Today, if you hear his voice…~Psalm 95
Has one line of Scripture ever stopped you from reading any further?
Is “today” truly this day or the day the psalm was written?
What are the implications for “if you hear his voice”?
As a spiritual director, I am forever encouraging others to pay attention to what God is saying and doing in their lives. Listening to the Lord is not easy. And new each day you and I face the challenge of both hearing and responding well to God’s voice.
Our prayers often echo the psalmist’s pleas for help in recognizing God’s leading. In John’s gospel, Jesus tells the disciples what to expect when listening for the Lord’s voice.
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. ~John 10:1-5a (MSG)
First there is an awareness of Jesus walking along the spiritual landscape of our lives with us. With patience and perseverance, a distant hope becomes a gateway for God’s goodness and mercy. As Jesus walks us right up to that hope, we will know its a place of beginning again because the opening is named “_your name’s__ way out.”
I have no idea if today will be the day Jesus, our Shepherd, calls your name or mine. However, I do know today is a good day to begin again paying more attention to our Shepherd’s leading than the rustling of doubts and dilemmas.
They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it. ~John 10:5b (MSG)
Slowly and evermore surely, I recognize God’s voice as a benediction of familiar words of hope!
I pray you do as well.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~Romans 15:13
If you are a spiritual director, how can recognizing Jesus voice in your own life equip you to listen well to others?
If you have a monthly spiritual direction practice, how can your spiritual director help you face the challenge of listening to and responding well to God’s voice?