Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say"1 (Lyrics)
After a couple of days at the YWAM base in Belize, I wondered what I was doing there. The setting, despite its beautiful name, "Destination Paradise", was a challenge. High heat with humidity, mosquitoes, fire ants, sudden tropical rainstorms, and biting flies that came up out of the sand were the main issues.
The base itself was a cluster of crumbling, rusting, peeling, and decaying buildings. There was no air conditioning in the sleeping quarters, the toilets had to be handled carefully, and appliances and electricity kept breaking down. I was supposed to be a servant, but I didn't feel any joy in doing my job — one weekly task being baking for the whole student body and staff.
Did you really send me here, Lord? Was this just my own idea? I knew that my servant role was freeing the staff from doing mundane jobs so that they could focus on their interactions with the students, who were there to experience God. Even my tasks themselves had their challenges, like not having the right ingredients for the recipes that I was supposed to be making. I struggled with the weird, the uncomfortable, the strange, and the outrageous.
Tearfully, I asked the Lord, What do You want me to do here? He brought to my mind a picture of one of the staff, who had her dog with her. I was impressed at how Riley walked calmly and obediently by Brittany's side as she held the leash.
Just be like Riley, and follow obediently at your Master's side. If you stray, you will get lost, like the night Riley was lost in the jungle and barking in fear.
John 10:3b-5 – [The shepherd] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice. (NLT)
The word "follow" in Greek means "to be in the same way with", "to accompany, as a disciple."
Brittany's dog was trained to accompany her wherever she went, her mistress guiding her along with a leash. Riley felt secure, knowing just what Brittany expected of her. She knew Brittany, and stayed close to her.
I realized that the main lesson that I was to learn was to follow Jesus daily. My jobs on the YWAM base were vital and important. What was more important, however, was walking beside Jesus, my Good Shepherd. He had me close to Him with His hand on the leash, and all I had to do was to follow Him. Are you doing the same?
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that following You daily is the most important thing. Help us not to worry about accomplishing things for You, but rather to remember to stay close to You so that we can hear Your voice. Thank You, Jesus, for being our Shepherd. Amen.