“The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all of 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 runs away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice” (John 10:3-5 NIV).
Have you ever recognized a person by their laugh or even their sigh? As you turn the corner, you smile and say, “Aww I knew it was you!” We become so familiar with the people that we spend the most time with that they can even be identified by the sound of their footsteps. Even years after seeing them, the feel of their their presence and the sound of their voice is still indelibly imprinted on our minds.
After my father passed away, my mother no longer wanted to live in our family home. We had 40 plus years of possessions in it and she wanted to get rid of almost everything when she moved into a condo with my sister and her husband. This was a very sad time for me, as it was comforting to come home to the things I had grown up with, but I understood her feelings. Years after this, my husband and I stopped by his friend's house so that I could meet his wife. As I walked into their living room I was dumbstruck as I saw my mother's blue and green carnival glass lamp on their mantle piece. I recognized it like you would a long lost brother. I told the wife, “Oh my goodness that is my mother's lamp!” She was incredulous and said, “It couldn't be, it is one of a kind.” I said, “I know, I broke the other one.” The lamp did have a mate, they stood like sentinels on either side of our mantle for as long as I could remember. One sunny Saturday morning I was playing with a ball in the house, yes, I had been told a million times not to, and broke the other lamp. How many Christmases, birthdays, skinned knees and broken hearts had this lamp witnessed? It sat there and winked at me from their well-arranged mantle and I had no doubt of its origin.
Jesus wants you to know Him this well. Please take time to get closer to Him by reading the Word. John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”(NIV). The Bible does not just describe Jesus, it is his very nature, the essence of all that He is, in His fullness. Walk in His footsteps until you can recognize the very sound of them. Immerse yourself in His life-giving Word until its very echo reverberates in your soul.
John 10:7-10, “. . .I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”(NIV).
I pray that you hear and recognize the voice of Christ in your life. I pray that He is so near and dear to you that nothing will ever draw you away from Him. Please listen for Him, He is calling out to you.