My friend, Cindi, says I change hairstyles like most people change socks. It’s true. I love to try new hairstyles. I have watched “What Not to Wear” with my daughter and watched women cry when their long hair gets cut off. I’ve never been too attached to my hairstyle. I used to freak my hairdresser out because I would walk in with hair below my shoulders and want her to cut it off to the top of my neck without a care in the world. One day, I surprised my daughter, as well as my hairdresser.
When Laura was in first grade, I took her to school with my hair past my shoulders and in a ponytail. She knew I was getting my hair cut while she was in school, but she assumed it would be a typical trimming of the ends and nothing new. Instead, I had Wende cut all of the length off and shape it into a new fun hairstyle. When I arrived at school to pick Laura up, I walked to her classroom door and called her name. She looked at me, but I could tell she wasn’t sure who I was. When I continued to talk to her, her face lit up and she ran into my arms yelling, “Mommy!” While it took Laura a moment to recognize me by sight, she could recognize my voice immediately.
Jesus told a parable in John 10 about sheep recognizing the shepherd’s voice and how they will never follow a stranger’s voice [John 10:2-5]. I heard a pastor tell in Biblical times, shepherds would take their sheep into a community pen when traveling with them. All of the sheep would mix together in the pen and the way a shepherd would claim his sheep the next day was to call them out. They would recognize his voice and come out of the pen with him. Others, who were not his sheep, would back away from him, allowing the shepherd to leave with only his sheep. In order for this to happen, the sheep had to really know their shepherd’s voice and be able to distinguish his from others.
Laura had trouble seeing who I was when I first entered her classroom; however, she recognized me immediately when I spoke to her. Other children in her classroom didn’t realize who I was until Laura came running to me.
Laura is my daughter. She spends a lot of time with me, talking with me, listening to my direction and pouring out her dreams and concerns to me. Since we spend time together, she was able to immediately recognize my voice.
If you spend time with the Father, reading the Word and in prayer, you will come to recognize His voice. No one will be able to lead you astray, because you will know if the voice speaking to you is a stranger or your Father’s voice.
2 Peter 2:1 tells us there will be false prophets in our day. The only way we will be able to recognize a false prophet and avoid being misled is to know the Father’s voice so we can recognize it among others. Then, when a false prophet comes, we- like sheep- can back away and remain faithful to the Father.
I challenge you to spend time with your Shepherd. He’s calling you. Do you hear Him?