Search here...

He Leadeth Me: Learning the Voice of God

Learning the Voice of God

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 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 name’s sake.” – Psalm 23: 1-3

A shepherd is one who tends and rears sheep and is responsible for the care and well-being of his flock. He leads them to waters for refreshing, to find nourishment and to protect them from whatever harm may come upon them. In John 10:11, Jesus says “I am the Good Shepherd…”. In like fashion, Christ wants to do the same for us – provided we let him. 

Sheep are obedient and highly dependent creatures and are attuned to their master’s voice as they follow keenly his every direction. In popular culture, the term sheep has been used to describe one who doesn’t think for themself but mindlessly follows others; as humans, this is the exact opposite of what we endeavour to be. Interestingly though, this is the animal that was used by Jesus to describe the expectation he had of his followers.

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” John 10:14.

To be led of God, we ought to know His voice, and be able to differentiate His leading and influences from all others trying to control us. “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” John 14:5.

Joseph Gilmore, author of the popular hymn ‘He Leadeth Me’ (written during the American Civil War) had this to say after penning the hymn:

“it was the darkest hour of the Civil War. I did not refer to the fact – that is, I don’t think I did – but it may have subconsciously led me to realize that God’s leadership is the one significant fact in human experience, that it makes no difference how we are led or whither we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us”. 

How, then, do we learn the voice of our Good Shepherd so we may follow his faithful leading? 

  • By spending time in his word: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” John 15:5
  • By meditating on and committing to heart & memory that which we’ve read and studied: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” Joshua 1:8.
  • Through constant, earnest prayer: “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” Psalm 145:18
  • Receiving his direction & affirmations as he sends them through other believers: “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” Acts 9:17.

Like Elijah, who heard God in the stillness and not in the wild wind or the earthquake or even the fire (1 Kings 19:11-13) so too we must separate to a quiet place so we can hear as our shepherd speaks to us.

The more we come in contact with who God is, the easier it will be for us to recognize His voice leading us. Let us purpose in our heart to be diligent in study and persistent in prayers. 

“…He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” Psalm 23:3.

As you endeavour to become more intimate with God, be confident that He will never lead you contrary to his character of righteousness, goodness and mercy. Rest assured you are in the hands of a loving master who will let no harm come to you under his faithful watch. 

Will you allow him to lead you to rest, to peace and refreshing? 

Pray: Lord, help me to know your voice. Only in you can I find true rest and protection. Lead me to righteousness for your name’s sake. Teach me to follow your lead without fear or reservation, especially when I’m unsure about the destination. Protect me from all that is meant to harm me and help me to trust you implicitly. Amen.