You can depend upon the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit of God to guide you in situations.
Alright, thank you very much. Always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I never forget that there are people twisting those dials and watching over the transmitters, that make possible the broadcasting of the Gospel. God bless you, my friends. And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Yes, I wait to hear how you are. Some people say they answer me regularly and that’s encouraging, [chuckle] glad to know somebody is in a receptive and responsive frame of mind. Well, I trust things are alright at your house, and I wanna go on with you, in these precious moments we share together, commenting on some of the truths we find in those early verses of John Chapter 10.
Our Lord Jesus said, “The sheep hear His voice. He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out.” That’s about as far as we got, the last time we got together. Now, in Verse Four, these are the words that we read, “When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” Now, when He putteth forth His own sheep, there is a sense, in which, when you decide to make the Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of your life, it involves action. It involves action on a new scale. ‘Out’ is the word, not ‘in’ comfortably, in the sheepfold, but out into a world where there are unknown situations and unknown dangers. It involves new obedience when you make the Lord Jesus, Lord of your life. It says, “He putteth forth His own sheep.” Now, Psalm 23 says, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His own name’s sake.”
Oh, yes, the sheep may not know it, but the shepherd has in mind the green pastures, and the quiet waters, and the protection, even in the valley of the shadow, and the table spread in the presence of one’s enemies. Yes, the shepherd has in mind some things, but the sheep may not know it. I’m speaking, I’m sure, to someone this very moment, who’s in a situation, where you say, “I don’t know what God has in mind. I’m so perplexed. I really don’t know what the will of God is for me in this matter.” It may have to do with changing of your job. It may have to do with a domestic home situation. It may have to do with your education or a choice of career. It may have to do with your choice of a life companion, a fellow or a girl in whom you’ve been interested.
I don’t know what it is, and I don’t really need to know what it is, but I’m certain that some of you, bless your heart, are facing situations that are perplexing, and you don’t quite know what lies ahead, and that can be so unsettling. Anything I tell you, I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to say, “Yes, I’m here, but I don’t know what tomorrow’s gonna bring and which way I’m gonna turn.” It doesn’t feel good, does it? Well, thank God, you don’t have to follow your feelings. It says, “When He putteth His own sheep out.” Look, if you have decided that the Lord Jesus is indeed your Lord and your Savior, then you are in His care, aren’t you? First Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” “You’re His concern,” is what that means.
So if you’ve trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you really are in His care, aren’t you? Yes, you are. If that be so, and since it is so, then even though you don’t know where you’re headed, He knows. Even though you don’t know where you’re headed, He knows. We had an ocean crossing many years ago in a boat that was not fully loaded. I don’t think it had very much of a cargo at all, so it rode very high on the water. And so it was, that on our voyage on toward the US, we ran into what they told me was the tail end of a hurricane, which was, well, it was pretty much of a blow. The waves, they told me, ran about 45 feet high. And that lightly loaded ocean liner would rear up, and go over the crest of a wave, and the propellers would come out of the water, and the whole ship would shudder and shake, as we went down again into the trough of the wave with a big smack that jarred your molars, and then back up again. It was quite a storm.
And I remember inquiring of somebody, “Is it alright? Are we headed alright?” And with complete confidence, someone said, “Well, the captain’s at the wheel, we’re alright. The captain’s at the wheel, we’re alright.” Now, you may be in some stormy weather, some of you most certainly are, but everything depends on whether or not the shepherd is leading you out, or to change then the figure of speech, whether or not the captain is at the helm. Have you, as a matter of fact, given control over to your Blessed Lord? Have you told Him that you’re His, without any reservation, and that you’re trusting Him, no matter what? No matter what, you’re trusting Him? “When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them.” Now, when you stop to think of that phrase, it is so precious, isn’t it? “He goeth before them.”
There’ll never be an experience that God asks you to go to through, but that He has gone ahead. I have found this out so often in my own life, things about, which I may have been complaining, or of which I was afraid, I found that the Lord Jesus had planned it out, and that He’d been there for me. He says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” And you can be sure, beloved, you can be sure of the presence of your Blessed Lord, your good and your great shepherd. “He goeth before them.” And it says, “The sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” You may not always be able to see the shepherd, if it’s dark, or gloomy, or foggy, or stormy, but you can hear His voice. They know His voice.
