Recognizing God’s Voice

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Monday, November 8, 2010
Read | John 10:14-16

Parable of the Good Shepherd
 1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.  2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.  3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”  6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.  7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.  12“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  13“He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.  14I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,  15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.  17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.  18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again This commandment I received from My Father.”  19A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words.  20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?”  21Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Jesus Asserts His Deity
 22At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;  23it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.  24The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.  26“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.  27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  30I and the Father are one.”  31The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.  32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?”  33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”  34Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’?  35“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),  36do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?  37“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;  38but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”  39Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.  40And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there.  41Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.”  42Many believed in Him there.

Children seem to have special hearing when it comes to their parents’ voices. They recognize when their mother or father is talking, regardless of how many other people are around.

In a similar way, Jesus assures us that we will be able to distinguish His voice among the insistent cries and conflicting opinions of our world (John 10:27). He promises we will be able to “hear” Him, even though He doesn’t speak in audible words—one reason is that He has given us His Holy Spirit, who knows exactly what Christ is saying and will provide us with the wisdom to understand.

Have you ever noticed the way some children pretend not to hear their parents so they won’t have to obey? Sometimes we can be like that—we might fail to recognize the heavenly Father’s direction because of our own self-centeredness. We intently focus on what we want and ignore any opposing instruction.

There is another obstacle to hearing the Lord: impatience. Just like the culture we live in, we want answers right now. This tendency can cause us to listen to the wrong speaker. Surrendering our personal desires and fixing our attention on what matters to God will make it easier for us to discern His voice.

When Peter acted on his own ideas, he encountered difficulty. But when he gave up his way and listened to Jesus, he became a disciple to whom Christ could entrust kingdom work (John 21:17). Have you learned to distinguish the Lord’s voice from the noise around you?

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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