“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” — John 10:27
Picture yourself as a child playing hopscotch outside with friends in the neighborhood. As you hop with your right foot on the number one, Kathy’s mom calls her home. It’s time for dinner. You, Kristen, and Jennifer keep laughing and talking and playing.
Down the street you hear Mrs. Sweeney calling her boys in for the night. You, Kristen, and Jennifer keep laughing and talking and playing.
A few minutes later, Kristen is called home to get ready for dance class. Their mom didn’t call Jennifer in yet, so the two of you laugh and talk and play some more.
It’s not until you pitch the rock to the square marked number five that you hear a familiar voice call your name. You pause to listen for instruction. The voice says it’s time to come in and finish your homework. It’s the voice your ear is attuned to listen for. One that moves you to action when necessary. One that comforts your heart when you need it. One that guides you to safety when you wander away. It’s the familiar voice of authority to which your heart responds.
You hop on one, then two and three, four, skip five, then six and seven, eight, nine and ten before waving bye to Jennifer. Because your name was called by a familiar voice, and instruction was given, you do what you were told and scurry home.
To recognize the voice of the Father, our Good Shepherd, we must make ourselves familiar with Him. Spend time with Him. Be intentional about getting to know Him, which starts with knowing His Word. Understanding His nature. Studying His character.
To recognize the voice of the Father, we must unveil our faces and let down the walls around our heart so that we can truly be seen by the Father. Know that we are known. Free to be vulnerable and transparent in His presence.
The Lord’s sheep, those who love Him and are intentional about listening for His voice above all others, are known by God in the innermost places. They let Him in to mend their broken hearts, heal their sin sickness, and set them free from the things that have them bound. They seek His input on every little thing so they won’t be swayed by a strangers voice, or pulled in another direction and lose their way.
Listening for the Father’s voice takes an intentional quieting of the spirit, like taking pause from your game of hopscotch because a familiar voice called your name. It’s a quieting of the noise within. The physical noise around you. The noise stirred up through accusations from the enemy.
It means being still on purpose, for a purpose... to hear the Father’s heart.
His voice echoes the truth of His Word through our personality and temperament. It sounds a lot like our own, only wiser. He takes pause and speaks truth to places in our heart that might not otherwise know and believe it. It’s like an inner knowing that suddenly connects dots, heals hurts, or gives direction. And when it does, we change. Oftentimes, we are transformed. With our newfound understanding, we strive harder to walk in obedience knowing He makes straight the way and smooth the path when we keep in step with Him.
RECLAIM YOUR HEART
Take pause in the Father's presence today. Posture yourself to listen and ask, "Lord, what does my heart need to know from you today?" Then be still and wait until the noise in your heart and mind quiet down, and He answers.