How do we know when God is speaking to us? Have we taken the door to salvation in order to have a relationship with God?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
Jesus is using an illustration of shepherding to explain His importance as well as warn us of false teachers and prophets. The fold is a fenced in area with one gate designed to house multiple flocks of sheep and keep them safe. Kinda like a parking garage for sheep. There is a gatekeeper that ensures the right people come and go. He is explaining how the gatekeeper allows a shepherd to go in and retrieve his flock.
It intrigues me that here Jesus states that He is the door. We are all used to hearing of Jesus being the Good Shepherd, which He states next, but here He makes clear that He is the door to salvation. He is the opening into the safety of heaven, a relationship with God. This is what He means by “find pasture”. It isn’t about being in a specific location or place, but rather an inner peace that transcends all understanding. It is “The Way” that the apostles exemplified after Christ’s ascension.
Notice that being “of the fold” is a protection against thieves and robbers. In fact, Jesus mentions that thieves and robbers will even enter, but that the sheep know the voice of God, since they have a relationship with Him and do not follow the thief: a false prophet or teacher. This is why it is so important to continually study the Word of God, because we learn His voice and know who we are following.
I think too often Christians encounter the problem “how do I know this is from God.” I was just telling someone yesterday about the phrase a good friend of mine uses, “what does the bible say about it?” You see, it tells us everything we need to know about life. As we continue to read and study it, we learn God’s voice, His principles, and His expectations.
Do you know what His voice sounds like? It starts by entering the fold through the gatekeeper. This is how we have that relationship. Are you a new sheep to the fold? Remember to keep your eyes on the Shepherd and study His voice so that when He calls you to safety amidst the darkness, you know it is Him.