1) God's Voice: Feed My Sheep
For many months, I have been praying for God to show me what I should be doing. Should I continue this ministry? My heart is attached to my work—creating, developing and writing Bible curriculum. But with the downturn in the economy since 2007, the business side has slowed to a crawl; at this rate it is unsustainable. But I don’t know what else to do! So I have been earnestly praying for wisdom and direction.
A few days after Easter, 2012, I went to bed for the evening and slept soundly. But early in the morning, before dawn, I heard a clear voice say, “Feed my sheep.” It startled me awake. You know that kind of awake where you’re sleeping-but-awake-kind-of-sleep? I knew,
or thought, it was God’s voice. I said in my spirit, “Is that you, God?” And the answer was unspoken, but affirmed. I felt in my spirit that God had communicated to me that I was to continue doing what I had been doing, and not be concerned with the financial aspect of it, because he would provide for my family and me.
When I awoke the next morning, I knew I had heard, “Feed my sheep.” But I also know that dreams are made up of events from our day and concerns on our hearts. However, I hadn’t read or heard the “Feed my sheep” passage from Scripture for several months, so I knew it wasn’t in my current line of thought. So I began praying and asking God to verify this message apart from my own thinking.
The following Sunday I thought maybe God would give me a word of affirmation. But the sermon had nothing to do with feeding sheep. Maybe next week? Next week came, and that Sunday was my birthday. I thought it would be
great if God gave me a message today. Nope.
I know it’s wrong to ask God for signs, but I didn’t think I was doing this. I simply wanted to know if this “voice” I had heard was God’s or my own wishful dream.
The next day I took a bike ride to the ocean inlet. I opened my pocket Bible to the Psalms. And as I often do, I read the chapter number that matches the date, it was April 23, which means I read Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….” Then I turned to the portion of Scripture that followed a study I had
recently written on doubting Thomas, from John 20. In John 21, Jesus reinstates Peter and tells him to, “Feed my sheep!”
As I read those passages, I was awestruck. Chills went through my body, and thanksgiving and praise
welled-up from my inner being. Was this a coincidence,
reading two passages on sheep? It didn’t seem like it. But I asked God to confirm this apart from me.
The following Sunday, April 29, at the 11 am service, Pastor Arnold was preaching. I looked at the
bulletin; the passage for the day was the 23rd Psalm. The choir sang, "God is my
Shepherd,” and the hymn was “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” But the sermon was on Acts 4,
(nothing to do with sheep or shepherds!). But something in my spirit kept repeating, “Never mind, just
listen. Pay attention, because you’re going to get confirmation. You're
going to hear, feed my sheep!”