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 of his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Jesus illustrates the relationship He has with believers by describing sheep and a shepherd, saying, I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.” (v.14) The sheep know the voice of their shepherd and, likewise, believers recognize the voice of Jesus.
There are many voices in the word, voices that lead us astray and voices that discourage, but the voice of God leads us to green pastures and encourages our lives. It is so easy to hear the other voices that clamor for our attention. They become so loud at times, drowning out God’s voice.
Believers often tell me that they are unable to hear the voice of God, and when I question them, it appears that often they have been listening to so many counterfeit voices that they have not been able to hear the voice of truth. How do we clear out the voices that vie for our attention? We begin by reading and meditating on God’s Word. I most often hear the Lord speak to me through Scripture – when I need to make a decision, when I am confused, when I am discouraged, God’s Word speaks truth to me. God also speaks to me through people, circumstances, and a variety of other ways, but what I hear will never contradict His Word.
Do you know the Shepherd’s voice? Ask the Holy Spirit to search out the conflicting voices that crowd out His voice. His voice will never bring confusion and will always bring His peace.
Heavenly Father, There are so many voices in my head – the voice of expectation, the voice of shame, guilt, and unworthiness. I pray that You will clear out all the counterfeit voices with Your healing power and enable me to hear Your voice alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen