1 Kings 19:12 (ESV)
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
In the town of Talkeetna, Alaska, there are two darling chocolate Labrador Retrievers, aptly named Tally and Keetna. They lived at the outdoor adventure shop that their owners ran. Tally and Keetna greeted all the tourist visitors that came to their shop. Their wagging tails greet everyone that enters the shop.
When people come into the shop the owner is always happy to share her dogs’ tricks. Besides the usual “sit,” “stay,” and “down,” Tally and Keetna were experts at another great dog trick. Their owner joyfully broke a dog treat in half and had them sit side by side. As they obediently sat, their owner balanced half a Milk-Bone on each of their snouts. “Wait,” she commanded. Neither one of them moved an inch. They sat motionless, waiting for the command of their master before indulging in a delicious doggy treat.
In the midst of the busy adventure shop, the Labs were the picture of patience and obedience. Then their opportunity for reward came. “Okay!” their master declared. Gulp! Each dog flipped her treat off of her snout and into her wide-open mouth. It was as if those dogs were grinning ear to ear as they happily chomped down their treats.
Tally and Keetna had been trained to wait for and listen to the command of their master’s voice before they ate their treats. I’m sure that they had plenty of training and prematurely eaten Milk-Bones in the process. Like the two well-trained chocolate Labs, Christians can be trained to wait patiently for their Master Jesus’ commands.
Jesus promised in John 10 that believers would be able to hear and follow His voice. In those verses, Jesus likened Himself to a good shepherd and the believer to sheep. Like sheep who are familiar with and follow their shepherd, so it is with the well-trained Christian. He used this word picture to explain what the Holy Spirit’s leadership for the believer would be like. He further explained that the believer would be able to become sensitive to His voice and learn to follow Him instead of the voice of the evil one. Knowing and following the Master’s commands is a promise to all believers.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can train ourselves to sit quietly, in prayer, and listen for His leading. When His specific commands or promises come, it will be a blessing to obey, and we will surely see the reward of our obedience.
Dear Lord, help us to be and listen for Your voice and Your leading each day. Forgive us for those times that we have been disobedient and rushed ahead of You. Help us to train our self, to hear and obey Your voice. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.