John 2015: Day 12

You Are Mine

by

Today's Text: John 10

Text: John 10:1-42

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me”
– John 10:14, ESV

I went through a very dry and dark season when I wondered if God was out to get me. Everything in my life looked too good to be true, and I wondered if a great tragedy was about to befall me in order to balance the cosmic weights of justice. Fear was the language I understood and spoke most fluently. But, my fears were terrible theology cloaked in spiritual, righteous-appearing clothes. I constantly felt like the other shoe was going to drop, that God would cause something awful in my life to teach me a lesson or to challenge my devotion.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever heard that whisper of fear that God’s love is capricious?

Now, I know this isn’t the way God works. He loves us and purposes good for us. Anything that happens to hurt us, that He allows, grieves Him because He is our Father. He is our Shepherd and desires to nurture us, to lead us, and to keep us safe. The brokenness in the world—the sin, those things can hurt us—they can absolutely level us. But God does not abandon us or forsake us.

It is true, He is good and He never leaves. Do you believe that?

To come to that understanding, I went on a year-long search for the meaning of the goodness of God. If I was to serve a God, I had to know that He was good. I needed to understand if I believed God was good, and what it even meant that He was good. I prayed more in that season that ever before. I steeped myself in the words of the Bible and the words of Christian men and women who came before me.

I intimately acquainted myself with the voice of my Shepherd, and soon I recognized that the Voice of Fear I was hearing was not the voice of my Shepherd but the voice of the Liar. I was allowing myself to believe things that simply are not in the character of my Heavenly Father, and He cannot act against His character. He is good and He is righteous and He has promised life to the full for those who trust in Him. He has promised to never lose us or leave us (John 10:28).

I am my beloved’s and He is mine. He knows me, and I know Him.

Do you know Him enough to recognize His voice?

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
-Isaiah 43:1, ESV

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  • This spoke directly to me… Thank you. Praise be to Abba Father who loves us perfectly xx

  • Jesus calls us by name… Hallelujah

  • Such a wonderful passage of scripture! Love knowing He is my shepherd & the gate keeper. I cannot be “snatched away” – what a security we have in Jesus!

  • There is such love in the words of John Chapter 10. I especially like verse 14, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me”. To be known, what a beautiful thing that God knows our hearts fully. The expression of His love for us in this verse fills my heart, I just love it!

  • shamekamichelle

    Jesus will call me by my name. He is the only way for me to have access to God. I have to study, meditate, and pray in order to become familiar with His voice. Once I know Jesus' voice, I will always hear His voice. I belong to Jesus and I must know that absolutely.

  • Cecilia Moreno

    I believe I am reminded that the thoughts of how could God do this to me or allow this in my life are thoughts that are not from Him, but from the enemy who is working hard to destroy my relationship with my creator my savior . God is love a one who builds not destroys

  • Anna Eaves

    This is me. Your words and Jesus’ words in John spoke straight to me. I’ve never had anyone speak so plainly about this type of fear and I feel it so often! Thank you Hayley!

  • This is perfect and meeting me right where I am now. The past 2 years I have been praying john 10:10 – the enemy speaks so many lies to me and tried to get me to live in fear. I have learned to regognize his voice from Gods and pray john 10:10 when I hear it – sometimes out loud. I loved your honesty and words! I will not live my life in fear but abundantly as Jesus promised me I should have!

  • Wow I needed this. I have been so fearful and worried recently….for no apparent reason. God is good…he wants good for me. Not that things will always be easy or painless…but all things will work out for HIS glory.

  • This chapter reminded me that I want to spend more time hearing God’s voice. It’s so easy for me to not take time for this. One of the key characteristics of His sheep, as pointed out in verse 27, is that know his voice and then follow Him. I want to know when He is speaking and not be too busy to listen.

  • LaurenC_

    Whenever I feel like I can’t hear God’s voice, or can’t discern God’s true voice from all of the noise, I know it isn’t because He isn’t speaking to me. It’s because I am not listening, being still, and paying attention.

  • When Jesus says that he has “other sheep” and he will bring them too, does this mean that he has people that may not be believers that he will save and have mercy on? I am a nurse, and I have seen people, non believers, suffer so horribly at the end of their life, I often pray to God and plead for their salvation. Do you think he saves some of them? Or what about babies that die, or women that miscarry, are these little lives the “other sheep”?

    • Shannon Roe

      Jessica, He is primarily addressing Jewish people in this passage, and the other sheep refer to the Gentiles. For your other questions, as a woman who has miscarried
      Twice and searched this out, I find the most comfort in the passage where David and Bathsheba’s son dies. Scripture is clear that David will see him again in heaven. Most estimates put the child’s age around 2. Since we know that He knows us before we are even conceived ( Ps 139), I believe that we can trust Him with these answers. He is good, and He is trustworthy. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I think Scripture leaves some mystery on the “how” sometimes. As intentional
      As He was about what was written and included in the Bible, I think He was just as intentional about what was left out. In that tension of the mystery we are able to place our faith in Him – in His wisdom and His goodness. I hope that helps!

  • God has not given us a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)
    God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)
    God has plans for us for good and not for evil. (Jeremiah 29:11)
    When we are tempted (to fear, which is sin – the opposite of faith) we must not say, "I am being tempted by God." God is never tempted by evil and He never tempts anyone with evil. (James 1:13)
    There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (I John 4:18)
    Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27) and "Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:31)
    So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

    God is not our enemy! Satan is our accuser, the tempter, the author of confusion, the one who comes only to steal and kill and destroy, our enemy, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, etc. But God is our helper. He is not against us. He does not bring or do evil to us. He is love and He is good. Sin is in the world because it's fallen, and God "allowed" that fall to happen because He gave man free will. But Jesus took the curse of sin on the cross and we are no longer under God's wrath. I cannot accuse God of doing evil to me – ever. He is my loving Father

    • Saira

      Carrie! wow! thanks for taking the time to share that with us. I wrote down the entire entry in my journal. May the Lord continue to enlighten you of His glorious truths!

