“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me» (John 10:27).
One of the main skills that social animals must learn is to recognise the important people in their social environment,» points out neuroscience professor Keith M. kendrick, in his article «Getting to Know You: How Do Animals Recognise Each Other and Us.» Speaking of sheep, this Cambridge University professor indicates that they have social and emotional recognition skills that are highly sophisticated since they use faces, voices, and smells to identify distinct individuals. He also affirms that these animals are capable of recognizing and remembering different sheep or human beings for several years and they seem to have a certain ability to create mental images of people’s faces even if they are not present.
For human beings, one of the main abilities to be developed is recognizing the voice of the most important person in their life: the voice of the Good Shepherd. How do you differentiate His voice from that of a stranger? How do you develop the ability to identify His voice when there are so many dissenting voices which claim to be true?
The inspired writings indicate that following the voice of the Good Shepherd entails obeying God’s will, and to help us, the Lord mainly uses three methods. First, God reveals His will to us through His Word, the Holy Scriptures. There is no need to ask God about those subjects that are written and clearly identified as «Thus says the Lord,» since God will not answer differently from what He has previously declared. Secondly, His voice is also expressed in providential works. There are extraordinary real-life situations which God allows to occur to guide our way; however, we can only accept them as such if we know Him and have a relationship with Him. Finally, «Another way in which God’s voice is heard is through the appeals of His Holy Spirit, making impressions upon the heart, which will be wrought out in the character.» (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, ch. 58, p. 512).
Each of these methods of recognition becomes more accurate the more it is used faithfully, and when there is a constant personal relationship with the good Shepherd. Now think about this: do you yearn to be directed by God wherever He wishes to guide you? Then start by reading the Scriptures and ask Him to give you the courage and strength to live your life according to His will.
Those who do so can expect Jesus to grant them «eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of [His] hand» (John 10:28).