Know his voice

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. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
- John 10:3-4

James Choung says that learning to recognize Jesus’ voice is one of the most important things for a follower of Jesus.

Our world is full of other voices. Marketing and advertising pummel us with messages in almost every minute of every day. Our own sinful nature attempts to deceive us. The enemies of our souls attempt to lead us astray.

But we know the voice of Jesus. Our time in scripture and in prayer teaches us what he sounds like. We can hear his voice over and over and over again if we want. The voice of Jesus can become as familiar to us as the voice of our parents, our best friends, or our children.

Do you believe this?

In today’s passage we see a gatekeeper calling his sheep by name and leading them out. The sheep listen to his voice. There’s a call and a response. The sheep listen and the gatekeeper calls. The gatekeeper calls and the sheep listen.

Here are four ways you can grow your familiarity with the voice of Jesus:

  • Spend time reading the Gospels. Listen to Jesus directly. His words that are captured in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are spectacular. Reading them will not only help you recognize Jesus’ voice; they will also help you love him more.
  • Commit specific verses to memory. Jesus said some fantastic things. Try memorizing John 10:11-15 (which we’ll look at on Friday). Memorization is an ancient way of keeping the voice of Jesus in your head.
  • Try praying and asking Jesus to speak to you. Ask him to help you know him better and love him more. Sit in silence for a few minutes and see if he brings words or images to your mind. Not everyone finds this practice helpful, but you won’t know unless you try it!
  • Check your understanding of the things you think you’re hearing from Jesus with trusted friends who also know Jesus. Jesus speaks to all of his “sheep.” It’s wise to ask others if they think you’re hearing him correctly.

Which of these practices can you try today?

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