Know God’s Voice; Never Follow a Stranger

To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.

─ John 10:3-5 ESV

One evening a group of close friends camped around a fire. It was really dark, and they couldn’t see one another well, but each one recognized the voice of the other because they knew each other.

The same is true for Christ followers. Jesus desires us to become so intimate with Him, that we know His voice and would never be deceived by a stranger. In John 10, Jesus spoke to the Jewish religious leaders who followed the law. He called them out by saying they were not His sheep. They didn’t know His voice. But in our verse today, He confirms we know His voice. We know His voice so well, that we won’t follow a stranger.

The stranger, your enemy the devil, does not sound like God.

  • He speaks doubtful words which he hopes will cause you to question God’s Word and His goodness.
  • He whispers delay, hoping you’ll procrastinate and never do the things God has asked of you.
  • He whines about defeat, attempting to make you feel like a failure so you might not even try.
  • He instigates diversions, presenting wrong things that look attractive, suggesting you take those instead of God’s best.
  • And finally, he positions words of discouragement around you so that you focus more on your difficult circumstances, instead of the promises of God.

We should know our shepherd’s voice, understand the character and nature of God, and expect His goodness, so that when the enemy comes over the wall into our sheep pen, we can point and say, “No! No! We see you. You are the enemy.”

When you’ve discerned the enemy, you can stay in faith and wait with eternal hope for the true Shepherd of your heart to return with direction and instruction.

Today’s One Thing

You can silence the voice of a stranger by speaking God’s truth. What promises in Scripture are important to you? What verses of scripture give you courage and strength to stay firm in your faith? Take God’s promises and keep them before you. Use today’s verse as a starting point. Say to yourself all day today. “I hear the voice of my Good Shepherd and a stranger’s voice I refuse to follow.”


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