We were enjoying a summer barbecue in the backyard of friends who lived on a farm. Right behind us the sheep were grazing, oblivious of us eating our dinner. As we visited, we talked about the fact that we are often referred to as sheep in the scriptures.
The sheepfold in Israel was an enclosure of rocks that provided protection for the sheep at night. It had an opening where the shepherd would lie so that predators would have to go over him to get to the sheep. In the morning, he would stand at that opening and call out his sheep and because they knew his voice, they would follow him up into the hills to graze and get water.
To illustrate, our host called out to the sheep. Much to our amazement, every single sheep stopped where it was and looked up to see what he was going to do next. They were ready to follow!
I’ve never forgotten that evening. His demonstration taught me that in the same way that the sheep were poised to see what our friend, the shepherd, wanted of them, I too must be mindful of the voice of my Good Shepherd. The one who laid down His life to guard me from sin, the predator of my soul.
Are we listening for our Shepherd’s voice all the time? Do we stop everything and listen when we hear Him, asking what it is He wants, where He wants us to follow?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you are my Good Shepherd. You not only provide for my every need, but you also lead and guide me in the way that I should. Help me to always be on the alert for your voice, poised to follow you in the direction that I should go. Amen.
Go Deeper — Do you recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd when He speaks to you? Are you willing to drop everything and follow Him? Be honest and think about why or why not, then talk with Him about it.
Photo Credit: Rob Bye