SERIES: Understanding Scriptures – Part 2
Have you ever watched a shepherd calling out and leading his sheep? It is a fascinating affair. All that the shepherd does is speak a word to call out to them, and in no time, his sheep listen to him from no matter how far they are, come to him, and flock around him.
It is no wonder that Jesus used the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep as a parable to explain His relationship with those who love Him and believe in Him.
In John 10 : 14, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”. Jesus does not say ‘all sheep’, ‘few sheep’, ‘many sheep’, but He says ‘my sheep’. You see, not every sheep is His sheep. There are only a set of sheep that are Jesus’ sheep. So, how is Jesus separating His sheep? How are the ones who He is calling ‘my sheep’ different from the rest?
He gives us the answer in John 10 : 27, where He says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me”. That is it. His sheep listen to His voice and follow Him. Like the sheep of any shepherd, who listen to their shepherd’s voice and follow him.
Listening to the shepherd’s voice goes beyond merely hearing his voice. It is a process of understanding, accepting and obeying what He says. It involves a sense of commitment to the shepherd. The sheep have to commit to train themselves to recognise their shepherd’s voice from all the other voices. They have to stay under the guidance of their shepherd. And, it is only by listening to their shepherd’s voice constantly, that the sheep begin to know their shepherd, and the shepherd begins to know them.
The key to go from knowing about God to knowing God is listening to His voice and following Him.
It is one thing to know about someone, but another thing to know the person. I can know about the president of my country, but do I really know the president of my country personally? In the same way, some of us know about Jesus, about God; but only some know God. Today, let us become sheep who know their shepherd unlike the sheep that wander hopelessly lost without one.
We can know our Lord Jesus intimately, but the only way is by listening to His voice – understanding His word. The key to go from knowing about God to knowing God is listening to His voice and following Him. The Bible is full of God’s words to us, his voice to us. His words are there to teach us, train us, correct us and rebuke us (as Paul puts it in 2 Timothy 3 : 16). But, the question is – Are we listening to His words? Are we understanding and obeying them?
There are 3 keys to listening to our good shepherd’s voice to grow in intimacy with Him –
- STAY CLOSE AND CONNECTED TO HIM
Spending more time meditating on God’s word is one of the most important aspects of listening to His voice. The Bible teaches us that all scripture is God-breathed. So, that in turn means that we need God’s help, through the Holy Spirit, to understand His word. That is why just reading the Bible with no desire to understand God will become a mundane task that is religious and forceful. However, reading the bible to truly understand God with the help of the Holy Spirit will fill us with an unquenchable thirst for more of Him.
Stay in the light of His presence, and see how the Lord becomes your closest companion!Tweet
Job, at a time when he had lost everything including his wife, said in Job 23 : 11, “My feet have closely followed his steps…”. How did Job endure all that He was going through and not doubt God? It was simply because he was so close and intimate with God. The only way he could believe in God at that point was because he understood God’s word; a result of him walking closely in step with God.
The Psalmist says in Psalms 89 : 15, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”
Stay in the light of His presence, and see how the Lord becomes your closest companion!
- LET HIS WORD BE THE FINAL WORD
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
Beloved, closeness to God is so intricately knit to obeying His word. Jesus wants to make His home with us and be with us all the time, only if we can truly accept Him in our lives by obeying what He says. Your disobedience to Christ reflects your distrust in Him and His ways, which inevitably pulls you away from His heart.
When you and I put God’s words above our thoughts, the thoughts of this world and the lies of Satan, we immediately begin to embrace His closeness to us and our lives. Slowly, everything in our life becomes an easy affair of handing over our situations to Him and resting in His presence.
Jesus wants to make His home with us and be with us all the time, only if we can truly accept Him in our lives by obeying what He says.
Look at Shedrach Meshach Abednego in Daniel 3, simply because they let God’s word to them be their final word, God himself walked with them in the fire. Close to them in the furnace!
- PURSUE HIS DEEPEST DESIRES
Something so unique about Moses was that he is the only man whom the Lord knew face to face in all of Israel (Deuteronomy 34 : 10). Wow! Don’t you long to be in that place? How did Moses get so close to the Lord? Well, as we read his journey with the Lord, we see how Moses often secluded himself from everything and everyone and pursued God in the tent of meeting. He feared the Lord. He longed for God.
And, the word of God says, in Psalms 25:14, “The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”
God will confide His heart’s deepest desires to those who pursue Him in reverent fear. He wants to make his covenant known to us. But are we pursuing Him? Are we longing to know Him more and more?
The journey of knowing God is endless. Each time you know Him a little more, there is still more to know. That is why, this is so crucial to listening to His voice – longing to know God’s deepest desires.
Truly understanding God’s word and following it is key to drawing closer to His heart.
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