On the outskirts of Bethlehem a grass covered field lays as an emerald gem against the backdrop of dusty, dry desert. It’s known as the Shepherd’s Field. Multiple shepherds bring their flocks there to graze and lie down upon the tender grass.
As the sun begins to inch towards the horizon at the closing of the day, each shepherd calls to his sheep. To the observer, there is a cacophony of voices traveling across the hillside. But to the sheep, they hear one voice — the voice of their own shepherd. The other voices are mere noise. The voice of their shepherd rises above the din and they follow him back home.
Isn’t that powerful?
The imagery melts my heart.
As I seek to know God’s will and to follow my Shepherd closely, I can press into this image and find understanding. The sheep did not question which voice was their shepherd’s. They knew him. They depended on him.
And they didn’t pay attention to the other voices.
That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it?
I can remember as a young mother leaving my babies in the church nursery, especially my youngest. Separation anxiety for both of us was high, but especially for my baby girl. Without a doubt, many tears would fall as I left the room.
But you know what? I would occasionally slip back down to the nursery hallway and listen at the nursery door to make sure my baby girl was okay. There could be several babies crying at once, but I could always determine if Nancy was one of them.
I knew her voice and could pick it out of a group of crying babies just by listening.
OR I could listen and tell that she was quiet and content and not one that was crying.
I knew my baby’s voice.
There was a heart connection that amplified the sound.
That’s the way it is with Jesus.
Jesus said, “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” ~ John 10:3-5
A heart connection …
If I have a heart connection with Jesus — and I do — then I can trust that I will recognize His voice above the din. I can trust that He will make His voice known to me because He is not a god of confusion, but a God of peace.
The enemy is the one that causes us to question whether or not we are hearing the Lord’s instruction as we seek His will.
He will make His voice known to us.
He will confirm His spoken word through His written Word.
Plain and simple.
I picture myself lying down in a green pasture — my very own Shepherd’s field — when the Lord says, “Come, Nan, and follow me.” I turn towards His voice, loud and clear above the din of other noisy voices in my head, and rise. Placing my foot in each of His footprints, I follow. I trust. I depend.
And I obey.