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21 Days of Prayer and Fasting | DAY 13


DAY 13

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

PRESS PAUSE: Before you do anything else, take a moment to reflect on and celebrate all the Lord did in you, for you, and spoke to you yesterday.  

READ: John 10:1-21

Imagine you’re in a crowded restaurant, enjoying a meal amid the chattering and conversations of those around you, when all of a sudden, you hear your best friend’s voice.  Without looking around for them, how do you know it’s them? How can you pick their voice out from the dozens of other voices in the restaurant?  You know because you’ve spent time with them. Over and over and over again, you’ve heard their voice as you’ve spoken with them, listened to them, gotten to know them.  The same principle is true about hearing God’s voice.

Jesus described it this way in today's reading in John chapter 10:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father

knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.”  (verses 14-15)

And later in the same chapter:

 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (verse 27)

How do you get to know someone so well that you can identify their voice without seeing them?  In this case, how do you get to the point where you can identify God’s voice? The answer lies in knowing His character.  God will never contradict himself, and He has provided examples of His voice to us in Scripture.  Therefore, we can know that if something contradicts something in Scripture, it is not from God.  However, that means we have to actually spend time in Scripture to learn what it says.

Going back to the example of your best friend, you probably didn’t become their best friend by talking their ear off. There likely was an exchange, a back-and-forth conversation that led to each of you learning more about the other person. Again, the same is true with God. We will never learn to hear His voice clearly if we only come to Him to talk at Him without leaving space for listening. Like any other conversation partner, God wants us to listen to Him as well as talk to Him. You would never call your best friend, talk incessantly for ten minutes, asking questions and pleading for answers, then hang up before they had a chance to respond! And yet, this is often how we approach conversations with God.

It will take time to still our minds enough to allow God the space to speak. Start by taking one minute each time you sit down to pray in silence, then try expanding that silence to five minutes, then ten, then however long you need. Don’t fill the space with your own words, with worship music, with reading the Bible, not even with saying Jesus’ name over and over again.  Embrace the silence.  Remember, He is already there with you, and He is always speaking. We just need to slow down and be quiet long enough to listen.

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