Have you ever seen a Georgia Tech football game? If you have, you may have noticed the group of mustard yellow people on the front row of the student section. They are affectionately referred to as the Gold Fellows. They are the nuts who spend two plus hours painting themselves with yellow acrylic paint and black letters on their chests, whacky yellow wigs, and carry pompoms in their shorts and hands. They take school spirit to a whole new level.
Needless to say, my son, a former high school mascot, wanted to be a part of this group and set out to join the them almost from the moment he arrived on campus. He called us the day of the first home game to announce he was going to “paint up” for the game. The game was on ESPN 3, which we don’t get, so we had to watch the game online. Sam had communicated with his father before the game and Mark said Sam would have a clown face. As we watched the game, the camera man zoomed in on the Gold Fellows and I screamed, “That’s Sam. I heard him talking!” Mark immediately told me I was wrong, because that guy had an “A” on his chest, instead of a clown. When we later saw pictures of Sam from the game, he did, in fact, have an “A” on his chest. “I knew it.” I declared. I knew, without question, I had heard my son’s voice. I would recognize it anywhere. How? Because we’ve spent the past eighteen years together talking multiple times a day, day in and day out. There was no confusion on my part. I could pick his voice out in a crowd.
Jesus refers to Himself as the Shepherd and He refers to us as sheep [John 10:1-5]. He goes on to say He calls out to His sheep and His sheep know His voice [John 10:3-4]. Verse 5 states, “But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
So how do we reach the point where we recognize the voice of God when we hear it? The same way the sheep know their shepherds voice… the same way I knew my son’s voice, even when he was dressed up like a squirt of mustard… relationship. Jesus invites us to enter into relationship with Him through His death on the cross [John 3:16]. Those who accept His invitation have the opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with Him, just as He has with the Father [John 17:21]. The more time we spend with Jesus, through prayer and the study of His Word, the more familiar we become with His voice. Then, when the enemy comes with the sole purpose of doing us harm, we, like the sheep, can run from him and to Jesus [John 10:10, 1 Peter 5:8]. He is always a refuge for His children [Psalm 9:9, Psalm 46:1].
Do you recognize the voice of God? If not, do not be alarmed. You can recognize His voice, if you’re willing to invest time with Him to become familiar with what He says and how He says it. He’s ready, able, and willing. Are you?
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