Who has your ear? Whose voice do you listen to in life? There is no shortage of voices out there who are looking to influence us. Jesus said that his sheep listen to his voice and recognize it compared to a stranger. Do you recognize the voice of Jesus in your life?
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Others enter the sheep pen by scaling the wall and climbing over. They don’t come through the front door, but rather try to sneak in the back door. This is culture and advertising – very subliminal stuff that impacts my view of life and thoughts on spiritual things.
These voices today likely want to tell me that I’m not a sheep and I’m not in a sheep pen. I’m whomever I want to be, and my pen can be whatever I make it. Yet I am not buying it. Because I recognize these voices as strangers. I know the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and he tells me the truth.
The Good Shepherd’s voice tells me that I am valued by God even as the world does not value me. His voice tells me that we are all equal before him at the foot of the cross. He leads me out and I know he will bring me back.
I have to keep coming back to Good Shepherd’s voice. It gets confusing when we are bombarded with messages and sights and sounds of the world. He speaks through the Holy Spirit, and so I must hearken to the voice God within me. The Spirit is there, speaking truth.
Who do you listen to? And have you asked God to speak into your life? He has much to say about your circumstance and direction, and he would love to be your Good Shepherd.