Robert Morris — I'm a Sheep
All right, so I want you to turn to John 10. I want to begin to introduce this first message to you, and I want you to think about what is the main difference between a believer in Jesus Christ and a non-believer. What's the main difference? And, let me give you the answer. It is that a believer has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Is that right? That would be, probably, the major difference. An unbeliever does not have a relationship with Jesus. A believer in Jesus has a personal relationship with Jesus.
So, let me take that just a step further. If you are praying about a new job, and an unbeliever is praying, or thinking about... I should say it that way, a new job, is there any difference in the way these two people are going to approach this situation? Of course there is, because the unbeliever gathers facts and tries to make the best decision he can, but the believer gathers facts and asks God what His will is, and God can lead you. And wouldn't you rather make decisions based on God's knowledge than on yours? Because God knows if the company interviewing you is going to go out of business in a year. But if you have a thought that God doesn't speak anymore, I really don't mean this condescending, I mean it the way I'm saying it — I feel so sorry for you, that you have a personal relationship with someone who never speaks to you. I don't know how personal that is.
Let me make this statement to start the series. Hearing God is not something you do, it's someone you are. And if you don't understand that, you may not understand the concept of hearing God. So, it's not something you do, it's someone you are. So, here's the title of the first message, and granted, it's a little different, but the title is, "I'm a Sheep".
Okay, John 10, Jesus is contrasting Himself as the good shepherd with the thief, the robber, who is Satan. All right? So, John 10, look at Verse 1. We're talking about we're sheep, and we can hear God. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens" ...now watch this carefully, "and the sheep", watch, "hear his voice". Can you just say those three words? Hear his voice. It does not say sense his impressions. And I'm not saying that God doesn't give us impressions.
I just simply am literally blown away, and when I say that, again I'm not saying it condescendingly, because I used to be of the theological persuasion that believed that God didn't speak anymore, and I'm shocked that I could have ever believed that, that He just has chosen not to speak anymore since He wrote us a letter, and we have His Word, but now He doesn't communicate personally to His children. I'm just shocked that I could have ever thought that way. "Hear his voice", that's the Bible. His sheep hear his voice. "And he calls", so the way you call is your voice, "his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow him, for they know", what? "His voice". And if you have any doubt that this is talking about Jesus, Verse 11, He says, "I am the good shepherd". So, Jesus said... we know it, but just in case you had a doubt, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep".
Now look at Verse 16. John 10:16, "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold". Now look at me just for a moment. He is now speaking about the Gentiles. He is talking to Jewish people, and He says, and you need to know there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Other sheep. There's not a theologian I've ever met in the world that doesn't know or believe this is talking about Gentiles. So, that's most of us. You might be Jewish, but for the rest of us, thank God that He had another fold, okay? The Gentiles. Now, watch this. "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring". Watch. "And they will", what? "Hear my voice".
Okay, I can hear God. That's what He's saying, specifically. They will hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd. He's speaking of Jew and Gentile here, one flock. And then, Verse 27, just to make it really, really, clear. John 10:27, "My sheep", say those three words, "hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me". Okay, I'm going to ask you a very simple question. Is Jesus the shepherd? Okay, are you following Him? So then, you are the sheep. And what do sheep do? They hear His voice. This is in red! This is Jesus! I don't really care what Dr. Fuzzyface says. I care what this book says. It's clear. "My sheep hear my voice".
So, let me tell you three things about the ability to hear God. All right, here's number one. It's innate. It's innate. In other words, you're born with it. It's inherent. It's natural. It's built in. It's instinct. It's hard-wired. Our God is a speaking God. The whole reason that you have the ability to hear and speak is because you were created in the image of a hearing, speaking God. Why would He create you with the ability to communicate, and then not communicate with you? That would be a horrible thing to do to you, to create you with the ability to communicate, and He has the ability to communicate, but He just doesn't communicate to you. That'd be a horrible thing, and again, it's a horrendous line of thought. It's literally...let me give you the Greek word for it. It's baloney. Bologna is how it's pronounced in the Greek.
This is what separates us from the animals, that God gave us the ability to communicate our deepest feelings, not only to other humans, but to Him. And, He communicates to us. And I know some of you say, well, animals can communicate. Yes, they can on some level. I understand that. But, they can't communicate like we can. They can't. You know, I was watching the Discovery Channel one time. There was a guy sitting in a room, all day, listening to whales. He had these earphones on. He was listening to recordings of whales. Oooooh! And then they said to this guy, what's he saying? I'm telling you the truth! I saw it. So, here's what the guy said. He's lonely. I thought, no, you're lonely, pal. You need to get out of this room and go talk to some people!