    • Eimy

      Amen amen and amen to that! I really needed these words today!

  • Sweetpea05

    That was an amazing devotion. It gave me chills as well.

  • Mary Elizabeth

    Verse 3 gave me chills- “He calls out His sheep by name”. Ladies, God knows each and every one of us by NAME! How special is that?! God cares about each and every one of our lives & He promises to always be there for us.

  • KendraC4

    This was so helpful for me. I’ve always been gripped by fear, since I was a young girl. Listing me fears and seeing what would be on the “opposite side” of my fear, I see that it is the Goodness of God. Does God really want why I want and if not, will it really be “good”. I know and have been shown time and time again that His ways are Always better than mine. So why do I still have the fear and doubt.? I pray this would all be erased and the goodness of the Father would wash over me. He will increase and I will decrease.

  • Brooke McGlothlin

    I get exactly what it feels like to wonder if God is out to get me. In 2007 I was plunged into a six year season of loss, culminating with a miscarriage. We lost 6 people in 6 years. I came through that season feeling sucker punched by God, wondering when the next disaster was going to drop. Even smaller things, like totaling our car and losing our family pet threatened to send me over the edge. Two years later, I'm still undoing some of the survival habits I developed, and I still catch myself feeling gun shy about trusting God completely, because I wonder what He's going to take if I do.

    I KNOW in my head this isn't the way my God works, and that only comes from years spent in the Word seeking to hear His voice, but when you've been through such things it's a constant fight to trust. I can say I trust one minute, and totally do, and then have fear creep in the next. It's a constant choice to believe what God says is true over what I can feel, taste, touch, smell, or see. There's victory in the choice, and over time, the choice gets easier.

  • yudenia domenech

    this is like divine revelation to me, right here, right now in this moment as I finished reading because it is exactly where I am right now. this past year has not been easy with many trials but, it has been really good in many ways, even with all the hardships God blessed me with a wonderful husband and entrusted me with one of His own children a beautiful baby girl. You would think I will be jumping up and down with joy but the truth is I have never been more scare in my life because everything its going so well that I have been just waiting for something bad to happen. I have hinder myself from enjoy the blessings that my ever faithful father have giving me, consume with fear of losing it all. In moments like this, moments of divine revelation its when I feel the closer to Him because He speaks to my heart in that moment when I most need Him and I just feel at peace. I do not know what else to say because I have so many emotions right now! But I will say that I love my father and I praise him for His infinite love! God is good!

  • Can we get a bible study focusing on God’s goodness? Something in depth to help us resist the voice of the liar and trust the voice of our shepherd?

  • Chidimma

    It’s great to read from all you ladies. Fear is something that pokes its head too often in my life. Uncertainty, anxiety and all that. Most of it comes because of the situation in my part of the world. Times like that it makes me wonder really. But I also recognize it as thoughts from the Liar and try to refocus and seriously cling to JESUS and remember that his thoughts towards me are of good and not evil.

    Love you ladies and thanks for the encouraging words. It really helps me grow.

  • I def needed this! I have been experiencing fear and doubt this week which has really been taking over my mind. After reading this devotional tonight I feel so much better just knowing that Jesus is there protecting me at all times! I feel so safe and secure being in His presence!

  • I so needed this today! I’ve been in a season of anxiety and fear and I know these thoughts are not in line with Gods promises. I need to draw closer to him and let His words penetrate my soul. I have to stop listening to the lies and step into a spirit of peace and sound mind. I need to follow my Shepherd…

  • I’ve been whistling this tune for over two years. “God- you’ve given me such good things.” And in the same breath thinking, “Will they be stripped away? When will the bad stuff come?” It’s been truly paralyzing – afraid to walk forward, further, deeper for fear of great, painful loss. The truth is that my loss is that I am not further and deeper in my walk with Christ. I’ve wasted such time worrying and begging God for continued good, when really, I don’t have to beg Him to be what He already is: good.

    Thank you for your timely words, Haley.

  • He chooses me. I am His and He is mine. God is good and I know this!! I want to search deeper for Him.

  • Not a fleeting moment of salvation long forgotten but a lifetime of sanctification. He sets apart with purpose, yet most days we appear no better than the hired hand in the story. We abandon or jump ship when we feel uneasy. Making disciples is about keeping God’s Plan A (Image bearers being fruitful and multiplying) at the forefront of your mind. It’s the attraction of your obedience to God that can result in others following you as you follow Him. Are you followable? As a teacher my students practice listening for my voice in the crowd. They close their eyes and find where the sound is coming from. I am their safe haven but also their instructor and disciplinarian. It doesn’t take long before they understand the idea of a shepherd. I can’t teach about Jesus, but for 11 years I have taught shepherd and stewardship. “The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” Talk about conviction in the face of all we run from instead of leading others out of. John 10:12-13

    • SMC

      Well said. Thank you. I want others to follow me! I definitely feel ‘set apart with purpose’, and so often I wonder what it’d be like to be ‘normal’. Thank you for helping me see that this is what draws those around me to Him.

  • God’s voice is revealed to us through our daily living – a song heard, a kind word, a written word, a friend, a devotional, a message through a pastor, a child, a parent, a spouse, and always…thru His Word- the Bible. Don’t get discouraged in thinking you don’t hear his voice in your life …… when in fact you do. I have to remind myself of this. Thank you God that you use many various ways to speak to each of us.

