"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me" John 10:27.
There is a word that is used over and over in the New Testament that describes the call that Christ has placed on our lives—follow. “Follow Me,” Jesus said to fishermen, tax collectors, doctors, Pharisees, prostitutes, beggars and lepers. “Follow Me,” He says to you and to me. “Follow Me,” He continues to say daily to the billions of people who still do not know Him.
But what does it really mean to follow Christ? Is it just being a “good person?” Is it church attendance, tithing, Bible study and prayer? Is it doing good things and not doing bad things? Is this what following Him is all about? Many of us who claim to follow Him have, if we are honest, lived as if this were true. We have made Christianity a to-do list of activities that can, although they are good things, distract us from truly following Him.
How is that possible? How can spiritual disciplines cause us to miss the whole point? John 10:27, that’s how. It doesn’t say that His sheep read their Bible, or pray, or go on mission trips. “My sheep listen to My voice... they follow Me.” What if we do and go and give, yet don’t ever hear the Good Shepherd’s voice? Are we following Him if it is not His voice we are hearing? It’s a scary question... an unnerving one, isn’t it? But it is a question we must ask... and answer.
Religion says, “do.” Relationship says, “be.” And while following Christ will result in doing certain things (obedience), that is not the totality of our calling. How do we live this out practically—when the days seem short and the obligations unending? How do we hear His voice and follow Him? How do we know if, in our efforts to live for Him, we have inadvertently forgotten to live with Him? Simply put, the answer is connection. Are you connecting with Your Savior daily? Is what you are doing for Him drawing you into deeper relationship with Him? Or, are you on a spiritual treadmill—working hard but going nowhere?
Stop for a moment and ponder this truth: The God of the Universe, the Lord of Hosts, the One and Only True God, desires to connect with you deeply, personally, and daily. He wants to speak to you... do you know His voice?
Father, Psalm 23 begins, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” When I am connecting with You, I want for nothing because in You is all I will ever need. You give me the desires of my heart. Thank You, Father, for Your presence in my life. Tune my ears to know Your voice and give me the grace to follow You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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