“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 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.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
- John 10:1-10
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
- 2 John 1:7
“’The Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand…’ (Isaiah 8:11). There is no escape when our Lord speaks. He always comes using His authority and taking hold of our understanding. Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you. God speaks in the language you know best— not through your ears, but through your circumstances.
“God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. We say, ‘I know that this is what I should do’ — and suddenly the voice of God speaks in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our ignorance. We show our ignorance of Him in the very way we decide to serve Him. We serve Jesus in a spirit that is not His, and hurt Him by our defense of Him. We push His claims in the spirit of the devil; our words sound all right, but the spirit is that of an enemy. He…rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of (Luke 9:55). The spirit of our Lord in His followers is described in 1 Corinthians 13.
“Have I been persecuting Jesus by an eager determination to serve Him in my own way? If I feel I have done my duty, yet have hurt Him in the process, I can be sure that this was not my duty. My way will not be to foster a meek and quiet spirit, only the spirit of self-satisfaction. We presume that whatever is unpleasant is our duty! Is that anything like the spirit of our Lord— “I delight to do Your will, O my God…” (Psalm 40:8).
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Are we so dull that we cannot figure out if the Voice that we hear is God’s voice or our own will intruding into the situation? Are we too self-absorbed? Do we not spend enough time in quiet contemplation and Bible study? Yet, Chambers’ second paragraph in the quote is typical. From the first paragraph we see that not knowing is inexcusable, and in the second paragraph we see not knowing the Voice as almost inevitable. Yet, Jesus said that His sheep know His Voice.
It seems that the ‘Voice’, that I have mentioned in past posts, starting with An Important To-Do List, is only heard with practice. We cannot simply accept Jesus as our Savior and then go on our merry way. Just saying that we need to pray more and study the Bible more does not work. Most new-born Christians do not know how, or they have ideas from what they have observed that could be passable or in some cases wrong. Any praying and Bible study provides useful knowledge, but is it effective to hear the Voice, and recognize it.
Yet, Jesus said in Mark 13:5 that many will claim to be Him and lead people astray.
The Scripture above from 2 John states that those who deceive are an antichrist, but in Revelation we see that the Antichrist deceives many. Are we really that ignorant?
Let’s see. The prosperity gospel folks came along, and people went that direction in droves. Cults have sprung up taking away people. Why did people follow? They were dissatisfied with what was going on and they tried something else. Some try many other things, unsatisfied with Jesus’ command to trust Him with their lives.
What should we do? Follow the guidance of Tozer, who I quoted in the linked post above. Find your quiet spot. Wait for the clutter and noise of this world to fade away so that you can hear the Voice. Get to know that Voice. Then return to the world, listening to the Voice. The last thing is easier said than done at times.
However, you do it, whatever mechanism. Absorb yourself in knowing Jesus and spend your life trying to be more like Him. How much better to reinforce a relationship with your Lord and Savior.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.