“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27, 28
It is amazing to think that a machine can recognize the voice of an individual as uniquely distinct as a fingerprint! I found a helpful website called, “How Stuff Works” (for “non-tech-savy” individuals such as myself) that explains the challenges of voice recognition technology development. Their conclusion sums up the state of voice recognition technology, “We can talk to our computers today. In 25 years, they may very well talk back.”
Voice recognition may be a new technology in our day, but the concept is not new. Jesus talked about the importance of spiritual voice recognition in John 10:
- “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of His sheep. The watchman opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (vs. 2-5)
- “All who ever came before Me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (vs. 8,9)
- “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd.” (v. 16)
- “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow me.” (v. 28)
The spiritual voice recognition Jesus taught about requires more than a singular, casual connection. Instead, it garners the image of a relationship of intimacy between Himself as the Good Shepherd and the sheep of His pasture. We picture the sheep staying close to the Shepherd, not only because that is the safest place to be but because they love and trust the Shepherd. They don’t want to miss anything that He might teach them. In return, the Shepherd knows His sheep. He knows all about the quirkiness of their personalities, their weaknesses and strengths. He knows those things and is not bugged by them as they seek Him. In fact, He enjoys each one because He loves them. Can it get any better than this? Actually, yes! Completing the all-inclusive benefits of spiritual voice recognition between the Good Shepherd and His sheep Jesus added in verse 29: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” Eternal security . . . KA-POW!* A deal made totally in heaven!
But we are stuck here on earth for now and “life” has a way of complicating things. In fact, there are a multitude of voices that compete for our attention every single day. If you are serious about your relationship with Christ Jesus and desire to more easily discern His voice:
- Go to Him now in repentance and in faith. (Isaiah 30:15)
- Thank Him for His loving grace in calling you back to the shelter of His green pastures and quiet waters. (Psalm 23)
- Commit to stay closer to Him through daily prayer and reading His Word so that He can shepherd your heart. (I Peter 2:25)
I love and have been encouraged by the words of Isaiah offering hope in adversity as we listen for His voice:
“How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:19b-21
All to His Glory!
*For more on KA-POW! read September 21 post.