When I hear a scripture 2 or 3 times in a row within a week, I stop and listen. I am learning that this usually means God is trying to tell me something. John 10, the sheep and the shepherd have been on replay in my mind. I have heard it in a sermon, on the radio, and in my morning devotional. I wake up in the middle of the night to the scripture singing:
My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they will follow me, and I will give them eternal life.
Jesus, If the sheep hear you voice, why did I not listen to your voice for so long, even though you have been my shepherd for a very long time?
I don’t know the answer, but I do know this. There are things that seem to drown out God’s voice. Busyness. The millions of voices both good and bad. Hearing what God is calling others to do, and focusing on that, instead of listening, really listening to what God is calling me to do.
I really want to listen to Gods Voice. I want to hear the Spirit speak to me. I realize I have not been listening closely. God’s Spirit speaks love. As Brother Andrew points out in God’s Smuggler, love is the language of Christians throughout the world.
Gods Voice is that of love.
If it is not of love it is counterfeit.
So I listen. I am trying to tune my hearts ear to my Shepherd. I find he is often speaking, but discerning his voice does not seem to come naturally for me.
His Spirit asks me to act in love, when often I want to act out of fear. I don’t want to show kindness to someone when their actions feel threatening to me. It is at this point I must stop. Ask God to fill me with His Spirit. For His Spirit sees the heart of that person. He loves them.
That is the voice I must listen to in the moment, choosing love over bitterness, fear, anxiety, old hurts and ingrained patterns. Perfect love casts away fear, and if I’m still fearful I’m not fully experiencing God’s love for me. So I choose the love. It is a choice. It is not easy.
My flesh says to be fearful. The world says to be fearful. But the Spirit says: Love has no fear. I love you, you are in my hands, I will help you see their heart. Depend on me. I will help you by giving you discernment to know the difference between boundaries and loving a person. I will make you bold and not be fearful in proclaiming my Name.
All of this is done imperfectly. In the moment, sometimes I still choose fear. I then accept God’s grace which is abundant. I open myself to His grace, letting it fall like rain over me, refreshing me.
Because of His grace, because I know His love, I am free to offer it to another. Love hopes even when no one else does.
Quiet the noise Listen.
Get in the Word.
Get down deep to the heart of God.
I pray out my fears to Jesus and let Him fill me with His love.