Spiritual Director · March 8, 2017

Devote #11

Shepherd’s Voice

I remember watching a video that someone put up on Facebook about sheep and their Master. If I remember correctly there was a missions team that went over to some European country to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

While there, they were taught a lesson I’m sure most will not forget. This whole team, young and old alike, were out walking the countryside when they encountered a flock of sheep. The shepherd was close by watching his sheep. The team wanted to find out if what Jesus said about sheep, knowing their shepherd’s voice, was true. So they struck up a conversation with the shepherd, asking for his assistance to conduct a little experiment.

Since the Country they were in did not speak English they were forced to learn a foreign word or two which the shepherd used to command the sheep’s attention. One by one, these missionaries went up to the fence to call the sheep in. But as each one came up to the fence and in their most persuasive voice tried to win the sheep over, they were met with complete resistance. Totally ignored. The sheep didn’t even bother lifting their heads to acknowledge they heard a voice.

Finally, when everyone who wanted to, unsuccessfully attempted to motivate the sheep to follow them, the shepherd stepped up to the fence and gave them the same command as he always did. Every head popped up. Every sheep came to attention. Every sheep started moving towards the voice they knew.

It happened exactly as Jesus had said…

“My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow Me… “ —John 10:27

Even as I watched that video, I was awestruck. The sheep were never tempted to follow a voice they had never heard before. It wasn’t even an option. There was no temptation so alluring that the sheep would give up their grazing or resting to find out what the unknown voice had to offer.

You have opportunity to hear that voice all the time. As you spend time in the Word, God speaks to you. As you enter His house for worship, God speaks to you. In your prayer closet, God speaks to you. You should know His voice. You’ve heard it multiple times.

But can I tell you, there are still many sheep out there who have never heard their Shepherd’s voice. They hear all kinds of voices in this world. Voices that are trying to rob their joy, kill their faith, and destroy their life.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Christ is counting on you! Since you know His voice, keep following. But next time you run into a sheep who doesn’t know which voice to follow in life, introduce them to Jesus. He is the great Shepherd. Be a friend. Make a friend. Bring a friend to Christ!

Help me recognize Your voice more each day. Help me help others in hearing Your voice in their life as well. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.