John 10:5 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
Yesterday we talked about how the sheep aren’t stupid after all. They follow the shepherd not because they’re too dumb to know any better, but because the know the face and the voice of the shepherd. They’ve spent years following him, being led to sustainance and safety. They trust him.
But before we dive in to what it looks like to get to know and recognize the voice of our Shepherd, we must pause and talk about the stranger.
Oh the stranger.
What I love about this verse in John 10 is that it gives the stranger very little credit. All it says is that the sheep will never follow him. It doesn’t matter how crafty he is, how convincing, how coniving – the sheep will run in the opposite direction at the sight of him. Oh if we could only be a little more like these sheep.
They don’t know much, but what they do know is their shepherd’s voice. They know his voice so well that any time another voice tries to lead them astray, they run.
Oh friends, do you get what this means for us?
How many times a day do you hear the enemy whispering lies into your ear? Some days are worse than others. Like yesterday, for example.
I spent all weekend at The Influence Conference, listening to amazing speakers like Jessi and Hayley and Annie, speaking such powerful words of truth – reminding me what the Shepherd’s voice sounds like. Reminding me that He loves me not because of what I do, but because of who He made me to be. Reminding me I have value simply because I exist. Reminding me that it doesn’t matter what other people think or how I stack up against them. It was an inspiring and truth-filled weekend.
Yet two days later, the strangers’ voice whispers in my ear, “You’re too much and not enough. You don’t measure up. You’re a nobody.”
Time to run, baby girl. Time to run.
But instead of running directly into the arms of my Sheperd, Jesus, I linger and let the words roll around in my head. My heart turns from truth and begins to waver. To doubt.
How can we keep from falling into this trap?
Only by knowing the voice of the one who loves us so well that any other voice sounds strange and unfamiliar in our ears. That is what this #31Day journey is all about.
I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here. Today I’m also linking up with other Influence Conference participants to share about my time there.