Our neighbour has sheep. I watch sometimes as he walks down the road to the field; he starts whistling a special way, before he even gets there, and the sheep instantly start moving towards the gate, to wait for him.
Once, when my husband and I were out for a walk, I thought that just for fun I would try copying that same whistle and see if the sheep would respond. They responded alright – by running as far away to the other end of the field as they could! They didn’t know my voice; they knew instantly that my whistle was a fake, even though it sounded a lot like their shepherd’s.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Do you ever think about the voice of God? It’s one of those conundrums that, when I start to really think about it, dwell on it and try to get my head around it, it’s just too much for my tiny brain to process! On the one hand the voice of God is the most power-filled force we could ever imagine – in fact, we can’t imagine it, because His voice is unlike anything else we know, so there’s nothing to compare it with.
God’s voice is so powerful that he spoke the world into existence. And on the other hand, his voice is incredibly gentle and He speaks to his children with the greatest tenderness ( Hosea 2:14) and chides us as a loving Father and Shepherd with that very same all-powerful voice that spoke the world into being.
His voice is described on the One hand as mighty, thunderous, majestic – so powerful that the earth quakes at its sound: Psalm 68:33, Psalm 46:6, Psalm 29:3-5,7-9 and on the other hand as a ‘low whisper’ or, if you prefer the King James Version ‘a still small voice’:
“And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” 1 Kings 19:12
There is no other voice like the voice of God, that we can be sure of!
I don’t know about you, but for me, personally, when I hear God’s voice it’s always the “still small” kind. It would be lovely, and so much easier, if God always spoke to me in an audible voice. But he doesn’t.
And in all the noise and busyness of modern day life, we could so easily miss God’s voice.
In Part 1 of this series, I want to say something really simple but really important. If you have been buying into a lie that sounds like any of these statements: “God never speaks to me, I haven’t heard God for a long time, He only talk to some people and not to others, “God has favourite people that He talks to more than others” then you have been “duped” by an interloper- a pretender – like me with my fake whistle. None of those statements are true.
I want to remind you that John 10:27 tells us ‘My sheep hear my voice’.
If you are His sheep, then you do know his voice. It may just be that you’ve forgotten what His voice sounds like, but you do, inherently know your Shepherd’s voice.
And the more you get used to listening for His voice and to His voice, like my neighbour’s sheep, you won’t be tricked by a counterfeit voice.