The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to is voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
When I was young, I lived in an area chosen by Basque sheepherders as the perfect place to raise sheep. My friends’ parents were sheepherders. I spent many hours up in the hills with these men and their flocks. I understand how the sheep know the Shepherd’s voice. He is with them all the time: speaking, correcting, often living among them in small trailers.
As we spend time in God’s Word daily , we know not only His voice, but His heart, His character, His will and His ways. Like sheep, we must surrender to the Sheperd’s will in order to be safe, but because we know Him, surrender is not to be feared, but to be embraced in rest and peace.