    • Beth Warner

      Yep, Debby, this happened to me today. Listening to the radio and it was something the Pastor said. I actually “should” have been on the phone with my brother, but he “couldn’t ” talk at that time. God’s timing is impeccable!!! Thanks.

  • Courtney

    My goodness this is what I needed today. My dad left this Earth all too suddenly this past summer when I was 37 weeks pregnant with my first baby . I have struggled with grief and feeling spiritually lost. But He doesn’t let us wander too far and I know that I am not alone for He is with me. After months of prayer I finally feel peace!

  • My dad died yesterday (it feels like a million years ago and a few minutes ago at the same time). I am leveled. But I do not feel alone. That? That's Glory. That's Love. That's Promise.

    • ClaireB

      Oh CarleeE I feel you sister – my precious mother went home to Jesus last night. It was mercifully fast and she is no longer confined by her earthly broken body and dementia. Is it tough, yes, is my dad having a hard time, yes, BUT we feel mercy,grace and the many prayers being lifted to sustain us.

      • Kelly_Smith

        Claire, I am sorry for your loss, and rejoice with you over ultimate healing! We feel the pain and sadness as we say goodbye. It is a comfort to know that our loved ones feel joy in the presence of our Lord. May God comfort your dad, you, and your family.

    • Michelle

      Just said a prayer for you and your family Carlee. I may never meet you in person, but I’m standing with you in prayer as you seek peace and comfort in the days and months to come.

    • Kelly_Smith

      Carlee, I am so sorry for your loss. Praying comfort and peace for you and your family this morning!

  • rachelkgay

    ever since my 2 year old and my 2 month entered this world, i have been exactly afraid like hayley described in this devotion tonight. the fear is crippling at times. i have been waiting for something terrible to happen because my husband and i were blessed with two wonderful babies. that makes no sense! i have been dwelling on what-ifs, which come straight from the enemy and not from my Father. HE IS GOOD!!!

    • StephanieH

      This is me. I’m constantly in fear of something awful happening to my family because things are “too good” …I needed this!!

  • I needed this today! the deafening voice of fear, doubting God’s love. I’m there. right now. And the harder I committ to studying, the more things unravel. As major as losing relationships. ..to as minor as losing precious pictures from my phone…none of it makes sense. then today, I’m reminded that I need to know my shepherd’s voice. thank you Jesus

  • The key verse from today’s devotion reminds me of a line in the song “Oceans” by Hillsong…. “For I am yours, and you are mine.” How good to be reminded that no matter where life leads me I have God to provide love, grace, and peace if I will turn to Him. And even when I don’t follow His plan, He still has me wrapped tightly in His strong embrace.

  • HealingMatthew

    We have been on a two year journey of ups and downs. It often feels like more downs than ups. And the ups always feel so tiny in comparison to the downs. I’m constantly waiting for the next bad thing. I’m afraid of moving forward bea cause of the bad that might await. Family has said ” God wouldn’t do that to you again” but I fear that this crazy path he has set us on is destined to repeat. I’m so tired from fear that I don’t spend time in the word. I miss my Father’s voice.

    • tina

      [email protected], if I may, Let me be your bridge to the Father…let me hold you up in prayer, each day, , please, it would be one sister's gift to another…to pray a way back to the Word, for there to be moments and time in your day, that could be yours to spend with the Father, to be reminded of His great love for you, your family, and most importantly Matthew…He loves you sister, with an ever lasting love, Nothing can separate you from Him, not even silence…God be with you…in my prayers…xxx

  • Antimony

    v10. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. This abundant life He describes! This is what all of us long for. And it comes from hearing and following the voice of our Shepherd. Love how this is set up. First a contrast (destruction vs abundant life), which leads to the promise (abundant life). Then He dives into the process. Hear His voice. Follow Him. Don’t get distracted by other voices. No matter how enticing they may be!

  • I have started working through Experiencing God. Today was day 1. And through the entire reading today, I prayed that I could learn to listen for and hear His voice. That I could be so closely walking with Him that I become like His shadow. How wonderful to have this prayer reinforced in today’s SRT reading. I want to follow him like a lamb! I want to KNOW His voice! Thank you for such a timely and wonderful devotional today!

  • I love verse 28 – "no one will snatch them out of my hand" – I often struggle with doubt, and Satan tries to make doubt my salvation. This verse gives me peace in knowing that I can't be snatched away from my Father.

  • Wow, I have been on a very similar journey! Just waiting for something bad to happen, or even, at the peak of my struggle with paranoia and anxiety, wondering if God really could be good when He allows such horrible, broken things to happen to His sheep. But I came (and still come daily) to the same conclusion: God is GOOD. He will provide. He (really, really) loves me. And even if something horrible happened, I would be okay but He would still be good and with me. And it WAS the key to learn to listen to Jesus’ voice. When I read the Gospels, I used to hear Jesus either as some kind of emotionless Buddha or as a little mean and annoyed. Now I hear a tender, patient voice. Hallelujah! It’s good to be His sheep :-)

  • I struggle to hear the Shepherd’s voice and often feel left out when other people hear from God. BUT I can hear his voice through His Word and trace His goodness in my life. One of the hardest parts of overcoming an eating disorder is separating yourself from the negative voices in your head. I am going to start praying today that God would give me wisdom to hear and separate his Voice from the lies of the devil and that I would only follow his voice. In the past, I have followed the lies of the devil down dark paths. Oh Jesus only you!

  • I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11
    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18.

