This is part two in a series. Check out the first post here.
Hearing the shepherd’s voice gives us the ability to discern.
Here is what I mean when I say discernment:
Discernment: Making the distinction between good and bad, better and best, your will and God’s will.
The more you follow Jesus the more you learn to discern. Listening and following other voices with not lead to good things. In fact, John states clearly that the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.
Imagine the person addicted to drugs. To the addict, the drug is providing a good thing – an escape, pain relief, a high. Yet, in reality it only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
The more you follow Jesus the more you learn to discern. You hear the voice of the shepherd over competing voices:
- Good and bad – fairly easy
- Better and best – tough
- Your will and God’s will – toughest
Sometimes you hear the voice leading to you bad. In the midst of temptation you hear …
- “You deserve this.”
- “Nobody will know.”
- “What’s the big deal?”
Sometimes the competing voices are more difficult to decipher. You have the voice of family, career, finances. Not bad voices but perhaps not God-honoring voices. In the midst of every day life you hear …
- “You can’t say ‘no’ to your kid. Why would you deprive them of something?” So you sign up for one more activity in an already too busy schedule.
- “If you work more you’ll get recognized and you’ll be next in line for the promotion.” So you work more on the weekends to the neglect of your family and church family.
What if you follow a good thing before you ever even thinking of a God thing?
There are many voices in the world. To which voice will you give your ear? This passage specifically mentions thieves and robbers. Some voices may sound like evil. Some voices may sound like very good ideas, perhaps even great ideas. Yet, I’d exchange 1,000 great ideas for a single God idea.
We must hear the Shepherd’s voice. The more we hear it the better we become at following it over competing voices.