“The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” John 10:3-4
This passage nearly brings me to tears. The thought of a Good Shepherd who cares for me - who calls me by name - makes me crumble in humility and joyous gratitude. I feel deeply loved.
How about you? What bubbles up when you ruminate on these words?
“The sheep hear His voice…” Do you? Do you take time to be still and listen intently for the Shepherd’s instructions? Oh, to know when the Lord Jesus is whispering in your ear is a glorious privilege!
“He calls His own sheep by name…” Now that’s somethin’, isn’t it? He personally beckons us. He is intimately acquainted with all our ways, nice and not-so-nice. He knows our thoughts even before a word is on our lips. (Now that’s a little embarrassing, isn’t it?) He seeks us. Just like the shepherd with 100 sheep and one gets distracted and detoured, he leaves the 99 to go find his beloved lost lamb. (Matt18:12)
Isn’t it a marvel to consider the Almighty Who made the heavens and earth, mountains to monkeys, whales to snails, pursues you and me? Oh, it makes my heart mushy!
“He goes before them and the sheep follow Him…” Now this gift gets tricky ‘cus oftentimes we want to go our own way. We have dreams and plans and preferences and are prone to walk according to our own wishes. But most anyone can attest who’s been on this ball beyond a few decades, our internal GPS can lead us right into a dead-end and/or a ditch. You know you’ve found wisdom when you are thrilled to have your Master lead. In fact, let’s pause a minute and sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” with Miss Carrie Underwood:
Oh sisters, if you’ve been holdin’ on to your own steering wheel of life, stand up, raise your arms and sing like you mean it!
Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cus I can’t do this on my own
I’m gonna let it go
But give me one ore chance
Save me from this road I’m on
Jesus take the wheel….
Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hand
‘Cus I can’t do this on my own…
It’s impossible to follow our Shepherd unless we can clearly discern His voice. And in today’s noisy world, it takes intentional time to be still and listen. Store up His Word in your heart. Make His law your delight and meditate on it day and night. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Squelch your fleshly desires by praying earnestly, “Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord my God. (Jer 31:18) Place all your hope in your Lord. Live life abundantly!
Oh Church there is tremendous freedom in allowing God to lead our lives. But full freedom requires surrendering all things to Him. How many of you only pray about the big decisions of life, keeping daily details under your own direction? Have you asked if He has a special task for you today? Do you allow Him to manage your money? And what about your weight loss? Are you still struggling with that on your own? When you are tempted to eat something that sabotages, who’s voice is the loudest in your ear? When you miss your morning walk, who’s leading your life?
It is a privilege beyond imagination to have the Almighty God as your personal tour guide through life.
Don’t miss the joy.