It is an amazing thing in action.
As a mom, I have experienced this recognition, maybe you have too?
The tubular play structures are such a lure for kids; our kids used to love climbing in and through them when they were little. These places are crowded and full of kids shrieking with excitement & laughter. Kids are happy, parents are happy. All is a wonderful experience until you cannot see your child anymore!
This happened to me.
Suddenly I noticed that my youngest son was nowhere to be seen. Adults are not allowed into these climbing structures so panic easily set in because I could not locate a visual of my son. Seeking out an older sibling, I implored him to take a trek through the play structure to find his brother; alas, minutes later the oldest emerges with the story that tells me that younger brother is stuck in fear inside one of the tubes and he points to the target tube. Luckily, it had a nearby entrance that I could get close enough to so that I could call out his name.
The tube was full of noise echoing the engagement of many other children. Even still, I called out my son’s name, loud as I could. He heard me and answered back calling, mommy(! ), in between sobs. I continued encouraging him to proceed in his climb, step by step, so he could reach the next outlet…all the while assuring him that I would be there ahead of him. And of course I was. And my son was rescued.
Here it is: recognition in action.
My son recognized my voice and trusted me because of who I am to him, and followed my voice.
And so it is likewise in the Truth explained by Jesus himself. John 10 says that “the sheep listen to his voice” (v. 3a). Jesus says he is the Shepherd and his sheep hear him. “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out “ (v.3b). The understood picture is that sheep are in the pen and the shepherd is leading them out for green pasture. “…he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4. The sheep trust that the shepherd is going to care for them, provide for them, and give them everything they need: food and protection.
So, the question IS: Are you willing to be a sheep?
My friend Julie was.
In the middle of a Christmas Party many of us were lured into enacting out the Christmas story. Groups were practicing their parts in nearby clusters – as I was being a “door to the Inn” – I glanced over and saw my friend Julie on the floor in the midst of her group. Everyone else was standing, but she was on the floor! Dressed for a Christmas party, Julie was on all fours and decorated with a mash of cotton balls on her head! OBVIOUSLY she was a sheep!
First, she submitted to the plan for her skit. She was willing to be a sheep.
Are you willing to submit and claim your part as a sheep?
Second, she got on all fours; no more humble position could she have taken while dressed for a Christmas party!
Are you willing to be as humble in your heart before the Shepherd?
Cotton balls on the head made her part scream, awesome! Simple obedience to the total involvement of her part made the whole thing work.
So, third: Are you willing to obey and follow along to make the whole thing work?
Plain and simple, here’s my pitch:
Do you recognized His voice and will you trust Him because of who He is and follow His voice?
The Shepherd is Jesus. And He is calling your name! He wants to lead you out of the dark pen of a sin and into the pasture of eternal life. He will be there ahead of you. He will provide all you need: food and protection. Food for body and soul. Protection from the darkness and all that endangers the soul.
Once again, are you willing to submit to, be humble before, and obey the voice that calls to you?
He knows your name my friend.