"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" John 10:27 (NAS).
When I was pregnant with our first child, Jared, I read an article explaining that after babies are born, they recognize voices they'd heard while in the womb. So for the next nine months, my husband Bob and I would talk to him, pray for him, and sing to him.
Then came the big day; several hours after he was born—I'll never forget this moment—we decided to try out this idea of voice recognition. I swaddled our precious son close to me, and as Bob stood across the room, he gently called out, "Jared, Jared." All of a sudden, our little son's head began to jiggle and turn, until his head was completely turned sideways, looking at his daddy! It was an amazing and remarkable moment! He recognized his father's voice and turned towards him!
I treasure this beautiful memory. It reminds me of how God's children learn to recognize our Father's voice by the same means, through birth, the Word, prayer, and singing!
First, we can only begin to hear God's voice when we become His children through His gift of new birth. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV).
Then, God speaks to us through His Word. Just as it took time for our firstborn to recognize our voices as he was being formed, we learn to recognize God's voice by taking the time to read His Word. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV). God's voice will never contradict Scripture—it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths.
The Holy Spirit will then bring to mind the truths of Scripture to guide our steps and to walk in His ways. Jesus said, "[The Holy Spirit] will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" John 14:26b (NASB). The Holy Spirit prays in our behalf so that we can be obedient to God's calling over our lives. "The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" Romans 8:26 (NASB). The Holy Spirit also gives us the spiritual gift of discernment, to distinguish God's voice from all the others.
And finally, like Bob and I did to our son, our Father God sings over His children. "He will take great delight
in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing"
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV). What a great encouragement to know
that the Father sings over, delights in, and loves his children! Oh that we
would always turn our heads and hearts back to him!
Prayer: "Dear Father God, help us to hear Your voice, turn to You, and do those things which You have given us to do. Thank You for speaking to us through Your Word, so that we can recognize Your voice, and for sending the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and pray for us. Thank You also for the promise that You delight, rejoice, and sing over us as we learn to follow You! Amen."
Copyright 2015 / 2019- Sarah A. Keith
Photography by: Josh Willink @Pexels.com
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