Just do an experiment. If you have a dog, go home and talk to your dog. But, here's what I want you to say, and I want you to say it like this. You're so stupid. Yes, you are! You're the stupidest dog I ever saw, yes! And just watch that dog just wag his tail, and just think you paid him the biggest compliment. And then, I'm just thinking about animals again. Why do dogs bark at night? Has anyone figured that out? All night. All night. Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof. Woof, woof! And here's what we do. We open the door. Shut up! What do you expect the dog to do? My bad! I've always tried to figure it out. What are they saying? You know, I'm trapped in the backyard! Help, help, help, help, help, help, help! And then the neighbor dog joins in. Help him!
I'm sure they have a level of communication, but they were not created... I'm not trying to put animals down. I know we all love animals, but I'm just telling you, they were not created in the image of God. But you were, and you were created in the image of a speaking God, and He created you with the ability to hear Him, because He says very clearly, "I am the good shepherd and my sheep hear my voice". It's innate. You're born with the ability to hear God.
Here's the second thing. It's learned. Now you might say, well, that's kind of a contrasting thought. You're saying I'm born with it, but you're saying I need to learn how to hear God. Absolutely, and I can give you the greatest example in the world, children. They're born with the ability to communicate, but they need to be taught. Is that right? They need to be taught words. They need to be taught sounds. They need to be taught grammar and language. They need to be taught what to say, and they need to be taught when to say it. Is that right? They learn in their ability to hear God.
You know, if we said we're going to have a class on prayer, you'd say I need that, and even the disciples said, "Teach us to pray". But, let me remind you that hearing God is the second half of prayer, because if you can't hear God, why would you pray? Now, one reason is to make our requests and petitions be known to God. But, God never intended prayer to be a giving of our to-do list to Him every morning. He intended prayer to be communication between a Father and His children. And if you'll just take some time and start to listen, you'll be amazed that He'll speak. But, most of us do this.
Now, I'm just going to give you an analogy. It's like someone is going to call you on the phone, and talking for five minutes or ten minutes, and then hanging up before you ever have a chance to say anything. That's the way many Christians pray. God, I need this, need this, need this, need this, need this. Gotta go. And God's thinking, would you like to hear what I have to say about that? Now, listen to me. Hearing God is not dependent upon knowledge, or depth, or wisdom. It's simply dependent upon being taught, because we all need to learn. Children need to learn.
So, it's innate, it's learned. Here's the third thing I want to tell you about the ability to hear God. It's matured. So, the ability to hear God is innate. The ability to hear God is learned. And, the ability to hear God is matured. Okay, let's think about children again. Do children need to mature in their communication skills? Okay, let me give you some examples just to help remind you. Children, before they're taught, will say things that you're not supposed to say. Man, are you fat! How old are you, Grandma? We don't ask Grandma how old she is. You just have to teach them. We're talking about maturity.
Let me tell you a few philosophies of hearing God that are immature, okay? One is a message a minute. Now, I'm using Dallas Willard's phrase here. Dallas Willard was a great theologian, went to be with the Lord in 2013, wrote a book called, "Hearing God", and it's a great book. But, he talked about this, a message a minute. These are the people that tell you, you know, they hear God, like 300 times a day, you know. You'll be in the restaurant. They'll say, God just told me not to put salt on my food. And you feel like saying, you could have read the article in Reader's Digest last month and you know, too.
Okay, and let me ask you this. Do you want God to have to tell you everything to do? Now, does God want to communicate with us on a regular basis? Yes, but for fellowship, not for instruction alone. I mean, let me say it this way. What parent here wants to have to tell your children everything to do, even when they're in their 40s? Wouldn't you like them to grow up and learn how to make wise decisions? Certainly. Okay, I'm simply saying that God does speak, God can speak, all day long to you, but the person that gets a Word from God every minute, that's probably not the best philosophy to have, okay? So, one's a message a minute.
Here's the second philosophy that I believe needs to be matured, is the point and hope philosophy. These are the people that, I'll open my Bible, close my eyes, point it, and I hope I hear God, all right? I hope I'm not in the begats. That's what I hope. Okay. Now, I'm not saying that you can't open your Bible and it falls to a place that God speaks to you. Obviously He can, and He can easily do that out of, you know, 1.187 chapters, 31.103 verses. Okay, God can do that. That's not hard for God. But I'm just saying that I wouldn't do that on every decision, okay?
I actually have a friend of mine who was... this is true, he's a member of this church... in business, and his business was struggling. Okay, so you've got to catch that, because it might take you a moment to catch what happened to him. His business was struggling. He'd heard someone say that, so he closed his eyes, opened his Bible, put his finger down, and this is what he read. Chapter 13. Now, that's not the Word you want from God when asking God about the future of your business, okay? By the way, one of the things that Dallas Willard said in his book was that he heard this minister one time say that God had shown him how everyone can have a life verse, and it's my taking the year you were born and using that as the chapter and the verse.
