04 Nov Listen Well, Live Well
When we want to make progress in our lives, we often pray for “open doors.” That comes from the verse in Revelations 3 that says that what God opens, no man can shut. Doesn’t that sound appealing? An opportunity that no one can interfere with? A blessing that no one can take from you? That’s what God is promising here.
But as with all of God’s promises, we have a part to play in making them a reality. If we want these doors to open, we’ve got to hear and respond to God’s voice in our life well. I know what you’re thinking. I try to hear God, but it’s too hard! I know it can seem that way. But let’s talk about how we can make it a bit easier.
There are three ways I discern the voice of my Father. I get them from the example of the Good Shepherd used in Scripture. All throughout the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the Good Shepherd, and we are referred to as the sheep.
That’s because sheep are totally dependent upon the shepherd, as they are the only animals that can’t take care of themselves. Only the shepherd knows where the greenest grass is for his sheep, and only he knows where the freshest water is. In the same way, only God knows how to bring out the best in our lives. We have to listen for His voice to know which path to take. We are completely dependent on Him.
So how can we recognize it? First, we can recognize it because it is persistent. John 10:2-3 says, “The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
During the time this passage was written, the shepherd would enter through the gate every night to check on the sheep. He would talk to them so that they knew that they were safe. That’s just how our Father is. He is persistent in talking to us. He doesn’t force his way in, but he speaks to us every single day, if we will choose to listen for Him.
Secondly, the voice of the Shepherd is personal. As the passage says, the shepherd would call each of his sheep by name. Isn’t that incredible? Every single one! God knows your name, too. And he will talk to you personally about the specific things going on in your life.
Finally, the voice of God is powerful. It’s the voice of truth in our lives that brings clarity and freedom to our situations. It’s the voice that directs us into blessing and away from trouble, just like the shepherd directs his sheep.
So do you want open doors to walk through? Learn to discern the voice of your Shepherd, fully knowing and trusting that He is always faithful!