My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. — John 10:27
It seems that one of the most difficult things that we can do is to try and follow someone. Maybe you do not struggle with it as I do, but I have always had difficulty with it. It started when I was a kid with all the distractions. I would hear someone say, “follow me,” but I struggled to follow due to the distractions all around.
At times I still struggle with those words. I can hear a friend or co-worker simply say “follow me” and I often worry about losing them in traffic or not following the exact path they have set out before me. What is interesting is that we are not alone in this struggle.
Sheep struggle to follow their shepherd without his constant interaction. Sometimes it takes just his voice. At other times, it may take discipline or difficulty. A sheep will so easily lose their way, but once they develop a strong relationship with their shepherd, they usually respond with just his voice.
Jesus used this as an example here in John. He said that His sheep hear His voice and that they follow Him. It does not mean they never lose their way. As we all know, Christians can easily get sidetracked or distracted and lose their sense of following God’s direction.
In those times, our great Shepherd works on us, disciplines us, and works to have a stronger relationship with us to keep us on the right path. It is a constant work.
God wants to cultivate a relationship with us so strong that we are close to Him and He can simply speak to us and we follow. He wants to help us overlook all the distractions of life to walk closely with Him. It reminds me of the song “just a closer walk with Thee” as this should be the desire of our hearts.
God speaks to us through His word. He molds us, challenges us, disciplines us, and develops that close relationship that He wants. Are we simply following Him by listening to His voice, or are we facing more work because of our being distracted and stubborn?