When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
In John 10, Jesus proclaimed that He is the good shepherd who knows His own sheep and who lays His life down for them. In verse 27, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” which is a restatement of verses 4-5. Jesus is our shepherd and He goes out in front of us and He guides and protects us with His voice.
The idea that we can hear and know Jesus’ voice is a sweet promise given to us that not everyone seems to grab a hold of. It is kind of a subjective thing to say that you hear God’s voice in a situation. It is not an audible voice. But He speaks to your spirit in a way that you know it is Him. John 10:5 states that you will know the difference between Jesus’ voice and one of a stranger. That means we can have a confidence that we won’t be led astray by a demon or our own emotions.
It is such a sweet thing to hear His voice speak to me as I study the Bible. There are times when a verse or concept leaps off of the page and it is exactly what I need for a specific situation. There are other times when I am set on doing something and I get a prompting inside to go in a different direction. God can use other people to speak to you, saying things that they feel led to say, and you may think to yourself, “That was from God.”
There is a song called “Shepherd of My Soul,” by Marty Nystrom. The chorus lyrics of are:
Shepherd of my soul, I give You full control; Wherever You may lead I will follow.I have made the choice to listen for Your voice; Wherever You may lead I will go.
May that be your prayer. Psalm 139:5 says, “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand on me.” In other words, He goes before us like a travel agent, preparing where we will be. He also covers our back. This should be an encouragement and comfort to us. A shepherd’s job is to take care of his sheep, to find green pastures and watering places and then to take the sheep there. That’s what Jesus does for us, and it is a promise that we can cling to.