October 10

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27

Hearing the voice of God is a very wonderful promise, but it may also be potentially condemning. If we feel that we must hear His voice in order to prove that we are truly His sheep, then the pressure to hear God speak can be intolerable. The truth is that it is rare for a Christian to hear an audible voice, and many never have that blessing. It is also rare to have a prophetic word that tells us the future or gives us some supernatural information to unlock a situation. These things do happen, but they are not commonplace. So what does Jesus mean? He is referring in this verse to the inner faculty which is awakened in us by His Presence. As we fellowship with Him, an inner knowledge distils in our hearts, like dew on flowers. Our hearts are bathed with an inner awareness, and it takes a little time and effort to put into words what we have become aware of. The voice of Jesus in our hearts produces an assurance and consciousness of His love and watchful oversight of our lives. Not all believers receive detailed instructions through an inner voice, but all of us have the inner sense of His Lordship and care for us. This sense of being watched over gives us peace, and it keeps us because, when we hear a different ‘voice’, we are troubled and aware that it holds dangers for us if we follow it. Jesus is not putting us under pressure with this word, but drawing us closer to Him, to trust Him and follow Him.