Do you want to hear from God?
You need His guidance as you contemplate the next step to take.
Should I pick this job? Leave that job? Learn this skill? Marry this young man/woman? Travel tomorrow? Or call this person?
Lots of decisions to make. And I’m sure you don’t want to keep bumping into wrong options.
You wish you know the exact step to take. Every time.
As Christians, we have an omniscient God – who knows tomorrow from today -and is willing to direct our every step.
In Isaiah 30:21, He said “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
And Jesus’ statement in John 10: 27 nailed it home: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, says that His sheep hears His voice.
The Ancient Shepherd And Sheep Relationship
I learnt something fascinating about how sheep hear and recognize their shepherd’s voice.
Watching a short video of a shepherd with his sheep, some strangers came around and asked the shepherd to allow them to call the sheep. One after the other, each person’s voiced echoed a special sound: “baaa baaa…” “sheeeep sheeeep…” Whatever! Expecting the sheep to respond.
But the sheep kept grazing, till their shepherd came, and let out his unique voice. One after the other, the sheep raised their head and started running towards their shepherd.
Save your “wow” for something bigger.
During Jesus’ time, different shepherds kept their sheep in one sheepfold at night. A sheepfold is a fenced space, with one door through which the sheep enter and leave. So up to ten shepherds could usher their sheep into the sheepfold, and one of them stays back, lying across the door to protect the sheep from wild animals and thieves.
In the morning, when any shepherd arrives, he stands by the door and calls his sheep – with whatever sound he uses.
And guess what happens. Out of probably one thousand sheep there, his one hundred hear and recognize his voice, will walk towards the door, and follow their shepherd.
This should give us a picture of what Jesus means when He says, my sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.
Now the question is: how do we apply this in our quest to hear from God?
That verse gives us three points that should be in place:
- My sheep
- I know them
- They follow me
As it is depicted in the story of the shepherd and the sheep, each sheep recognizes the voice of its shepherd. So if you want to hear from God, first, you must be His sheep. To be part of His sheep, you must come to Calvary’s cross and lay down the old life of sin that makes you more like a goat. Then Jesus gives you a new life of righteousness which makes you a sheep. His sheep.
Jesus said, “ I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
I Know Them
The sheep don’t get to recognize the shepherd’s voice just on that morning. The shepherd knows the sheep, and it knows the shepherd, because they stay together all day.
It’s baffling how some Christians live life all by themselves, just doing their own stuff. And suddenly, he/she stands face to face with something they feel “God needs to talk to me about”, then they run and start asking God to say something.
“God, I’m now ready to marry. Is it this brother (or sister)?”
It’s at this point a lot of people remember they can and should hear from God.
But how will you recognize His voice since you’ve not been hearing from Him all the while?
God is interested in not just coming to ask Him questions whenever you wish.
Shrines are the places that people “visit” for consultation.
He’s our Father. He desires relationship. Koinonia. You remember how He comes down in the cool of the day to fellowship with Adam and Eve, when they were in the Garden of Eden?
He still longs for that fellowship with you and me.
He craves to know you. “I know them.”
His word says, draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you.
And how do you cultivate that relationship with Him?
By studying and meditating on His word (the Bible) and praying regularly. And practicing His presence. When you’re working, driving, eating, your heart is in tune with Him.
You ask for His direction in the minutest details. “Father, should I say this?… Should I eat this?… What do I do next?”
Start it today. Now. With the next thing in front of you.
Gradually, your heart connects with how He speaks to you. You’ll learn to discern His voice. He deals with each of His children in unique ways.
It could be through:
- The inward witness
- The still small voice of the Spirit
- The audible voice
- Visions, dreams, revelations and prophecies
But it always aligns with His written word. His word is yea and amen.
And it will be backed up with His peace.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philipians 4:7)
So, know Him and let Him know you.
They Follow Me
Asking for God’s will is one thing; the willingness to follow His direction is another. So as you ask, back it up with “O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.”
Because the truth is, sometimes, “God’s will” will be far from our human will. And at such times, you’ll be tempted to turn your back and do what’s on your mind. If you do that today and tomorrow, do you expect God to keep saying “this way” when you choose to do “my way”?
The farther you go from obeying Him, the less you’ll hear His voice. His word says, “my spirit will not always strive with man.”
As someone said: When you pray “where you lead me I will follow”, be ready to say, “what you feed me I will swallow”.
God still speaks. Are you ready to hear?
If yes, then – be His sheep, let Him know you, and follow Him.
Let’s read from you…
Have you been hearing from God? If yes, give us more insights that can help one hear from God.
If not, what’s been keeping you? What steps will you take today that will draw you closer to hearing from God?