Voice! Consider the miracle of speech. Our voice sets us apart from the animals. It allows us to communicate with each other. It connects us to God. A voice is a powerful tool for good or for evil. As we do our daily reading in John’s Gospel, we’re training ourselves to hear God’s voice.
We’re almost half-way through our 21-Day Experiment. Our reading assignment today is John 10, one of my personal favorites. Jesus gives us a beautiful description of His role as as the “good shepherd.” He proves His love by “laying down His life for His sheep.” What a stark contrast with the “hired hand.” This guy cares only for himself–when he sees a wolf coming, he cuts and runs to save himself, leaving the sheep defenseless.
Whose voice is familiar to you? I can easily recognize my husband’s voice. When he calls me on the phone, he doesn’t have to identify himself. My sensitivity to his voice comes from our relationship. So it is with God.
If we are one of Jesus’ sheep, we can recognize His voice. My watchword today reminds me of the privilege of listening to the Shepherd. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow Me (John 10:27).
The Bible teaches us that listening to the right voice can be the difference between life and death. Let’s ponder God’s sober warning to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19-20: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him…”
Are you able to hear God’s voice? This can be challenging with so many voices competing for our attention. I believe that training our heart to hear God’s voice is the most important task we have on earth. We “tune” our hearts to hear God by spending time reading and thinking about His Word (Romans 10:17). Feel free to click here if you’d like to read the first chapter of Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars. It’s the story of my personal journey in learning to hear God’s voice.
Here are a few tips on how I “sharpen my hearing” each day:
1. I carve out time early in the morning for God’s Word and prayer. It’s my priority. I call this my “morning launch.”
2. I have a plan and some tools: My Bible, a journal, a Chubby Book. I like the format of the 21-Day Experiment so much that I often use that same method for reading other books in the Bible.
3. After I slowly and prayerfully read my Bible selection, I spend time in prayer. And I’ll pray again while folding clothes, driving across town, or when on an afternoon walk. I find it’s important to pray throughout the day–it keeps my connection with God continual.
I’d love to hear about some of your tips. How do you spend time with God? Do you have a special place where you feel close to God?