March 7, 2017
READ: John 10:1-16
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (v.10).
Since going through a difficult experience three years ago, I’ve battled subsequent bouts of intense anxiety and fear. Upon learning of my season of struggle, a dear friend encouraged me to memorise, meditate on and embrace John 10. The passage, she explained, expounds on the Good Shepherd we have in Jesus and calls us to recognise and listen to His voice rather than voices of doubt, darkness, discouragement and shame.
“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out,” we read. “After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice” (John 10:3-5).
Two voices are described here. One is the voice of the Good Shepherd—Jesus. The other is the voice of anyone who pulls us away from Him.
The voices both speak to our hearts and minds, but following one or the other leads to drastically different destinations. The Good Shepherd uses His voice to lead people to salvation, freedom, “good pastures” and “a rich and satisfying life” (vv.3,9-10). The enemy’s voice leads away from truth and to deception and destruction. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” (v.10).
Believers in Jesus are called to take every thought captive as we “obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We can do this by feasting on Scripture, humbling ourselves before God in prayer and asking, Are my thoughts lining up with what the Bible teaches? (Acts 17:11).
I’ve found that as I immerse myself in Scripture, I can hear the truth about God and the truth about me. His voice and presence gives us hope and calms our hearts.
365-day plan: Judges 4:4-24
Read 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and consider how Scripture presents the heart and voice of God.
How have you experienced “a rich and satisfying life” as you’ve followed the Good Shepherd? How can you have confidence you’re recognising God’s voice?