    GOD’S LOVE IS NOT CAPRICIOUS! Praise you Abba!

    • Linda

      Oops, sent too early. Let this truth sink into my heart. Let me sing it and hear it forever into every fiber of my being. My receiving His perfect love for me frees me to love others from a full heart. Thank you for Your Word of truth Lord.

  • I am definitely in a season of fear in my life. My husband and I have been separated for 3 months now. I have no idea what’s going to happen. No one has spoken of divorce but any kind of reconciliation has also not been spoken of. I fear the truth of why he left, though I do think I know the main reasons (not infidelity). I constantly walk in a spirit of fear of what the outcome of this separation will be and the Liar is constantly in my ear telling me things to make me more fearful. I know God wants nothing more than our marriage to be saved, I know He aches and cries with me but I also know that He gives me the strength to not walk in a spirit of fear because he promises to take care of me and make beauty from ashes. I don’t want to walk in this spirit of fear but it is so hard. I know some days will be hard, I will be sad, I wil be lonely, but I need not fear when I place my trust in the Lord because He has promised He will bring make all things good for those who love and trust Him. I so want to be that person that abandons fear, it’s just such a struggle every day. I prayed last night for a word from God to encourage me in this struggle as I felt myself really slipping into a depression again and I feel as though this devotional was an answer to that prayer. I will continue to pray that I will not have a spirit of fear as I face these trials and the unknown of my situation. “He is good and He never leaves.”

    • Denise

      Kim
      I am praying for you now!

    • Nancy

      Kim, I am praying for the Lord to give you strength during this difficult time in your marriage. Give it all to Him – your fears, your tears, your worries, your depression. He can and will help you and your husband through this. And if you give it up to Him, He will give you peace.

    • Beth Warner

      Dear Lord, please wrap your arms around Kim Right Now, let her feel your presence and your peace. Also work in her husbands heart to hear you and do what you want him to. Xo

  • MGuziewicz

    Isn't it amazing how embracing the Word of God takes such a load of burden off our shoulders and heart. I nearly phyically feel the weight removed. Praise God for His Word… His Word is TRUTH.

  • Yes, I ask the same questions and have fear that everything is too good. I love the reminder that His sheep know his voice and follow Him. Lord, may I know your voice so well that I follow you without question!

  • This is a constant battle for me, discerning inner voices of fear, doubt, panic, worry..listening to those voices and acting on them vs. hearing my Lord’s voice. Thank you for this today!!

  • 1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
    2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    3 He renews my strength.
    He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
    4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
    I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
    Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
    5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
    You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
    6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

    I was journaling just now and affirming that Jesus is my good shepherd. And Psalm 23 popped into my head.

  • Joanna S.

    I am going through a time where God just feels so far away. I also wonder at times, does God just ever tire of me and my constant sins. I am ever so thankful that He loves me so much that He sent HIS son to die for those "constant sins". This time I am going through should be for me to drawl closer to Him, to seek Him out. God is just so good and wonderful.

  • citychick

    There is an awrsome book titled “A Shepherds Look at Psalm 23″ and it gives beautiful insight into the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.
    One thing that stands out to me from this scripture is how we can discern his voice in the midst of the clattering noise of the world. That way we can always find our way towards him, hos way, his truth ♡♡.

  • Thanks for the reminder to look to our Great Shepherd and not to entertain or think on thoughts of fear that so easily entangles our minds.
    Looking to Christ and His word is listening to Him as He speaks. Living and active words. He is our truth! <3

    It has been good for me to understand that this "voice" we read about in John 10 is "figure of speech," vs. 6. The people standing before Jesus were hearing His literal voice, and he was speaking to those who were NOT His "sheep," so certainly Lord Jesus must have been meaning something else other than believers hearing an inner voice. It is a figure of speech.

    Chapters 9 & 11 give some greater context to chapter 10, "My sheep hear my voice."
    Knowing this has been of great benefit to me, just thought I would share.
    May Jesus Christ be praised!

  • This devotional came at just the right time. Yesterday’s church sermon was on the Goodness of God. It was a reminder that God is a GOOD God and He desires GOOD for His children and we can see this personified through the person of Jesus . I often struggle with fear and the what if’s but God doesn’t desire for us to live in this state of tension even though it is often hard not to! After reading my ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional this morning, I was deeply reminded that whenever these concerns come to mind, I need to lean on thankfulness and to begin to thank God for what He is about to do and how He will answer my prayers! This helps us to focus on HIS presence and HIS promises that will fully sustain us!

    • Kelly_Smith

      What a great way to chase away those fears! Replace them with gratitude! It is harder to fear the unknown when you are thanking God for what is. Love it!

  • I struggle in a similar way except I have come to expect hard things simply because hard things are our norm it seems. SO, I feel underserving of good things/an easy season because I ASSUME God is trying to teach me something I gave not yet learned. Which in turn leads me to feel like I am on a hamster wheel of “needing to learn” something. I am tempted at times in wondering if God is better to others than He is to me because I am a slow-learner or deserve less. Anybody??

    • Laney

      Bridget when I came across your comment I felt the Lord’s sadness over your words. I feel He would want to tell you that ARE deserving of good things and that He wants you to start expecting good seasons and good gifts from Him. The things He wants to teach us are meant to bless us and those around us:) Im not sure if you have kids but if you do then you surely could sympathize that as a parent you wouldn’t keep putting your children on a “hamster wheel”. Even if they were slow learners you would have patience and love while teaching and you’d be there to make learning a joy not a burden. Which leads me to Matt. 7:11 “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
      God is you Abba Father and as much as you would do for your own children He does much more for you:)
      AND IF Matt.7:11 tell us He is our good Father, then when we can believe Him when He says in Jeremiah 29:13-14a
      “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart and “I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.”
      and what does Jeremiah 29:11 tell us we will find in Him?—“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I hope this encourages you today Bridget, that you are His Beloved and He takes great joy in you and He is there to refresh you and bless you. He is a great God and He wants you to expect great things from Him:)

      • Bridget

        Laney… Thank you so much for your words. For taking the time to write them. I am blessed. THANK YOU.

