The Necessary Voice

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: John 10:1-21; Prov 4:11-13

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
John 10:4
And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

Knowing His voice – how important and yet lacking this is in the lives of many Christians! Some have given up hearing God’s voice altogether, having decided that all one needs to do is read the Bible. The Bible is objective, but hearing a “voice” is subjective – they would say. Yet, they do not realise that their reading of the Bible is subjective as long as it is “theirs”. One could read the book of Acts and decide that we should declare the gospel openly and loudly in Shenton Way, regardless of what the authorities say. Another would read the same book and decide that such an action is unnecessary. So who is the wiser of the two? Only he who hears the Voice.

As a pastor, and esp. as a pastor “in charge”, I have to make many decisions – big and small, complex and more complex. For most of these decisions, the Bible does not give clear guidance – e.g. do we cancel Christmas morning services so that the church can be a family of faith in an entirely different setting, like the Sports Hub? The critique would say – applying the Bible is common sense! But I would ask – who’s “sense”, and please, define “common”? If only the crowds had heard His voice, they would not have cried out in unison – “crucify Him!”.

Lord, teach me, teach me to hear You. Help me to be willing to follow, even if what I hear is not to my liking.


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