Okay, the only problem with that is most of us are born in 19-something, and the 19th chapter of Joshua has the most verses in it, and it has 51. 1951, Joshua. So, if you were born after 1951, no life verse for you. And, but Dallas Willard heard this guy say it, so he thought, well, you know, I was born in 1935, so I'll just see if God has a life verse. So, he went to the first book of the Bible, Genesis 19:35. This is what it says. "So they got drunk and slept with him". That was his life verse.
Okay, so I don't believe in that philosophy. I think you ought to mature from the point and hope philosophy. Here's the last one, the Que Sera Sera philosophy. Que Sera Sera, they really don't know whether the guy took it from Spanish or Italian. It's close to each language, but doesn't really work in either language, but the American who wrote it thought it did. So, but what it means is whatever will be will be. You know, Doris Day sang it. How many of you remember Doris Day singing?
Okay, we're going to have to get some younger people in the church! Okay. So, I do, too. I remember, okay? But, it's whatever will be will be. Okay, that's not a good philosophy about hearing God. What it basically means is whatever I choose, that's just God's will. But, it's not God's will. Your choice is not always God's desire for your life. So, we need to mature to the place where we can hear God's voice and make the right decision.
So, I want to give you an example of what just happened just a couple of months ago, and I haven't told you this. I've been waiting. I just thought about it with this series, and I thought, wow, what a great example of God speaking, and why God speaks. So, let me show you. This is the last Christmas card that we sent, a picture of my family. And so, you can see there on your right is my oldest son, Josh, his wife, Hannah, Grady, and Willow, Debbie and I in the middle there, and then on your left, Ethan, my son-in-law, and Elaine, and their two daughters. And you can kind of tell Ethan is my son-in-law. Well, I mean it's obvious. He's taller than the rest of the family.
And, okay. So, and then James and Bridget, my son and daughter-in-law, and their two boys. Okay, so by the way, Ethan and Elaine, they have two girls. They're pregnant with their third, and it's a boy. So, they're pregnant. And, but my son, James, on the left there, seated on the bench, and his wife, and his wife sings on the worship team at Southlake some, Bridget. They have two boys, but they've also had two miscarriages, and they've had a difficult time. So, they've been praying whether to have another child or not, because she's had a difficult time during pregnancy.
And so, we had our fast, our 21-day fast, you remember, January 10th through the 31st, and she was praying that if they were supposed to have another child, that someone close to them would give them a Word during the 21-day fast. And on January 31st, I was standing on the front row, about to preach. It was during worship. I was just worshipping God. I looked up. Bridget was standing, like right here, almost in front of me, leading worship, and the Lord said to me, Bridget's pregnant, on the last day of the 21-day fast, and she'd been praying. So, that night we were having a family meal. It just happened. And I said, I have an announcement to make! Well, I did! And so, they were like, oh, okay, what's your announcement? And I said, Bridget's pregnant.
And everyone kind of laughed, you know, and then James and Bridget, they looked at me like, are you serious? I said, yes, I'm serious. Bridget's pregnant. I could see the look on Bridget's face as she's processing, because she'd prayed this and she had not told James that she had prayed this. She just prayed someone close to them would give them a Word. So, she's processing. And so, then James said, well, she's not pregnant. I can say that. She's not pregnant. It's impossible. She's not pregnant. And I said, well, you can say whatever you want. I'm telling you, the Lord said she's pregnant. So, because I was so strong, and they kept coming back to me, even before they left. They came up and said, now, are you serious about? I said, I'm serious, God said it.
So, they went to the doctor, and the doctor said, well, you're not pregnant. As a matter of fact, your progesterone levels are too low for you to even get pregnant. It would be impossible for you to get pregnant right now. And that's why she miscarried twice, is because her progesterone, a hormone that your body should produce, was not being produced at the level it should be, and so that's why she miscarried twice. And so, with the pregnancy with her other son there, she took it so that, you know, it would help her not to miscarry. So, he said, well, it's impossible actually. You couldn't get pregnant. And so, but if you're even thinking about it, you should start taking progesterone.
And so they said because I had that Word, and I was so strong about it, they said we feel like we ought to just start taking it then. So, she started taking the medicine. Well, she went back a few weeks later to check her level, and the doctor checked her level, and then he said, um, you're pregnant. And they said, we thought you said our level was too low to get pregnant. He said, well, I don't know how it happened, but you're pregnant. And so, they said, well, you know, you count so many days and all, so how long am I pregnant? And he said, four weeks and six days. And they went back, and January 31st, when I gave them the Word, was four weeks and five days. She'd been pregnant one day.
Now, I'm not saying that so that we get excited about an accurate prophetic Word. I'm saying that because I believe God gave the Word to save the baby's life, so that she would start taking the medicine that she needed to be able to carry the baby. Do you see what I'm saying? Here's the bottom line. I'm a sheep. By the way, it didn't say my shepherds hear my voice. I mean, we hope they do. But it says, my sheep. God wants to speak to you.