John 10:27 (NIV) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT) But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
The word listen has two meanings: Listen as in the ability to hear, and listen in the sense of obeying. To hear and to obey is the dependent relationship that the sheep have with their shepherd—one of recognition and obedience—being known by God and living in joyful obedience.
When we look at this passage in 1 Samuel 3, we see that Samuel was someone who at first didn’t know how to hear the Lord, but was willing to obey. But Eli was someone who knew how to hear, but was unwilling to obey. This brings up the issue of listening, which is not only about learning to hear the voice of the Lord, but to listen and obey the words of the Lord. This is what Samuel learns and later in his life tells king Saul—to obey is better than sacrifice. It is about the ears that can hear, and the heart that lives in obedience.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we pray for ears that can hear you, and hearts that will obey you fully. We ask for the outpouring of your Spirit and your salvation, so that others will also hear and obey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “There is nothing that our God can’t do” by Passion (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following scripture and prayer:
Psalm 29:2-5, 8, 11 (NLT) A psalm of David. 2 Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. 5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; 8 The voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake; 11 The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.
Isaiah 55:8-11 (NIV) 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when you speak everything changes! Your voice brings breaks through, your voice gives strength and peace, and your voice stirs new faith in us. Oh, how we love your words! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Samuel 3:3,10 (NIV) 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
“Samuel is a model for us in this; when he was a little boy in the tabernacle he heard the Lord calling his name. His response was, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’ (1 Sam. 3:10). Many of us reverse those words: ‘Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking …’ Let us adopt Samuel’s approach. Prayer isn’t simply about talking at God; it involves learning the art of listening to him too. We grow in hearing God speak as we grow in relationship with him. As we get to know him we start to hear whispers where before there seemed to have been none.” (Everyday Supernatural)
Do you remember the first time when you heard the Lord speak to you, and you knew it was the Lord? God called Samuel by name, which means that the Lord knew him intimately already, and was now inviting Samuel to a deep relationship, where he is now to hear God’s voice and obey it fully. Today, let’s be open and desire to hear the voice of the Lord in the secret place of prayer.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, speak for your servant is listening. Take us to the secret place of prayer and encounter with you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “The Secret Place” by Phil Wickham (click here).
John 14:6-7 (NIV) 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
2 Corinthians 3:14 (NLT) But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.
“Jesus defines exactly what the ‘the way’ is, and it is not what but who. Jesus is the way…Jesus is the way in that he is the only mode by which the Christian existence and participation in God are made possible and accessible. Jesus fulfills this by means of his death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father.” (Exegetical Commentary on the NT on John. Edward Klink)
When we belong to Christ, this is the incredible reality that we have been brought into—the daily living where God actually speaks to us! For he is alive, that he is the Lord who created us, and now in Christ we hear the Lord speaking to us, for this is what the gospel has afforded us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that you have removed the veil from our eyes. We believe in you, that you are the Savior, our Lord, and our God. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Let it be Jesus” by Christy Nockels (click here).
John 10:27 NIV My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 15:14-15 NIV
You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
From the beginning of Genesis, we witness the doctrine of our God as the one who speaks to his people. This can be seen in the way the Lord spoke with his servants: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Prophets, etc. The Lord speaks as he established the covenant relationship (of love) with his people. In John 10:27, Jesus expresses this covenant of love by saying “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The word “listen” has both the connotation of recognition (ability to hear) and also of obedience. In this verse we are given a snapshot of the love and dependent relationship that the sheep have with their shepherd—one of recognition and obedience—being known by God and our joyful life of obedience.
“Obedience is key to friendship with God, but before we obey, we first need to listen. It is a huge declaration from Jesus that he wants to share all the family secrets with his friends. He actually says, ‘Everything.’ Let’s just stop for a moment. We could lie down and ponder these words for three weeks and still not fully grasp them. ‘Everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’” (Everyday Supernatural, Kindle Location, 1346)
Prayer: Lord Jesus you are our shepherd who fully knows us, and as your sheep may our lives be marked by joyful obedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “The Lord Our God” by Kristian Stanfill (click here).