  • Hayley, do you have any suggestions on books to read, resources, etc that you found helpful on your journey to believe in God’s goodness and not listen to this fear? Thank you! Renee

  • Wow. Just last night I was telling my friend how great 2014 was for me and Jesus. I mentioned how I felt as though something bad was about to happen because of how great this season has been in my life- too good to be true at times. I found myself nervous and thinking that something terrible could happen soon, but all that does is strip me of thanking God now in this season of blessing. This morning’s devo brought me back to enjoy this season with God and to stop worrying/wondering if it will soon end. Because what if God only has plans for 2015 to be better than 2014?
    Trust Him, dear sisters. He will fulfill the desires of your hearts. He delights to give His children good gifts. <3

  • Does anyone have a verse that they use in times of fear to remind themselves that our Father only wants good things for us?

    • Sonya C.

      Philippians 4:6-7
      In times of fear this verse reminds us to tell God everything, ask, pray, and give thanks to Him. Then Gods peace will watch over our hearts and minds because we belong to Him.

    • Ifi

      Hi Sarah, another one I usually repeat to myself when I feel fearful is this one: For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NASB)

  • Beth Warner

    Oh Lord you know me so well. Please continue in guiding me through the battle ahead of me. You know how much I depend and lean on you for this. Thank you so much for shepherding me through this illness and bringing me closer to you.
    God bless you ladies.

  • Mollybee

    Wow I am not alone in my struggle with this fear that “this is all too good to be true” and waiting for God to bring tragedy to test my faith…. LIES! But a very real struggle for me.

    • citychick

      True…you arw def not alone ♡. Although my heads KNOWS he does not work like that, the heart battles daily. Lord, please help us to trust you. To truly trust that you want us to live with joy every moment we have breath. Give us discerment to weed out the fear so faith can grow! Amen.

  • This hit me exactly where I am! I've been so fearful for so long that I've been given so much good that surely it will be taken away soon. So I live in fear of the "what ifs". I say that God is good, but ultimately my fear expresses my unbelief. Lord, help my unbelief!

    • Molly Bronson

      Haley, sister, I’m right there too. I’ve recently been struggling with the false idea that I have to suffer a tragedy to have a meaningful testimony to share. I’ve had hardships but the Liar has lead me to believe my faith isn’t strong enough unless it has been tested more. I pray for my unbelief too.

  • Charlotte Elizabeth

    A good reminder on Monday morning following a discouraging Friday at work… I am His and He is mine! Everything else falls short.

  • Wow. Spot on. Thank you for this entry. I pray to know His voice and to seek to know HIs truth. Not the truth I invent or worry into reality. But the truth around the Creator of the Universe.

  • I am too in a season of fear and doubt. I understand that God loves and cares for me yet struggle because His definition of good can often be different than mine. I know He is dedicated to refining me and that I should rejoice in Him knowing and loving me enough to do so yet I would rather cling to my desires for good things like children than to trust that He has even better things for me when His plans are different than mine. It is so hard to remember I am His and He is good when I am fearful of the not so good tools he uses in my life sometimes.

  • Leah Renée

    Can we get like…20 more devotionals on this one please?!

    • shereadstruth

      Haha, Leah! This passage of Scripture is so rich! I'll definitely be focusing on these truths for a long time!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • batesorthodontics

    I've definitely had that "is this too good to be true?" "Is God going to take this all away to teach me a lesson?" kind of feelings and it's nice to hear that I'm no alone in that feeling, but that God isn't out to get us. It's interesting to think about the fact that it grieves God when we go through trials. He IS good and he DOES want the best for us. Thanks for today's lesson!

  • Again praying for my husband to have an encounter with God. To lay aside every weight and to recognize the schemes of Satan as it talks about in our scripture today. I need prayer to not give up and not react to what he is doing and saying bc of this funk he is in. I just need him to be strong and fight back and not become passive

  • When I first started reading this I had to go back and re-read the first paragraph because I couldn’t believe how on-point this was for me. I have struggled with this concept for years, and often hesitate to pray for certain things because I am afraid of how the prayer might be answered… Like the lord can only use bad things to draw us closer to him.
    I need to remind myself of how much he loves me and that he wants the best for me.
    So thankful for this devotion today and to know I’m not alone in these struggles!

    • Michelle

      And I had to re read your post because I couldn’t believe how much you sound like the voice in my head. I hesitate to pray for refining or put limits on God saying you can refine me but please don’t take my family members from me. How foolish I have been! It is the liar telling us to fear when things are good, because with God there should not be fear.
      Psalm 23 is a wonderful extension to the image of God as our shepherd; I will not fear for God is with us, even when things are going well and we are so tremendously blessed.

  • It is my prayer that I will listen and hear the shepherd in my life.

  • This is something that I am struggling with. The voice of fear. I too feel like things are just too perfect and that cannot be right.
    Would love to know what you studied to help you find revelation and books you read.
    In my heart I know he loves me and that this is wrong – but making my mind and heart match up is hard.
    This is my year I am determined to turn things around. To daily commit to the word and become the woman of God I dream about.

