish behavior on how, “they felt God had led them to do what they did”. Many people make foolish mistakes because they are listening to the wrong voice and are unable to distinguish God’s voice from other voices. I know from experience that in many situations where I have two or more choices in my course of action, I wonder which one is really from God and which one is the devil trying to confuse and distract me. Somehow, the evil one is able to present an argument that makes either option seem acceptable.
Despite the uncertainty in decision-making, God is still with us and on our side. One of the basic privileges of every believer is the privilege to hear God’s voice, recognize His voice, and follow His voice wherever He leads you. So when questions or doubts arise regarding a course of action or our relationship with Him, the best thing to do is to go to His Word.
In John 10, Jesus gives us a beautiful illustration of how God relates to us as a shepherd relates to his sheep. One of the primary points Jesus makes is, “the sheep hear the voice of their shepherd, recognize that voice and follow him in total trust and dependence.” These are words we should take to heart.
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what He was telling them. Therefore, Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.” (John 10:1-6).
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful analogy of the relationship Christ has with us than the analogy Christ used of the sheep (us) and their shepherd (Him). Like sheep, every one of us is helpless, defenseless, and prone to wandering. We need a shepherd, a faithful shepherd who loves us, is willing to guard us and guide us, and to whom we can listen. Jesus is that shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd who willingly lay down His own life for His sheep.
It is normal for Jesus to speak to us and it is normal for us to listen. Recognize that you have a Good Shepherd speaking to you at all times, then try to tune in on His special voice. As you seek him, He will guide you and help you discern His voice. The more you listen, the better you will be able to recognize His voice. We are all His sheep and we have all gone astray, yet He is eager to help you hear His voice and return to the fold. Even sheep will listen and obey their shepherd. Will you begin today to listen and obey the Good Shepherd who died for you?
A servant of Jesus Christ
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