Tugging my mother’s sleeve, I whispered, “what are those people doing?” I pointed to the many weeping adults who were flooding the isle, making their way to the alter.
“They heard God’s voice. He wants them to come and talk with Him”.
I pondered that a few minutes. How did they hear God’s voice? Did they actually hear Him talk?
I listened as the evangelist played the piano with soothing confidence, his deep voice booming through the auditorium. My tummy felt funny. My heart was racing. The palms of my hands were sweaty. I could hear sobbing, as people continued to flood the alter. The preacher paced the platform, waving his hanky every now and then, shouting, “glory!”
Tugging my mom’s sleeve again, I asked, “how do you know when God is talking to you?”
My Mom smiled at me. “It’s different for everyone. Some people feel it in their hearts. Some people get nervous. You will know if He’s talking to you.”
At eight years of age, I realized that God was speaking to me, urging me to come talk to Him. I shakily left the pew and joined the dozens of others at the alter.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” – John 10:27
Listening to the Shepherd’s voice that day is something I will never forget. It is also something I will never regret. I have told this story to each of my kids, and they each have asked me the same question:
“What does the Shepherd tell you?”
There are times when He speaks conviction to me, and points out my pride or lack of self-control. It is hard for me to obey His voice sometimes, like when He tells me to witness to someone, or take a stand when I’m the only Christian around. When I confess my sin to Him, God is right there, extending forgiveness.
On the day’s I feel like I can’t keep going, that this path He has asked me to walk is too hard, He encourages me and offers reassurance. I feel my strength begin to come back, and I’m able to keep going.
Sometimes, I have to ask God the same question over and over again. He has always been patient with me, and proves His love for me over and over again!
When life gets tough, and I don’t know how things will turn out and I become fearful, the Shepherd whispers words of comfort and peace. He knows exactly what to say to me, to chase away my fears and replace them with hope.
Then, there are days when I don’t need encouragement or chastisement. I don’t need comfort or peace. The Shepherd just fellowships with me! He reveals Himself to me through the beauty of a sunset or in a rainbow after a storm. When I watch birds flittering about, moving from tree to tree, I marvel at His Creation. It is in these moments I hear my Shepherd’s voice whisper His love to me, and I feel His hand on my shoulder. Worship wells inside of me, and I have to sing praises to my Father or I will burst!
If you have never heard The Shepherd’s voice, I strongly urge you to carefully listen for it. If you ask him to speak to you, and you take the time to stop and listen, He WILL reveal Himself to you, and you will never be the same!
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalms 46:10