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Hearing God's Voice

"Anyone refusing to walk through the gate into a sheepfold, who sneaks over the wall must surely be a thief! For a shepherd comes through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. He walks ahead of them; and they follow him, for they recognize his voice. They won't follow a stranger but will run from him, for they don't recognize his voice." John 10: 1-5 (TLB)

Come, kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is our God. We are his sheep and he is our Shepherd. Oh, that you would hear him calling you today and come to him! Psalm 95: 6-7 (TLB)

Barney Cargile III lives in California. On his first trip to India, his wife, Linda, would call each morning. It was the longest time they had ever been apart, and speaking with her helped Barney to make it through each day. He felt weighed down when they failed to connect and counted the hours until her call the next day.

When they spoke, however, just the sound of her voice would energize Barney. During his travels, he replayed each word of their morning conversation. Preaching in sweltering heat, Barney meditated on the stories Linda had shared. Drifting off to sleep at night, he anticipated her next call. Linda's voice carried him through the lonely moments of their three weeks apart.

Likewise, the voice of Jesus brings strength during our darkest days. Psalm 95:7 challenges us to "listen to God's voice!" Jesus declares that "my sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27). Just as hearing Linda's voice made a huge difference in Barney's day, a word from Jesus encourages us.

On those days when we feel lonely or discouraged, we can take an extra moment to listen for the Lord's voice. The lines of communication are always open, and God's voice has the power to change our loneliness to joy.

Prayer: Dear Lord, open the ears of our hearts to hear your voice in the midst of our noisy, chaotic world, in Jesus' name. amen.

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