Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd.” His sheep “follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:11, 4)
They follow his voice because they know him and because they trust him. In light of this, they do not listen to the voice of a stranger (verse 5).
Thinking of the shepherd-sheep relationship, Neil Anderson and Timothy Warner provide a helpful and encouraging insight: “Knowing the Shepherd’s voice is not a matter of formal education. It is the result of spending lots of time with Him.”*
Yes, study is important. But being a theological scholar is not a prerequisite to knowing and following the voice of Jesus. The sheep described in John 10 didn’t go to night school to figure out who to trust and who loves them most—the shepherd or the fiend always looking to sneak in over the wall.
They spent lots of time with him.
The same is true for us and our Good Shepherd. Spending time with him happens in worship, in prayer, in Bible reading, in fasting, in study, in fellowship, and in serving. In fact, whenever your mind is proactively fixed on him and on living in his grace and truth, you are spending time with him.
There’s no better time spent than time spent with God. It will enrich you. And because it enriches you, your life will be better aligned with God, and you will be a greater source of help and hope to the people you care about.
Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd.” His sheep “follow him because they know his voice.”
–*Neil T. Anderson and Timothy M. Warner, The Essential Guide to Spiritual Warfare (Minneapolis: BethanyHouse, 2000), 22.