Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hearing, Recognizing, And Understanding

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."
John 10:27 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I was traveling by plane to speak at a church.  Before arriving, my pastor friend, who I had attended Bible school with, sent me a text message saying that he would be waiting to pick me.  But, after I arrived and stepped outside of the terminal, I found myself in a large crowd of people.  I looked for my friend but did not see him, until I heard his voice from somewhere behind me.  Once I turned around and I heard him call my name again I saw him.  Among all those people, who were also speaking, I not only heard his voice but I recognized it, because I knew his voice so well from our many years of friendship.

Recently I was thinking about what Jesus said in John 10:27, He said that His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him.  But, there can be a difference between hearing God's voice and recognizing and understanding His voice.  God is always speaking to us in His Word and He will speak to us in our heart as we spend time with Him in prayer.  God is ready to speak if we are ready to listen.  It could be that we are actually hearing God's voice but we do not realize that it really is God speaking to us. But, we can develop in our sensitivity to hearing the voice of God.

The problem is usually not that God isn't speaking to us, it is most often that He is speaking but we don't recognize His voice and we don't understand what it is He is saying.  Just like with my pastor friend, whose voice I knew well and was able to distinguish from the many other voices in the crowd, the more time we spend with God the better we will know His voice.  We need to spend time with God in His Word and in prayer to become more and more familiar with His voice so that it is easy for us to recognize Him speaking to us and so we can also understand what He is saying to us.

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