Saturday, May 06, 2017

Spiritual hearing

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 10:1-10

TO CHEW ON: ‘To him the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.’” John 10:3,4

Jesus is here setting the scene for one of His iconic “I Am” statements—actually two: 'I am the door of the sheep'” - John 10:7 and'I am the good shepherd'” - John 10:11.

These verses speak so powerfully to me that I’ve chosen them as my 2017 verses of the year to accompany the word “Listen,” my word for the year.

Two things stand out about the shepherd-sheep relationship from them: 
  1. The shepherd knows his sheep individually and intimately: “…he calls his own sheep by name.”
  2. The sheep follow him because they recognize and know his voice and obviously trust him.

This is what I want above all—to hear the voice of my Shepherd, recognize that it’s Him, and that I can confidently follow. How does this happen? We find some clues as we look at other places in the Bible that talk about spiritual listening and hearing.

  • We discover that it may involve tuning our ears to listen, and watching and waiting. In one of his Lady Wisdom poems, Solomon, speaking as wisdom personified says, “Blessed is the man who listens to me / Watching daily at my gates, / Waiting at the posts of my doors” - Proverbs 8:34.

  • It is listening to rebuke: “The ear that hears the rebukes of life / Will abide among the wise” - Proverbs 15:31.

  • It is going to church with a receptive attitude: “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools” - Ecclesiastes 5:1.

  • It is recognizing that spiritual truth and wisdom may not always come from the places we expect: “Words of the wise spoken quietly should be heard / Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools” - Ecclesiastes 9:17.

  • We can pray to have renewed hearing even if we’re getting on in age: “O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known” - Habakkuk 3:2.

  • It involves acting on what we’ve heard—obedience for the long haul, as Jesus taught:‘But the ones (seeds) that fell on the good ground are those who having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience’” - Luke 8:15.

  • God’s words to and in us can flourish when we live with an attitude of saying less and listening more: “… let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” - James 1:19.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your words as recorded by the apostles, as well as all the words of the patriarchs and prophets in the Bible. May You, by Your Holy Spirit, help me to hear, understand, know how to apply, and then obey what You say to me through them. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Violet, this post speaks to me. I read with intent, pondered where needed, and hope to have your words stay with me. Thank you.
    I am "reaching out" to faith warriors to lift up my daughter, Devin, and her unborn daughter in prayer for a safe delivery. While Devin looks wonderful (last weekend she traveled home for her baby shower at my house), she told me that the sonogram doctor let her know the baby weighs 5 lbs. 6 oz and that she is under weight at this time. I guess above 6 lbs is diserable. The doctor will repeat the sono in 2 wks and suggested if the results are still under, labor may be induced and the baby placed in the NICU. Devin will see her OBGYN on Tuesday. I am praying for a normal delivery and healthy first grandchild. Please join me in this prayer. Thank you, Violet.

  2. I will certainly pray for Devin and her babe, Carol! I'm sure you'll find that being a grandmother will stretch your faith often, and cause you to storm heaven with knee-mail!


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