Knowing the Shepherd's Voice
One of the reasons God's people can get into trouble is that they at times follow the wrong voice. Believers are to listen to and obey only the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ (John 10:27). He alone can meet our needs (Ps. 23:1-2), guide us in righteousness (v. 3), protect us from evil (v. 4), and bless us richly (vv. 5-6). And we can trust Him fully because He laid His life down for His sheep (John 10:11).
What all of us need to realize is that humans are a lot more like sheep than we care to admit. In this life, we don't really know where we're going, even when the landscape looks familiar. But the Shepherd has our journey perfectly planned. Our job is to keep within the range of His voice instead of straying into pastures that look green and tasty.
Of course, the path before us will not always appear safe and easy. Psalm 23 speaks about the valley of the shadow of death. Furthermore, the trip to the green pastures and still waters we long for may take much longer than we'd like—the Shepherd at times goes the long way around. In other words, His promised provisions frequently do not come in exactly the form or time frame that we anticipate. But as long as we're following His voice, we are right where we should be.
Through experience, a sheep learns to identify its master's call. We also learn to discern Jesus' directions by knowing His voice. Read His words and teachings, particularly in the Gospels and Paul's letters. Then, when another voice tries to lead you astray, you can say, "The Lord is my Shepherd!"
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.