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“But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:5 NIV)

The voice to follow is the familiar one.  Most of us had father’s in our lives as children.  We know their voice.  The sound of our earthly father’s voice we’ve heard since birth.  My father died when I was 16. I can still hear his voice in my head 35 years later.  He had phrases he would say often, those are what I remember most.  His voice is familiar to me.  I trust his voice when I hear it in my memory.  

One of my father’s favorite phrases was, “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.”  His theory, which has proven correct, is that doing it right the first time means not doing it again.  I hear his voice say this to me in my mind when I know, I’m not doing something right.  I’m not putting my best effort into whatever task is at hand.  I’m looking for shortcuts to make the job easier.  At times like this, I hear my father’s voice.  The phrase will come from nowhere, and in it, I find truth.  I know I need to listen to his voice.  The voice to follow is the familiar one.

The voice to follow is the familiar one.

Listening to our heavenly Father’s voice is similar to our earthly father.  God knew us before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).  We heard His voice from the moment He created us.  His voice is more familiar to us than any other we’ve heard.  

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (John 10:4 NIV)

Jesus is our shepherd, we are His sheep.  Sheep need a shepherd.  They live in a flock.  Two characteristics they exhibit: quickness to flee and panic.  A skilled shepherd knows how to handle their shortcomings.  The sheep, in their panic, know the shepherd’s voice.  Sheep also know where they get food.  They follow the one who feeds them.  Jesus stands firm for us when we want to flee.  He calms our panic.  In Him, we find nourishment for our souls.  His voice is familiar to us.  

We know the right voice to follow.  God’s voice speaks to us as we read His word.  Each day we spend time with Him, His voice is clearer.  As we memorize scripture, the verses will speak to us in moments we need direction.  His Shepherd’s voice guides us gently.  With love, He asks us to follow Him.  We know, His is the voice to follow.

  Question of the Day:

Are other voices stopping you from hearing God’s voice?

Further Reading: 1 Samuel 22:1-23:29 NIV, John 10:1-21 NIV, Psalm 115:1-18 NIV, Proverbs 15:18-19 NIV

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