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.” John 10:2-5 (NIV)
Are you a listener? What do you mean by that? Will you slow down so that you can hear me speaking to you? Will you stop and listen to hear all that I want to say to you? Are you growing in your ability to hear my voice? I have not been a good listener. Why is that? I have been on the go. I have been busy. I have allowed myself to become distracted by many things. I have let my life be filled with noise. That is not good. I know. I want to be a good listener. I want to stop to listen to all that you want to say to me. Desire is a good place to start. It is important that you want to hear from me.
How can I make myself available to you? How can I become a good listener? How can I grow in my ability to hear your voice? Those are very good questions. Your questions are the start of a good foundation. How so? To hear from me you must believe that I will speak to you. To become a good listener, you must be willing to humbly admit that you have not been a good listener. To become a good listener, you must be willing to grow in your ability to hear my voice. Your wanting to know how to begin means that you are willing start right now, does it not? Yes, I want to start listening to you right now. I do believe that you will speak to me. I do believe that you will help me to grow in my ability to hear your voice. I humbly admit that I will need your help for me to become a good listener. Is that your prayer? Yes, that is my prayer. I desperately want and need your help. That is very good. It will be my pleasure and joy to help you to hear me speaking to you.
When do you think I will speak to you? Where do you think I will speak to you? I think you will speak to me at any time in any place. That is true. But, what will you need to do so you can hear me speaking to you? I will need to stop to listen to you. I will need to quiet myself before you. I will need to set aside a specific time and special place when and where I will listen to you. Why is that? Right now, I am hard of hearing. Later, I may be able to hear you over the noise of the world and in the busyness of life. But to start, I will need a special time and place devoted to meeting with you, so I can hear your voice. That is true. When do you want to begin? Right here, right now. That is very good. Speak to me Lord, I am listening.
Lord, thank you that you know me by name. You are my good shepherd. You love and care for me. I will listen attentively for your voice as you lead and guide me through life. I want to follow you to where you lead me to do all that you ask of me. I will trust in you. Amen
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