The HTC staff had gotten together in the cafe at Harvestime.  The children were in the nursery in the adjoining room.  One of them cried out “mom!!” and instantly one of the parents responded and went to see what the problem was.  There was no way that I could discern who was crying out, but that parent knew the voice of their child and responded to it.  A couple of thoughts come to mind as I think back on that small thing happening.  There were so many children making a lot of noise in the other room and all the moms were with us yet the cry broke through the clutter and got a response. 

John 10:3 states, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”  Stop and think about this verse for a moment (The definition of “Selah.”)  God is opening a gate for us to come closer to him, then he calls us by name.  Talk about intimacy and opportunity both coming together.  Jesus, the gatekeeper, is opening up the gate so there is no barrier between us and Him.  Then He is calling us out by sounding our name.  It is one thing to know someone famous, but when they know us that is a new level.  God Himself is calling us out to get to know Him better.  The one thing that is needed is the sheep recognizing the voice of God and responding to it.  The mother heard and knew their child’s voice because of time spent with that child.  I wonder how many opportunities are missed because we don’t recognize when Jesus is calling us away with Him. 

Here are a couple of ways I work on hearing God’s voice.  I read the Bible, but not with any set plan of even getting through a chapter.  I read until something highlights for me and then I stop.  I mark these highlights down either by copying them or remembering where it was.  It is amazing to me how I can be impacted by something and a few hours later, I can’t even remember what I read.

I am just starting to realize it takes work to hear a voice.  There is a lot of noise around us and it is not easy to quiet ourselves to hear from God.  I can’t be watching Youtube videos and then say, “I am going to spend time reading the Bible because my mind is not ready to hear.”  My wife always states the importance of eye contact and I am working on this, but in my relationship with God, I have to stop and just rest for a moment before I start to read. 

These are just a few things that work for me.

God has opened up a gate to come near Him and He is calling out to us.  Let us not miss this opportunity because we don’t hear His voice.