I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

When I read these verses I hear such comfort, such intimacy, such relationship. He knows me and I know him. I don’t hear rules and rigid formalities; I hear sacrificial love and commitment. I lay down my life for the sheep. I don’t hear hoops to jump through, I don’t hear confusion; I hear clear, beautiful, intimate relationship.

That’s what I desire: to be in relationship with the Good Shepherd. The one who knows me, who speaks tenderly to me, who leads me. So often in my walk I’ve found myself trapped in a different kind of relationship, devoid of that intimacy. One which is driven by works and guilt and striving. This is not the Good Shepherd. In recent years I’ve been learning to listen. Learning to trust. Learning to really hear. And learning to enjoy being with him.

In his book With: Reimagining The Way You Relate to God, Skye Jethani writes this, “Life under, over, from, and for God each seeks to use God to achieve some other goal. God is seen as a means to an end. But life with God is different because its goal is not to use God, its goal is God. He ceases to be a device we employ or a commodity we consume. Instead God himself becomes the focus of our desire.”

More than striving to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice so that I can know which way to go, my desire is to know him and be with him. The voice and the leading and the direction come as a result. They are not my end goal. He is my Good Shepherd who knows my name. He is my desire.

Do you know his voice? Is it familiar and unprompted? Today, take an honest look at the depth of your relationship with your Good Shepherd as you listen to the lyrics of He Knows My Name.

By Ellen Rosenberger

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