I was preaching at a church that I have been to before, so they know me quite well and enjoy the message of the Lord I bring. The pastor trusts me so much that he invited me to speak while he was out of state. At the end of my message, I could sense that the sheep in this congregation were not hearing some of the things I was saying, even though they were directly out of the Scripture. The Lord spoke to me and said, "They know how to hear their pastor's voice but they don't know how to hear Mine, so they see you as a strange voice to them."
As I have been thinking about this statement the Lord spoke to me, I have come to realize that men who are shepherds of congregations have taught their sheep (people) to hear their voice, but not the voice of the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls (1 Pet. 2:24-25). John 10 says that "My sheep hear My voice ... and a strangers voice they will not follow." Unfortunately, what we have in the church today is people that have heard their pastor's voice for so long that when the Lord wants to speak to His sheep, they cannot hear His voice, because they think it is a stranger's voice, so they do not follow. As shepherds of God's sheep, we are called to teach them how to hear, obey and follow God's voice, not ours.
This, to me, is just more evidence of the biblically illiterate church system in which we are living. We quote verses like John 10:10 saying, "the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy," but that is not what the Bible says. It says, "the thief," not the devil. If you read verses 1-10, you know that the thief is a false teacher, not the devil. So our shepherds have taught us the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but the devil is not even mentioned in this passage. This is just one of the many Scriptures that we quote because we have been taught them by our shepherd's voice and so when the Shepherd and Overseer of our soul speaks, we resist it, reject it and won't believe it, because it is contrary to what our shepherd has taught us.
It is imperative that we have a biblical reformation. We are being defeated not by the devil, but by of our ignorance. Biblically illiterate people have no infrastructure to even know what voice is God's and what voice is man's. We have spent so long letting man's voice tell us what is truth, we are not even able to hear God's voice when it is speaking to us, for it sounds foreign to us. But thanks be to God, He is releasing Word warriors who rightly divide the word of truth, who are not looking for Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers or Facebook friends. Rather, they want to train, equip and deploy a generation to know the voice of the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls. They are not seeking personal fame, fortune or glory. They are living a laid down life, for they are the friends of God (John 15).
I see brand-new Bible schools being established that are more like training centers than manufacturing plants. I see apostolic centers arising that resource those who are doing the work of ministry all over their city, state and region. I see stadiums filled with people hungry to know the truth. I see healings breaking out on every street and corner. I see lovers of God and lovers of people advancing the kingdom of God. I see people who are passionate, not promiscuous; immovable, not immoral; unshakable, not undecided; and who are faithful, not floundering. I see the bride of Christ rising on the Earth with one voice, one heart, one passion, one Husband (Jesus only) and I see the world looking to her saying, "Who is that?" All because they learned to hear the Shepherd's voice.
Lisa Great is an author, speaker and blogger with Mouthpiece Ministries International. She has been in ministry for over 25 years, she has a BA in Youth and Family Studies, a MA in Education. She can be reached atmouthpieceministries.wordpress.com, or on her Facebook page, Lisa Great.