I have two small dogs named Tucker and Webster. They do their jobs of being my companions and security alarm system. If someone knocks at the door or enters my home, they tell me, “someone’s here!”
Both dogs love peanut butter. When necessary, I use it to hide pills. After Tucker was on a course of daily antibiotics, they developed a keen sense to distinguish the sound of the peanut butter cabinet door from five other identical cabinets.
When I open the peanut butter cabinet, even if not within eyesight, they both race into the kitchen, skidding to a halt near my feet. Hopeful eyes look up at me, begging, “Peanut butter, please?”
To my ears, there is no distinguishable difference among the six cabinet doors; not a squeaky hinge, loud latch, or creak of wood and yet they know it’s the “peanut butter” cabinet. Their ears are always tuned.
A parallel exists between my dogs’ ability to differentiate cabinet doors and the story of Jesus being the Good Shepherd. The dogs use their God-given acute sense of hearing to discern sounds. God has given us a discerning ability too. If we know Jesus, we will catch the difference between God’s voice and the deceiver’s lies.
“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. . . The sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger. . . because they don’t know the voice of strangers. . .
“All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved. . .
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me. . . But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. . .” (John 10:2-18, CSB). The bold italics were added by me for emphasis.
Dear reader, how do we differentiate between the subtly of an enemy lie and the voice of God? The same way the dogs recognize the sound of the cabinet door—by listening intently.
Inspiration for this post came from “The Promise of a Taste” by Beth Alisan, author of Lessons from a Lab. Beth writes about spiritual lessons she learns from her family’s two Labradors. If you’re not already familiar with her website, I encourage you to check it out by clicking either link. Meanwhile, listen attentively for our LORD.
Dear Father God, thank you for providing us with the ability to know your voice. Holy Spirit, help me to be ever vigilant to you. Let me never miss a single utterance you speak. Put in me the desire to obey every command and heed all advice you give. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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