Our church is preaching through the Gospel of John. This Sunday we were in John 10, which is about the Good Shepherd and His sheep, and we learned about the sheep hearing His voice. In John 10:3-5, it says, “. . . He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all his own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice" (NIV).
That’s an interesting concept, that Christ-followers know the voice of the Good Shepherd. It caused me to wonder when I last really heard His voice, and when I began to recognize the difference between His voice and other voices. It seems to be a core section of Scripture, a core value that we place on Christ-followers.
This Sunday was also Salsa Sunday at our church. After church we had a big Mexican fiesta. We had a mariachi band; we had a salsa contest. I was the emcee of that event. We have about 250-300 people who come to our church, so there was a lot of noise – a lot of people talking and having a good time, with mariachi music in the background. But it was interesting – above all of that, I recognized one voice. That was RobAnne’s. We’ve been married for thirty-five years, and I could hear her voice. I didn’t know she was around, but as I tuned my ears into the multiple conversations going on around me, I could distinctly understand RobAnne’s voice because I know her voice.
I must admit that what we learned in church and what I experienced with RobAnne’s voice made me more sensitive to opening my ears to the voice of God. That’s what I want for our mission: people who recognize and flee from the voice of the stranger and who understand and run to the voice of the Good Shepherd.