    • Holly Jean

      Hi Gina, I really struggled with this too. I saw a teaching video that completely changed my life in this regard. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Patricia King…but it was the first video session in her Glory School teaching series. The whole series is amazing- but that first one really helped me understand God’s love for me in a new way. Take care!

  • I am right there with all of you–at times having those sort of fears that life is too good and my faith is too small and this can't last. Until today I don't think I ever considered the fallacy of this–that those fears are not from God. He IS good. I pray that we would be women that study His word, recognize the shepherd's voice in our lives and also that of the enemy! I pray for discernment and wisdom and lives that are free from fear and doubt. Have a blessed Monday!

  • I may be wandering and lost at times, but that's because I've turned my Jesus GPS off. When I repent from whatever caused my wandering: a day of fear, pride, not being in the Word, Jesus navigation was never off me, He knew right where I was. His promise is to be my good Shepard and He will not loose me. ~Amen

  • Kendall_S

    "my fears were terrible theology cloaked in spiritual-righteous appearing clothes…."

    oh i can so relate to this. i am praying right now specifically for deliverance from listening the the Voice of Lies and the Liar himself…..with regards to the potential of sickness for my immune compromised son. i am ready to break free from this stronghold of fear.

    Father, break through my fears that are not based on truth. show me a healthy balance between protection of our son and an unnecessary fear based on untruth. you are the good shepherd and your Word is always true. i know your voice Father. help me to listen to it alone. amen.

  • jennifercharlotte2014

    This completely spoke to me – I'm in the season of Fear and I am letting it prevent me from entering into a real, authentic relationship with Him. Thank you for this.

  • "He Knows Me" – What a great reminder for a Monday morning. I too am one of those who thing that because I have been so blessed that something is going to happen. Thank you for this reminder today that fear is from the liar, and that Jesus is my shepherd and cares about me and loves me.

  • Thank you Lord for tending me in the flock, thank you for never giving up on me no matter how far I strayed thank you for pulling me back in. Lord you know my need and my circumstance, Lord I ask that you open my eyes and ears and heart to hear You, lead and guide my path Lord. Lead and guide my words and actions in everything I do Lord let it be Thy Will not my will. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for someone as unworthy as me. I feel like I’m always asking so right now I just want to thank You Lord for your blessings on me…

    • Kyla

      Amen!! My thoughts exactly, but I couldn’t quite get it on paper.. Thanks for posting!

  • Thank you, God. You have called me. I am yours. Nothing can separate me from the love of my Heavenly Father. Thank you that you purpose nothing but good for me today… Optimum good being that which turns me to You and your voice. Open my ears that I might hear and my eyes that I might see what you would have for me today. Thank you for calling, equipping, leading, guiding, speaking, directing, re-directing (again and again when necessary), correcting, and giving wisdom to me all the days of my life… even the ones BEFORE I recognized the voice of my Shepherd AND the days NOW that I turn away from my Shepherd to seek my own way. Please forgive me for turning away from your voice and your direction so many times. I asks that you cause a desire for you and your way to go so deep within me that I never wonder again. Thank you, God. Thank you for keeping me on your path for me.

  • What a comfort and assurance of security to have Christ as our shepherd! My husband and I were caretakers on a sheep farm for almost 3 years and we had the blessing to see this passage lived out daily as we tended the sheep, they knew our voices (and truck!), and would follow us anywhere. We also saw the fear when the thief (animals of prey) would come into the flock to steal, kill, and destroy. As danger lurks the shepherd guards and protects, just as our Shepherd protects His children from the dangers of those lurking to destroy us. We know His voice and will follow Him too. Thank you Jesus!

  • Catherine_K_L

    Sometimes we have to clear our hearts and minds of the things that shouldn't be there….clutter, the chatter and the noise before we can hear Him. Unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, fear were common distracters for me. I like to offer up psalm 51:10 to The Lord in my prayers "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." I ask Him to reveal to me things I need to confess as sin so that nothing stands between me and my Lord. I love to hear Him speak to me, through His word, through Godly counsel, through the Holy Spirit.

    Spending time alone with The Lord in prayer and in His word are necessary to hear His voice. When I think that I have no time for this is when the noise and clutter come in. The nourishment my soul receives by doing this is so satisfying that my desire to continue only grows stronger with time. It is necessary to actively pursue Him and choose to grow in order to have intimacy with God.

    Sometimes we have to ask ourselves some tough questions like do I really want to hear him? Do I really want to put forth the effort? Am I willing to make the changes? I can testify that throwing the white flag and surrendering to The Lord is the most freeing thing you'll ever do and it's a place you'll never want to leave!

    Praising Jesus as my Redeemer, my Savior and my Shepherd today!

  • ” (…) My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.” (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭27b – 30 MSG)

  • Allison Lundstrom

    this one really hit home. I am constantly worried that my life is too good to be true, that one day I will lose something so close to me or hit a huge tragedy because God has given me too much and I don't deserve it. The truth is, I don't deserve it, but because he is the good shepherd and took the place for us, I am allowed to have it! The other thing about this passage that really hit me was the idea that Jesus claims to be God's son, this concept is so much a part of our christian culture, that we forget that there was a time when no one was considered God's son, Jesus paved the way for us so that we could be named one of God's sons and call him father.

  • This message ties in perfectly with the 40 days of praying that my church is doing. As I read the devotion it was as if God is saying to me” listen to my voice”. Thank you for sharing!!

