Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Listen to this eternal truth: The person who sneaks over the wall to enter into the sheep pen, rather than coming through the gate, reveals himself as a thief coming to steal. But the true Shepherd walks right up to the gate, and because the gatekeeper knows who he is, he opens the gate to let him in. And the sheep recognize the voice of the true Shepherd, for he calls his own by name and leads them out, for they belong to him. And when he has brought out all his sheep, he walks ahead of them and they will follow him, for they are familiar with his voice. But they will run away from strangers and never follow them because they know it’s the voice of a stranger.” Jesus told the Pharisees this parable even though they didn’t understand a word of what he meant. John 10:1-6
In chapter 9 of John is the story of the man born blind and Jesus opened his eyes. Right at the end of that story Jesus found the man (he had been kicked out of the synagogue by the Pharisees) and told him that He was the Son of God. Here’s the text:
35 When Jesus learned they had thrown him out, he went to find him and said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
36 The man whose blind eyes were healed answered, “Who is he, Master? Tell me so that I can place all my faith in him.”
37 Jesus replied, “You’re looking right at him. He’s speaking with you. It’s me, the one in front of you now.”
38 Then the man threw himself at his feet and worshiped Jesus and said, “Lord, I believe in you!”
39 And Jesus said, “I have come to judge those who think they see and make them blind. And for those who are blind, I have come to make them see.”
40 Some of the Pharisees were standing nearby and overheard these words. They interrupted Jesus and said, “You mean to tell us that we are blind?” 41 Jesus told them, “If you would acknowledge your blindness, then your sin would be removed. But now that you claim to see, your sin remains with you!”
Chapter 9 then ends talking about blindness and chapter 10 opens with Jesus talking about hearing the Shepherd’s voice. Those who saw Jesus in the flesh, in person, had the opportunity to “see” Him just as He was and had 3 years of opportunity to believe He was who He said He was! Then in chapter 10, Jesus spoke about hearing His voice – not seeing Him. He saw all of us and spoke about our hearing. He wants us to know His voice. We don’t see Him in the flesh right now, but we will someday. But for this time He is 100% confident we “will” hear His voice. There’s no confusion about if we will hear or not. I believe also that if we “hear” Him, it opens our spiritual eyes to see Him even more than those who saw Him in the flesh saw Him.
When you are faced with a decision or need guidance, take time to listen to Him. The passage says He leads us – He is front and center and calls us by name. Jesus is personally involved in your life and desires to guide you. You don’t need to look for signs and wonders to guide you. He is right there, “in” you – and you can’t get much closer than that. That’s closer than He was to His own disciples in person!
If it feels like something is sneaking into your life or confusing you greatly, it’s the enemy of your soul – the thief and liar the devil. God’s guidance is always clear and doesn’t create confusion. So take time to be with Him, listen to your own heart, read the Word and I know He will speak to you. His voice is clear and always full of grace!