“The watchman 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 of all of his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:3,4
We were enjoying a summer barbecue in the backyard of friends who lived on a farm. Right behind us the sheep were grazing, oblivious of us eating our dinner. As we visited, we talked about the fact that we are often referred to as sheep in the scriptures.
To illustrate, our host called out to the sheep. Much to our amazement, every single sheep, stopped where it was and looked up to see what he was going to do next. They were ready to follow! I’ve never forgotten that evening.
The sheepfold in Israel was an enclosure that provided protection for the sheep at night. It had an opening where the Shepherd would lie so that predators would have to go over him to get to the sheep. In the morning, he would stand at that opening and call out his sheep and because they knew his voice, they would follow him up into the hills.
In the same way that the sheep were poised to see what the shepherd wanted of them, I too must be mindful of the voice of my good shepherd. Am I listening for it all the time? Do I stop everything and listen when I hear him, asking what it is he wants, where he wants me to follow?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you are my Good Shepherd. You not only provide for my every need, but you also lead and guide me in the way that I should. Help me to always be on the alert for your voice, poised to follow you in the direction that I should go. Amen
Do you recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd when he speaks to you? Are you willing to drop everything and follow him? Perhaps you have heard him speaking, but haven’t been willing to follow. Make today the day that you say, ‘yes, I will follow’.