  • This goes right along with the message I heard at church yesterday. As someone who has struggled with fear and worry for most of her life, both this devotion and yesterday's sermon are really speaking to me and encouraging me. Yesterday, my pastor talked about owning our worry and not giving in to whatever the most recent "doom and gloom" stimuli makes us think (example: if we just heard about a shark attack, we are more likely to avoid going in the ocean than if the shark attack had happened but we had not heard about it). He called worrying about things that could happen "pre-paying interest" as we dwell on the "what ifs." Worry and prayer are both disciplined efforts- they use the same parts of our brains. We can train ourselves to worry about every little thing to the point of obsession or we can train ourselves to take every thought captive to God and replace our worry with prayers. It is one thing to "soberly prepare" as my pastor put it (like getting car insurance just-in-case). But we can't let our sober preparations become maniac obsessions (like being terrified every time we get behind the wheel).

    Thank you for another solid reminder that God has got my back, and I have nothing to fear. Sometimes the worries and fears of this broken world are so loud that I allow them to drown out the voice of my Savior who is commanding me not to fear, who is reminding me that even though I may have troubles in this world, He has overcome this world. And because He has overcome this world, I can be free from worry. This is huge good news for me…for all of us.

  • His voice is NOT the voice of fear. He is our Father. If we listen, we will know it.

  • “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest”

    I think the key to recognizing the Shepherd’s voice lies there in John 10:10.

    The Savior’s voice will convict, teach, or correct us – but always with love. There is never guilt, shame, or destructive feelings. That voice of pain and hurt only comes from the liar.

    Beckey
    http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

  • Kelly_Smith

    Our response to questions and fears is crucial. If we are to hear the Good Shepherd's voice–to know it and recognize it–we must spend time in His Word and at His feet. Haley's year of searching is an example of how Truth speaks louder than the lies. We cannot expect to know His voice if we do not spend time listening to Him speak. God is faithful to speak, scattering lies like darkness in the presence of Light. If I could give one encouragement to each of you, it is to continue to spend time in God's Word. Come back daily, even if His voice is quiet and you feel lost. The more Truth you hear, the better you will be able to discern the lies that threaten your faith.

    But the voice of truth tells me a different story
    The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
    The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
    Out of all the voices calling out to me
    I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
    (Voice of Truth, Casting Crowns)

    • Chelsea C.

      Couldn't agree more! As our worship pastor has said…fake it till you make it. He says this knowing that any time in the Word and worshipping God no matter how lost you feel or how hollow the action it will eventually soften your heart and lead to great transformation! So so true that the only way to know His voice is to read His Word.

      • Holly Jean

        I heard once in these cases it is not “faking it” but it is “faithing it”. Just another catchy way to say what I think you are saying. Definitely awesome wisdom!

    • Candacejo

      Love that song and your words!!! The more Truth we hear the better we can discern the lies. Amen!!

    • Lucy

      Love that song and the truth in its words!

    • Misce

      One of my favorite songs as well! :)

    • tina

      Kelly, thank you so much for your words of encouragement, and the introduction to the casting crowns song. .bless you ..x

  • I love this message. I too need to seek the goodness of God. I have some screwy ideas of God and sometimes let myself believe he experiments with us or tests us and I think it holds me back in my faith but trusting his goodness and his nature is the first step. Then I can trust his voice. There are times when I wonder if I’m really hearing gods voice or if it’s just me. Pray for me ladies. :)

    • Candacejo

      I think you can be pretty sure it is God if it is something good or godly…the devil will not bring encouragement to your soul or push for you to do something for God! We don't want to be unwise but we can miss out on so much if we are always second guessing ourselves thinking that God surely couldn't mean ME?? Yes, He does mean YOU!! You are a vital and important member of The Body and He needs you and desires for you to be used in the Kingdom. Use wisdom, pray first and then step out with boldness and confidence in the Holy Spirit ♥

  • I was in a queue recently, with a friend, getting lunch, chatting away, when a lady interrupted, saying, "I'd recognise that voice anywhere…." An old friend from 15 years back….!
    I have to be honest….I do not know the voice of the Good Shepherd……I don't believe I have ever heard it….and yet I know He walks with me, ….He guides me…He helps me…..He protects me…
    I hear people frequently say, God spoke to me, or I heard that still small voice, or, I heard God's audible voice…I can't say anything like that….but…
    I can't remember if I have shared this before…but I work for a church….and once a week we have staff prayers…this one particular day we were asked to get into groups of twos and threes and pray for each other…and have words of encouragement for each other through our praying…Here's the thing…I don't do praying aloud, in company…everyone else seems to pray a lot better than I …..so I tried to sneak out, only to get caught by the lead pastor….as if that wasn't bad enough, he then said to join his wife and the associate pastors wife….talk about Hang, drawn and quartered…What had I done to deserve this, what past sin had brought me to this punishment…I could see no good to come out of this but my failure, as a follower of Christ…and the person I professed to be….I was shaking as I joined the ladies, who by the way, are gifted in speaking to auditoriums filled with thousands of people, always look perfect, and clearly have God on side, in all areas possible…I on the other hand, although a people's person, do not like fuss, and tidy in appearance, but do not always have immaculate dress sense…had accepted that I would not be in that league, and actually liked who I was…….
    Where am I going with this….I always thought there was a 'them' and 'us'….yeap….even in the kingdom…a hierarchy, I guess…those that preach, talk, act got a bigger blessing…or at least their voices were heard loudest….Well can I tell you, that day…I was put in my place…I realized that no matter how many carats in their rings, between them, or the size of their homes, or immaculately they were dressed…one thing …and one thing only came to light in those moments of prayer, with these sweet ladies….
    I joined them saying, "God, never talks to me…and as for praying for you guys…that's got to be a joke right…? " They began with me, and some beautiful and encouraging things were said, although at the time,all I could do was pray that I would get through this session…with grace…then it was the associate pastors wife s turn…pictures and words, swarmed my mind…I shared, she hugged me and just burst into tears….the pastors wife next, and again, my mind was full of pictures…before I gave the pictures, I had to say…."I think God just made me out to be a liar"….He takes care of His own, He brings them to a place where they feel safe, ..even when the heart is going thumpety thump..thump..
    My lesson, that day…there truly is No them and us…We are all equal, level, same, in God's eyes…that we were all beautiful Daughters of the King… God loved me exactly the same…as He does those that stand on podiums, and speak his truth and those of us that quietly, yet consistently are His champions…
    All I needed to know that day was that I mattered,..that I also was His, in the same way these lovely women were, that if I went awol, the other would be left, whilst there was a search for me, that I counted…

