New International Version
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Often, I’ve heard statements like, “God told me (fill in the blank).” Sometimes, I’m not sure what to make of that when I hear it. I do think we have to be discerning, especially when someone claims God told them something regarding what someone else should be doing. In my own life, usually when I believe I should do a particular thing, be it giving a charitable offering or helping someone in need, it is because of a “feeling” I get that tells me this is what Jesus would want me to do.
I do feel blessed that I can point to one specific instance in my life when God gave me a message that was as clear as if I heard his spoken words. This happened when I was a much younger man. In a dream, I was soaring over the ocean’s shore, à la Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I suddenly swooped down and zoomed in on my father standing on a cliff looking over the ocean. I immediately awoke knowing I had been given a message to witness to my father. So, I know these things do happen. Some who are more attuned to God may have clear messages of this or other types much more often.
In my own life experiences, it seems that most of what we need to know about the way to treat others and what we should believe in are written in the Word of God. I think that during the times in my life when I spend more time in His Word, I am more apt to get that “feeling” mentioned above. As John wrote, “My sheep listen to my voice.” It is much easier to listen to God if you’ve already been reading what he’s been telling you all along in the Bible.
by Chet Gilmore