His Voice Makes The Difference
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” —John 10:27
In a conversation with those who bitterly opposed Him, Jesus revealed why His enemies were unable to comprehend who He was or what He said. The unbelieving Jews had cornered Him in an area of the temple where He was walking alone. They demanded to know whether He was truly the Messiah. He declared to them that He had already told them who He was. He stated in no uncertain terms that they had not heard or understood what He said because they were not of His sheep.
God knows very well who belongs to Him. He knows the ones who have placed their faith in His Son and have thereby become members of the new covenant family. While many are called, few choose to answer the call of the Holy Spirit— the one drawing them to Christ.
The ability to see, hear, or comprehend spiritual truth depends on what a person does with his invitation to become one with Christ. If he does not accept Him as Lord and Savior, he is not of His sheep and will miss being equipped to recognize or follow His voice. These who refuse will miss out on the greatest relationship known to man. These will stand bereft of the benefits of Christ’s wisdom, love, care, and compassion.
My Sheep Hear My Voice
Jesus declared that His sheep would hear His voice. This means that all believers have the capacity and the capability to hear the voice of the Lord. How is this possible? At the moment of regeneration (salvation) the Holy Spirit re-creates the soul and spirit of the believing sinner. This “new creation” man is given a new soul (the part of man that feels) and a new spirit (the part of man that knows).
The benefit of the new spirit is that the individual is then able to receive information from God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit begins immediately to bear witness to this newly created spirit. As well, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within the heart of the new believer. This is the vital means of communication that allows God to speak to His people consistently. However, if we do not tune into or come to recognize the sound of His voice, we may miss what He is trying to reveal to us.
What voice are you listening to? Are you listening intently to the news media? Are you intent on listening to a tweet on Twitter? The latest rumor that appears on Facebook? Are you gravitating toward the voice of a preacher who is trying to draw people after himself? Who are you listening to?
As a believer (His sheep) you have the ability to hear from God yourself. You should always compare what you hear in your spirit to the writings of the Bible. This equips one to either confirm or reject what you feel you have received from God. Make no doubt about it, a believer can hear consistently from the Lord Jesus Christ, but he must develop both the sensitivity and the reliance (dependence) upon hearing from the Master. Are you taking advantage of the voice that has been made available to you, or are you letting other voices overwhelm the voice of Christ within you?
I Know Them
A believer should be comforted by the truth that Christ knows each and every one of His sheep personally. He never allocates their care to someone other than Himself. He is perfectly capable and willing to be personally involved in the life of each and every believer. He knows your name! He knows right where you are. He knows what each sheep is going through. He knows what their strengths are, and He certainly keeps in mind their weaknesses. Yet He loves me because I am one of His sheep. I have chosen Him as my shepherd and, in turn, He has promised to perfect those things which concern me.
Even when I don’t see Him moving, He is involved in the circumstances of my life. Even when I don’t understand the whys of life, I find that Jesus is still able to meet my needs. He always knows exactly what my need is and what is best for me. If I truly understand how well acquainted my Jesus is with my circumstances, my person, my family, my finances, perhaps then I will be willing to lean in closely to hear Him speak, even if it is only a whisper! I need to tune in a little closer to the things that He is saying to me. I need to seek His advice more often than following my own designs and desires. He knows me, yet He loves me. How amazing is that? I am His and He is mine. He knows my name!
They Follow Me
Believers are expected to not only hear from Christ and trust Him to meet their every need, but we are also required to submit to the Lord’s choices for our lives in totality. There can be no question about who is in charge of the believer’s life; it must be Christ! He is the head of the church; therefore, He must be the head of my circumstances and situations. Whether I understand the marching orders or not, obedience is a must! They are part of His master plan, which He alone knows from beginning to end. I must not falter. I must not hesitate to obey. I must not doubt, and I must not fear.
In John 21, Jesus spoke to Peter about his need to obey the directions and instructions that came his way. He even told him regarding the manner of his death. This was a point in time in which Jesus was restoring Peter to ministry after his failure of denying the Lord. It seems near the end of that conversation when Peter, perhaps embarrassed of the Lord’s attention regarding his restoration and responsibilities, looked over at his fellow disciple John. He asked Jesus, “What should this man do?” Jesus said (paraphrased), “What I ask him to do is none of your business. Your responsibility is to follow Me.”
We, as His sheep, have been called by God. We are honored to be a member of His new covenant community. Because we have answered the call to become one of His, we have been equipped to hear His voice. I am assured that He knows me inside and out, even better than I know myself. I am convinced that He will take care of me. My responsibility in knowing all of this is that I willingly get up every day and follow after the one who loved me and gave Himself for me. I hear. I trust. I obey.
His voice makes the difference!
When He speaks, He relieves my troubled mind.
It’s the only voice I hear that makes the difference.
And I’ll follow one day at a time.