I had an interesting experience just the other day. I love dogs, and cats, and all sorts of pets, you know that. I miss our Doberman, who went to wherever pets go, on Christmas Eve, a year or so ago. Had a heart attack, and was gone, and I miss him. He thought he was people and I never disillusioned him. [chuckle] But there’s a great, big, black, friendly dog named Schultz at the Sun Oil station, not too far from us, and I stop there sometimes. And once in a while, he’ll flatter me by coming up, and licking my hand, and wagging his tail, and saying hello. But other occasions, he pays me no attention whatsoever. And when I come in to pay my gas bill, I’ll say, “Hello, Schultz,” and he won’t move. His eyes are open. He knows I’m there, but he won’t move. One time, however, when I said that, and he didn’t move, his owner came in, and said just one word to him, and with a bound, the dog was on his feet, and at his master’s side. [chuckle]
A lot depends on who’s talking, doesn’t it? Oh, yes. Of course, it does. “The sheep,” it says, “Know His voice.” Now, a couple of thoughts about that, beloved. Number one, cultivate a sensitivity for the voice of your Lord. It means, be in the Word of God day by day. Don’t depend just on somebody’s preaching. Don’t depend on what somebody says to you about the Bible. You get into the Word and let the Lord speak to you from His Word. You’ll never be led astray when you’re studying God’s Word and praying over it. “They know His voice,” the voice of God is in the Bible. And then, make a habit of listening for what God says to you when you pray. Don’t just go through your laundry list and say, “In Jesus’ name, Amen,” and then jump up, and run off, and forget it.
Take time to listen, to listen to what God has for you in answer to your prayer. Always have pencil and paper, pen and paper. Get yourself a little blank book at the Five and Dime, and date the pages with the day, the date on which you’re praying. And then after you’ve poured out your heart to God in prayer, just be there for a moment in prayer, and in reverence, and in adoration, and in worship, and listen for what the Lord may whisper to your own heart. You’ll be surprised at some of the precious things the Lord says to you by the indwelling Spirit of God, if you’ll take time to listen. “The sheep know His voice.” Listen. Cultivate the habit of listening for the voice of the Lord.
By and by, you’ll find out that there are some situations, which could be humanly defended, but which you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, because the voice of God said, “Don’t do it.” There are some situations, and some procedures, or some attitudes, or some words, which you might defend in an argument, but which God in His quiet voice has said, “Hey, don’t do it.” Or on the other hand, there are some things, which you might ordinarily shy away from, but which God in His loving voice has said, “This is what I want you to do.” The voice of God speaking quietly in your own heart, after you’ve been in His Word, and when you’ve prayed, and poured out your heart to God, oh, then, listen, and write down what He says to you.
Whatever God says to you in such quiet moments will always agree with His Word. He will never lead you, nor will He speak to you in anything that contradicts His revealed Word. “To the law and to the testimony, for if they speak, not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them,” said Isaiah. So whatever God says to you will always agree with His Word. But you can depend upon the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit of God to guide you in situations where you need His divine guidance, “When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” You may not be able to see your way clearly, you may not understand all that’s happening, you may not know the end result of God’s purposes for you, but you can recognize His voice.
Edwin Orr slipped away to be with the Lord last year, I guess it was, or so. A dear man of God he was, many of you have heard him speak and read his books. He told the story of something that happened during the days when he was a chaplain. He said there was a family in an Eastern city, I think he said it was Baltimore, if I’m correct, but I couldn’t be sure, now, anymore. But it was an Eastern city somewhere. And so the chaplain went to this particular address, and rang the bell. The lady came to the door and said, “Are you Mrs So and so?” She said, “Yes.” “Well,” he said, “I have some official business with you from the military. Could I come in?” She said, “I don’t know what business you could have. My husband is declared missing in action. We’ve had a memorial service for him. I’m trying somehow to put the pieces of my life together.”
“Oh no,” he said, “I do need to talk with you. Let me come in.” So she let him in and he sat down. He said, “What would you say, if I told you your husband was still alive?” Her eyes filled with tears. She said, “You gotta be joking and I think that’s a very poor joke, sir.” “No,” he said, “If I could use your phone, please.” And so he got the phone, and dialed the number of the base hospital out on the West Coast, to which this dear man had been brought, and got the hospital, then he got the proper ward. And then he asked for Sergeant So and so. And when the man answered, then he handed it over to the wife, and he said, “Now, just say hello.” And she said, “Hello. John?” And then she looked up, put the phone down momentarily, and said, “That’s him, alright. I just heard his voice.” [chuckle] Yes, beloved. “I just heard his voice.” You can always be sure of your Savior’s presence, because the sheep hear His voice.
Holy Father, in Jesus’ name, grant us to be sensitive to the voice of our Lord. I ask in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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