Listening to the Shepherd

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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.

 

 

I am linking up with Holley Gerth and Jennifer Dukes Lee

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13 thoughts on “Listening to the Shepherd

  1. somer

    Perfect love casts away fear, and if I’m still fearful I’m not fully experiencing God’s love for me…i love this line, i alluded to it in my post too. This scripture is so life changing

    Reply
  2. Jennifer M. Frisbie

    I could’ve written this post today, Kortney. Your words truly hit home. I was just talking to my husband about how much more clearly he tends to hear God’s voice over me. It’s not that I don’t hear Him…but sometimes I think I allow the noise to overpower the still, small voice that I need to be listening to. The noise can be deafening, can’t it?

    Reply
    1. kortneystanis Post author

      Jennifer, I totally agree with you. I get caught up in the noise…and it wasn’t until I started responding to that voice slowly, very slowly, that I realized I had been totally missing it for so long. And still I struggle, so I look to the men and women of the faith who are good at hearing the voice of the Spirit….which is a whole post in and of itself! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Annette

    Wonderful post. I have been nudged and nudged by God all summer to lead a study at church and it looks like it will be actually happening this fall. I am scared to death tho! I am so not worthy! However, God answers my plea by providing scripture and bible studies this week on how to overcome fear. A God thing, for sure!

    Reply
    1. kortneystanis Post author

      Anette. I am SO excited for you to lead a study at church. You are going to be awesome. I am always fearful about leading. Its hard and not easy and feels silly. But God is going to use you for sure! I am going to be praying for you. He will provide exactly what you need.

      Reply
  4. Jennifer

    Beautiful! “If it’s not love it’s counterfeit.” This is beautiful truth. I’m your neighbor from Coffee for Your Heart. I’m so glad I stopped by:).

    Reply

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