My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.
John 10: 27-28
Has God been speaking to you? That’s a question that many believers wrestle with from time to time. How can one know when it is God and when it is just a personal desire or dissatisfaction or something else? How can mortal, flawed and sinful human beings identify the voice of a divine and infallible creator whose thoughts are not our thoughts and whose ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9)? I don’t know how, but I know it is possible and I know that it does happen, because of God’s love for humanity, and his love covers a multitude of sins (John 3:16).
Trying to explain when and how he speaks can be a very varied and personal experience, but the unquestionable truth is that, God speaks. God speaks in the context of relationship and he will always confirm his word. Just as a sheep herder knows his sheep; so too, does the Good Shepherd know his flock. In the Old Testament, God spoke to people like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and in the New Testament, God spoke to Elizabeth, Zechariah and Mary, among many others. Today, God speaks to his children in a variety of ways, including through his holy word, through prophecy, through history, through nature, through events and circumstances, and through other people, but perhaps most importantly, God speaks directly to the hearts of those who fear him and trust in him. God knows them, and they follow him.
God knows you too and God loves you! He knows your Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, He knows your Twitter handle and mobile number, he knows your email address and your mailing address. He knows you so intimately, even more intimately than you know yourself and he knows how you hear him best. Perhaps he is speaking to you right now, but you are fighting his call because you are afraid. The fear is a completely normal human reaction. Peter had the same reaction when Jesus called him to come over out of the boat (Matthew 14:30). So did Moses (Exodus 3:11) and many others. However, if God is speaking to you, know that you will never be at rest, until you heed his voice. Pray for courage and pray for confirmation and then step out and follow him. For obedience, the word of God reminds us, is better than sacrifice (Jeremiah 7:21-23; 1 Samuel 15:22-24). May his Spirit lead you as you seek to follow him.
Loving God, thank you for loving me and for being patient with me as I seek to do your will. Teach me how to identify your voice. Then give me the courage to follow you even when I cannot see what lies ahead. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!