The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” John 10:2-5
Did you know that even before birth a baby can recognize, and find comfort in, the sound of their mother’s voice? While we are still forming in the womb, we are learning how to differentiate one voice from another. This skill is crucial after birth so we are able to develop a sense of attachment with our primary caregivers; because of this, researchers stress the importance of mothers speaking to their babies often during their pregnancy.
Did you also know that God intends for us to experience this with Him? Although we often don’t hear His voice audibly, He finds alternative ways to speak into our lives; through another person, through the song on the radio, or through a verse you just happened to read. The above passage paints a beautiful picture of how it should be when we are walking closely with the Shepherd. Through time and exposure to His voice, we come to know and recognize it above all the others. How wonderful to think that even amidst all the noise and chaos of this world we could hear His voice and follow His lead. So many times I have felt a nudge in a specific direction and wondered whether it was the Lord or whether it was another voice; and if I were honest, those were the times that I was not closely and diligently walking with Him. I don’t want an uncertainty like that! I desire to know the voice of my Shepherd by heart so that I keep from following a stranger. With all the voices you have calling out to you each day, are you able to decipher the One that truly matters? He intends nothing less for us.