Voices And Choices
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
A few weeks ago, a friend told me to give a person feedback on how he has been managing a project. And my friend added a remark, “Not that I cannot do so personally, but sometimes people become ‘tone deaf’ to my voice.”
I felt a sad twinge in me as I heard that from my friend. How true this has become. We sometimes say we trust a particular person in our life because he or she always gives us advice that helps us to grow better and do better. Yet over time, we may grow to take this person’s counsel for granted, and become ‘tone deaf’ to this person’s voice, as my friend describes.
This year, as we trust God and believe that He is the One Who reigns in our life, God reminds us not to be ‘tone deaf’ to His Voice. Yes, God speaks. He always does. If this were not so, Jesus would not have said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice…” Jesus says these words only because He speaks to His sheep, His children, you and me. It has never been an issue with whether God speaks to us. It has always been our choice if we listen to Him.
I once read a short story that goes like this.
Two men were walking along a crowded and noisy city sidewalk. Suddenly, one of the men exclaimed, “Listen to the lovely sound of the cricket!” The other man could not hear the sound of the cricket at all. He asked his friend, “How can you hear the sound of a cricket amid the roaring traffic and blasting sounds of the streets?”
His friend was a zoologist who had been trained to recognize the unique sounds of nature. However, he made no explanation of this but took out a coin from his pocket, and dropped it onto the sidewalk. As the coin rolled down the street, dozens of people began to look around for the coin as they heard its clanking sound.
Were the traffic and city sounds any softer at that point? No. Was the clanking sound of that one coin any louder than the sound of a cricket? I do not think so. What makes busy people on a busy noisy street hear the clanking sound of the coin but not the lovely sound of the cricket? It is because, we hear what we listen for. We hear what we want to listen to.
Pause with me for a moment and consider. Do you sincerely want to listen to God’s Voice and make choices according to what He says to you?
We hear only what we listen out for. We hear only what we desire to listen to.
There are many voices we hear each day and different choices we have to make daily. Make a decision that you want to unite yourself with the Voice of God. Decide that your steps shall be in sync with the path God is leading you to.
In the short story I shared earlier, the man could hear the sound of the cricket because as a zoologist, he had been trained to recognize sounds of nature. As children and disciples of God, you and I ought to discipline ourselves to set aside time daily for the One we call Savior. Spend time daily to know the One we call our Lord. Take time to hear His Voice.
“My sheep hear My voice,” Jesus says. In other words, when we do not hear God’s voice and follow the leading of our Shepherd, we have stepped out of the sheep flock and have wandered out of the will and ways of God.
God wants us to know His will and ways. The Bible tells us in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
The Word of God, the Bible, is powerful. It is food and direction for our soul and spirit. The Bible is paramount in our walk with God. We are called to read, study, meditate on and obey the Word of God. And when the Holy Spirit comes and quickens our spirit, He will stir the Scripture in our heart, and give us a specific word, counsel or instruction that applies to the situation we are facing at a particular moment.
If you are not meditating on God’s Word, if you do not set aside time to wait upon the Lord, then how can the Holy Spirit come and quicken His Word to your heart?
Let this year be one where you develop a keen desire to listen to God’s Voice. Listen to the Right Voice every day. Follow what the Voice of God says. Be one with His Voice. This is our best choice that always leads us to make wise choices every day.
Let us pray together.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being the loving Shepherd in my life, always speaking to me and guiding me. Forgive me for those times where I have chosen not to listen to You but myself and others’ opinions. I acknowledge it is Your Voice and leading that direct me to the path that brings me the greatest benefit that will last. Father, I make a renewed commitment this day to seek You and Your Word every day in my life. Holy Spirit, come and breathe understanding and revelation to me as I study the Bible every day. As I follow Your Voice, O God, use me to lead the people around me to know You as their Shepherd. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”