Have you ever walked into a room where there were no lights or electricity to speak of? I mean that dark room where you can't even see the front of your hand?
It can be a little uneasy, can’t it? Especially if I am the first one home at night after a long day and no one else is home yet. My dogs will start barking at me cause they don't know who has just walked into our home. It isn’t until I start talking and they hear the familiar voice of their master that they begin to come to me to greet me with warm love and lots of wet kisses. :)
If you were in a room of darkness and your kids or pets were in there and they could only rely on your voice to steer them toward you, would they recognize you over say a stranger’s voice?
Of course they would. Why? Because they know their mother or father's voice. All you would have to do it keep talking to them and letting them know you are "over here, keeping following my voice until you find me". Eventually, if they trust that voice, they will meet you for a welcomed reunion.
This got me to thinking about a passage in John Chapter 10. Verses 1-5 "Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he's up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't used to the sound of it." MSG
Did you catch that? "He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out...they follow because they are familiar with his voice.... They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it"
The problem I have had in my life is I am way too familiar with stranger’s voice. The voice of the one who comes to kill steal and destroy. The one who calls out to me in those dark places in my life and attempts to lure me toward him instead of the One who comes to give me life in its fullest. Ever been in that dark place? That place where everything seems so dark and hopelessness begins to consume you? Yeah, me too.
There have been times in my life where I look back and wonder how I could be so deceived and even though my instincts told me otherwise, or even though the Holy Spirit was prompting me to choose a better voice, I chose the one that was a stranger to me. I chose the one who lead me astray. John 10:6-10 "...All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn't listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of."
Here is the beautiful message of hope and restoration... 11-13"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.
A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He's only in it for the money. The sheep don't matter to him. I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize my voice."
The Father loves you and I so much that He will run to us as our Protector to rescue us in our darkness. The key part I play in this is staying close enough to the Father thru the reading of His Word and prayer to hear His voice and run to His voice and not the voice of the stranger, the deceiver, thief and destroyer. No, by knowing His voice, I can distinguish His voice and know when the enemy is speaking to me and when Truth is speaking to me. He will lead me to green pastures, where I can feed and drink off his nurtients found in His Word and in a relationship with Him.
I don't want a hired hand looking after me. I want the True Shepherd, Protector, Comforter, the Almighty as my Good Shepherd leading me to the Light.
I am so grateful that though I have listened to the strangers voice in the past, the Good Shepherd has always welcomed me back with grace and mercy with a free ticket to return to Him.
The next time you find yourself in a dark room like I have, cry out to the Father who wants to replace the lies with truth and ultimate freedom in your mind, heart and soul. Your Master is saying to you in those dark times, “I am over here son or daughter. Follow my voice and I will lead you back to Me. It’s gonna be ok beloved child”
Then, once we get to Him it is a much welcomed and needed reunion with our Father with lots of hugs and holy kisses. Yes, He loves you and me that much!
The key is, spend time with your Father so that “when” those dark times come cause we know if is not a matter of "if" but when, then you will clearly no the difference between the thief and sheep stealer and the One who brings life, the life giver!
Have a blessed week friend.
If you would like to learn about Celebrate Recovery that can and will lead you back to Your Good Shepherd, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or firstname.lastname@example.org