    Maybe in my case, do I trust Him enough, to hear His voice..?

    Another time sister's…Blessings and Love to all this Monday morning…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Candacejo

      I don't "hear" His audible voice either Tina :) never have heard Him booming down from heaven with a "Good morning Nannette, favored daughter of mine!" BUT…just like YOU….I HEAR Him in His Word, through the lives of others, in a message, encouragement, a friend, and on and on. He is always near, always there with that still small voice speaking to my heart. Just like YOU beautiful friend and wonderful storyteller!!! ♥♥♥

  • Colleen Stewart

    I have been going through a season of fear and anxiety. Just a short one that started a month ago. I had a long talk with The Lord this morning before I got out of bed. I felt complete peace. I always start my day right here with SRT. This spoke to my heart so deeply. God knows!!
    “I intimately acquainted myself with the voice of my Shepherd, and soon I recognized that the Voice of Fear I was hearing was not the voice of my Shepherd but the voice of the Liar.”
    Thank you Lord for your truth, grace and mercy. I am my beloved’s and He is mine. Amen!

  • Candacejo

    “And there was one Anna, a prophetess…she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Luke 2:36-37.

    Anna was old. The Bible tells us she had been married for seven years and then widowed. Then it is a little difficult to decipher whether she had been a widow for 84 years or she was 84 years old when we encounter her in Luke 2. If it is the former, then she was around 105, which would not be out of the question, and many scholars agree this could be the case. She could have married at 14, a very common age to have married then, became a widow at 21, and then we come upon her at the temple 84 years later, at the ripe old age of 105.

    Regardless of her exact age, this lovely lady served in the temple, night and day!

    The Word even tells us she doesn’t leave. She is called a prophetess and is highly honored in this regard as someone who can touch the throne of heaven with her prayers.

    Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem to “…present him to the Lord…” As was the custom in those days, every Jewish male baby had to be brought to the temple and a sacrifice made to the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

    Then they encountered Anna, who had spent her time much like Simeon, fasting, praying and telling everyone she could about the One who was to come. She saw Joseph, Mary and Jesus with Simeon and this is what the Bible had to say about their meeting:

    “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38 KJV.
    Look closely, she comes up. She was not introduced. But immediately, in that instant, she gave thanks, and began to give God praise. She didn’t hesitate for one moment to tell everyone there that this was the REDEMPTION of Jerusalem!

    How did Anna know? Because she fasted; she prayed daily. She spent time with God, she knew Him and she was waiting for the promise. She recognized Him when He came.

    I couldn't help but think of Anna when Hayley said "Do you know Him enough to recognize His voice?" Like Anna, we must spend our days in relationship with Jesus Christ. We cannot afford any less than to love Him, to delve deep into the Word and into prayer in order to know the difference between the voice of the Liar and the voice of the Shepherd.

    Blessings on this beautiful Monday sisters! ♥♥♥

    • LaurieEW

      Thank you for that message. This spoke to me about some fears that I have in my life. This really affirmed the message for me today.

    • Sarah Martin

      Thank you for this wonderful reminder of Anna. It goes so well with Hayley's words from John 10. I did some digging around the word for "know" in the greek. It is what you would expect it to mean, but one of the definitions referred to the fact that it was the same greek word or Jewish idiom for intercourse. Ok…so yes…that wouldn't absolutely apply to our topic at hand. But, it reminds me of the word intimate. Anna knew God so intimately that she didn't need an introduction when Jesus' family presented Him at the temple. She was so intimately woven, or knitted, to God that she KNEW Him. Thank you for this. I love how we can come together in community and converse on such eternally important topics. Hugs!

      • citychick

        I agree 100% :). To be so intimate with Christ we are “as one” is a beautiful picture of the potential of our relationship wirh him. to know him so well we think like him :). I know after 25+years of marriage I xan *think* like the hubby and anticipate his response to many situations.
        Great thoughts here :).

  • I love that Jesus, the Good Shepherd doesn't allow His sheep to wander too far away from Him… He always has a way to bring them back! No one can indeed snatch them out of His hand…

    "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." — these words are so sweet!!!

    I just came out from a season like this, and I have shared the sweet way that my Shepherd spoke to me in my blog:
    http://steady-myheart.blogspot.com/2015/01/filled

    Also, these words burned in my heart: "I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also." (v.16)
    — Jesus' heart for the lost, His compassion… it motivates me to do my part in bringing other sheep to the sheepfold, the way someone did so I could be found as well..

  • Rachel Bevan

    I think it is one of the biggest things I am learning that God is GOOD and that he will always find me and guide me and I need to learn to recognise his voice. Sometimes it’s hard to believe in his goodness when I don’t think I deserve it, but when I recognise it, it brings such freedom and release to me… God is so Good!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Love love love this, Rachel! It's such a joy to hear what The Lord is teaching you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

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