Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "To God Be The Glory"1 (Lyrics)
John 10:27 – My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (TLB)
When I was pregnant with our first child, Jared, I read an article explaining that after babies are born, they recognize voices that 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, Jared's little head began to jiggle and turn, until his head was completely turned sideways, looking at his daddy! It was an amazing 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.
We can only begin to hear God's voice if 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) His 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. "He 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) He also gives us the spiritual gift of discernment, to distinguish God's voice from all the others.
Like us, 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 3:17b NIV)
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.