You are no longer who you used to be. You have changed. You don’t do the things you once did, you don’t think the thoughts you once thought, you’re not that person anymore. And it’s not that you have arrived and now you’re perfect, because honey your entire life is simply about this journey of becoming. But can we take just a moment and recognize how far you’ve come? Can we recognize how you truly have changed?
There’s the you now, then there’s the BC you … Before Christ. Girl, stop dragging around those things that you did in your BC years. Maybe you had accepted Jesus back then, but you hadn’t developed a relationship with him. Understand, it’s the relationship with Jesus that has been changing you, not a scripted prayer or formal decision. RELATIONSHIP.
In this relationship with Jesus, we begin to recognize his promptings. We see things differently. We are guided supernaturally in ways we can’t explain. But really, it’s quite simple, it’s our relationship with Jesus that has changed our journey.
Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
A sheep is not the smartest of all creation. They wander. They get lost. They get in trouble. They get stuck. They are in constant need of a Shepherd. And doesn’t it make perfect sense that Jesus referred to us as his sheep. He is our great Shepherd, always guiding us, providing for us, rescuing us, and bringing us back to what is best for us.
And because of this relationship with him, we know his voice.
A sheep knows their Shepherd’s voice. They wouldn’t be able to tell you why that one voice is different, they wouldn’t be able to define it or explain it, but they just know. A sheep responds to their Shepherd while all other voices will cause them to scatter. It happens naturally and by design.
My fellow sheep, you’ve been overthinking how you will know when Jesus is speaking to you. You’ve been over-complicating the process of hearing from him and receiving his guidance. YOU WILL KNOW. The more time you spend in God’s love letter to you, the more time you invest in seeking his ways, the more this relationship will grow. And as this relationship with the Almighty grows, you will distinguish his voice above all the rest.
It’s not some magical formula or secret step-by-step instruction you must follow. If you want to better hear God, seek to grow your relationship with him. Spend time with him. As you do, his voice becomes prominent and his guidance is undeniable.
Again Jesus said, “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus KNOWS YOU. He knows you personally. He knows all about you, he knows the purpose for which you were created, he knows the potential which you carry around inside of you, and he knows the things you struggle with that get in the way. He knows it all, and he speaks to you personally and directly. As he speaks to you, you are drawn to him. Not by accident, by design.
The more we know Jesus’ voice in our lives, the more we are able to recognize outside voices as a threat. The closer a sheep grows to his Shepherd, the more he will isolate from strangers. He cannot be tricked into getting close to some dude holding an apple. If it’s not his Shepherd, he’s not getting close. If it’s not his Shepherd, then he is a threat.
Girl, if this is not from Jesus, then it is a threat. Don’t be tricked. Don’t be fooled. KNOW HIS VOICE. This is the benefit of a growing relationship with Jesus. The more we learn his voice, the more we recognize the voices that aren’t his.
If you don’t know Jesus’ voice, you may be easily swayed into listening to other voices. Voices that tell you you’re not good enough. Voices that tell you you don’t belong. Voices that tell you this will never change. Voices that tell you there’s no point in even trying. Voices that whisper in the darkness and lure you into corners you were never supposed to be sitting in.
But girl, if you’re growing in relationship with Jesus, you will know those other voices aren’t from him. You won’t be tricked by that nonsense. You won’t be lured into dark corners and deep ruts by voices that want to derail you from your God-given purpose in life. The more you grow with Jesus, the more you recognize his voice and respond to what he says, and the more you know the voices that are not him and can stiff arm that crap from a mile away.
This is how change takes place Sis. You start by recognizing the voices and knowing which one is Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
When we follow Jesus as our Shepherd, things start to change in our lives. We become a new person. Our old life is over and we have a new life, living with our new nature.
Have you ever thought about this new nature that you are given in Christ Jesus? Your nature determines what you do naturally. It’s your default. It’s your natural response according to what is inside of you and how you are wired. Because you are given a new nature in Jesus, you naturally start doing things differently! You don’t have to try to twist and contort yourself to do the things you are supposed to do forever, it starts naturally flowing from you because your nature has changed.
So sis, if you feel like you’re having to work really hard at being a good person and doing good things, don’t stress … your nature is still changing. That old life is going away and your new life is beginning. Your relationship with Jesus is changing some things deep within you, and with time you will naturally be a new person.
You’re still here learning Jesus’ voice. You’re learning what he sounds like in the chaotic crowd of life’s noises. You’ll get it. And as you do, you’ll get sidetracked less and less. You’ll lose your way fewer times as you draw closer and closer to him. And it will all happen naturally because in this process, your nature is changing.
This is how it happens. You can’t explain it while it is, and you can’t really understand it fully, but you’re just like a sheep learning to follow it’s shepherd, and that voice is becoming clearer and clearer.
Ephesians 4:24 MSG “Take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”
This is the process we’re going through. God is renewing us from the inside out, changing our nature, causing us to naturally act more and more like Jesus. It’s not something we do … it’s something he does in us! We are simply the sheep responding to his voice because that’s what we’re learning to do.
Take the pressure off. Respond to his voice. You’re out of your BC years. That was Before Christ. Now you’re living in your WJ years. This is you WITH JESUS. And you WITH JESUS is a totally different ballgame.
You, with Jesus, is focused.
You, with Jesus, is driven.
You, with Jesus, is on purpose.
You, with Jesus, is moving forward.
You, with Jesus, is unstoppable.
You, with Jesus, is powerful.
You, with Jesus, is destined.
You’re living in your WJ Years. That BC stuff is over. You’re WITH JESUS now. You’re following his lead. You’re listening for his voice. You’re walking with him. These are the best years of your life! You’re changing here, getting your new nature, and soon you will just naturally start living more like Jesus.
Today, live WITH JESUS. Listen for him. He knows you and you’re growing to know him more and more. He will teach you how to tune out all the other noises and wander off less. This is the journey of your lifetime and Jesus knows exactly where he is guiding you. Just stay with Him.