Are You Quick to Recognize Your Shepherd’s Voice?

“Mom, look at the puppies.” I pull up a chair next to our daughter to watch the video showing the available puppies from the “poodle farm” where we got our standards.

“Woof.” I turn as our dog Strider pounces, front paws landing on the table. Tail wagging, he barks and pokes his nose toward the computer screen. Ginny and I exchange glances and laugh. What drew him? Had he heard dogs barking in the background? I watch him and realize he recognizes the woman’s voice.

The owner introducing the puppies also tends the pregnant moms and puppies. Strider heard this woman’s soothing words every day in his mother’s womb and as a new puppy. Strider was only a couple of months old when we adopted him. Yet four years later, he still knows her voice.

I thought of Psalm 139.

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139: 13-14 NASB 1995).

Our good Shepherd has been with us from the day of our conception. In fact, He knew us before He formed us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 1:4-5). We know children absorb the gospel more easily than adults. Could it be they recognize the Spirit’s voice?

Strider’s recognition of his early caretaker’s voice raised another question. If my dog couldn’t forget his first caretaker, how do humans deny God’s existence and voice? I believe Romans 1 provides answers.

My dog’s recognition of his early caretaker’s voice raised another question. If my dog couldn’t forget his first caretaker, how do humans deny God’s existence and voice? #faith, #listen Share on X

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:18-22 NASB 1995 emphasis added).

Despite humans’ fallen nature, those who reject God are without excuse. Atheists suppress the truth God made evident to them. Willful rejection of God and refusal to give Him the thanks, worship, and honor He deserves snuffs out the light they once possessed.

The further people depart from God the more darkened their understanding becomes, until people can’t tell the difference between kindness and cruelty and right and wrong. But those who receive the light given them and the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ receive more light. And walking in the light opens our ears to God.

How’s Your Hearing?

Departing from a life of faith muffles believers’ hearing too. If you’re concerned about your spiritual hearing, consider the following list from Romans 1.

  • Am I suppressing truth in unrighteousness (in words, actions, or thoughts)? If so, confess this to God and realign yourself with His word (Psalm 19:7-14). True repentance and faith restore spiritual hearing.
  • Do my habits, including how I treat others and myself, honor God? If not, ask God to make you more God-conscious. Practice abiding in Christ. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • Am I a thankful person, or do I regularly complain over some aspect of myself, my circumstances, or others (Psalm 139:14)? Practicing thanksgiving demonstrates faith (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Substitute those unproductive “I wish” phrases with “Thank you, Jesus” phrases. “For we live by believing and not by seeing” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT).

The closer we walk with Jesus the more in tune with His voice we become. And when we hear His gentle whisper our hearts will leap for joy as my dog Strider did.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28 NASB 1995).

If you’re concerned about your spiritual hearing, here are some practical tips to help. #hearGod Share on X

Comment here.


Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouragements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

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  1. Linda Stoll

    Debbie, thanks for those 3 questions which zip right to the heart and help us evaluate what’s going on deep within. I’m so grateful for the Spirit’s voice who whispers, ‘this is the way, walk ye in it.’ May we tune out all the clamor so we can better discern His leading.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Linda, yes, I want to ever be sensitive to that whisper. Blessings to you.

  2. Nancy E. Head

    Ouch. How easily I complain. Wonderful post, Debbie. Thank you and God bless!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Nancy, that one got me too. Asking God to help me do better!

  3. J.D. Wininger

    I sometimes wonder if I react/hear quickly enough. I imagine God saying, “How many times must I call before you respond son?” Sound familiar? Our earthly parents probably asked themselves that same question, over and over. What I’ve learned is that the closer I am, the better I recognize His calling.

    • Debbie Wilson

      J.D., I agree. There are times He is loud and clear. But other times, if I’m not listening I feel I can miss His gentle whisper. I’m so thankful it is there when I seek Him.

    • Barb Hegreberg

      I love it when we learn deep truths from our pets (or our children)… God is so amazing isn’t he?!?!?

      Joining you from Grace & Truth today.

      • Debbie Wilson

        Yes He is! Thanks for visiting, Barb. Please come back.

  4. Yvonne Morgan

    Yup, you are talking to me. I need to hear this message over and over. Thanks Debbie

  5. Debbie W. Wilson

    Have a great weekend, Yvonne!

  6. Joanne Viola

    Strider delivered a powerful lesson for us all. We will recognize and follow the voice we listen to most often. May we live out each day, inclining our ear to hear the voice of the Lord. Wonderful post, Debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Joanne. That is my desire. Bless you!

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