Scuttling down the street in my neighborhood I see in the parking lot the most colorful of all bottle caps gaining my attention. Quickly I am drawn in and pick up what once adorned an amber piece of glass drawn from a local Texas brewery and place it on display in my Bachelor-pad where I can easily view my new-found attraction.
Bashed, gnashed and smashed, the bright colors on this soft metal cap reflect an artist rendering of a ram’s head. Is it a message? Listening for God’s voice I hear nothing right away yet I believe there is a message here. Awareness of God’s omnipresence is the first step in hearing.
A few days later I learn a Ram is not only a Dodge pick-up truck battering along the Dallas/Fort Worth roads carrying loyal American-car-buying cowboys, it is also a male sheep. I guess I would have known that if the rabbit-eared television set presented a clearer picture while I watched the TV show “Wild Kingdom” back in the early 70’s as a young boy.
Currently preparing my move to a new city and also applying for a Master’s Degree in a totally new field, I am always seeking God’s guidance. I think of the Biblical message of Jesus as The Shepard and how He directs our paths and His sheep hear His voice.
I soon get led to the Book of John Chapter 10 through prayer. Opening without fail to the exact page where Jesus speaks about being The Good Shepard. I continue in expectant prayer requesting, “Lord let me hear only your voice and shut out any voices that are not of You.”
A short two hours later my friend Jeff (actual name used to protect the righteous) out of the blue yet with no irony text me this exact Bible verse. “My sheep know my voice, I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27
Knowing Whose Word this really is, my heart smiles wide.
I am like ok, that is super cool since there are approximately 30,000 different Bible verses my buddy Jeff could have sent me in an unsolicited text. I know with confidence Who had him send this one. Coincidence right? Yeah, right.
I love the one in a point 00003 chance when it delivers on time and the winning ticket is in my hand. Thirty thousand -to-one odds. The casinos will gladly pay $30,000 on a one dollar bet with those odds.
Later that evening I tell this story to some friends and I said God may just say it a third time today, the day is not over. I bring this thought to Jesus Himself, “It would be so cool if a third message comes to me today about hearing Your voice. I love hearing from You.”
Well, by golly, to my pleasant surprise I randomly pull an old book off the shelf for my evening night-cap. Tucked inside the pages are a shaded green bulletin from a church (ccob.org) I attended when I lived in New Jersey.
Guess what is on the front cover of this informational brochure?
Yes! You are right. Sheep. A picture of sheep on an unknown journey. They are being led. In fourteen point bold lettering are Words from John 10:3-4. “… He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out…He goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
He did it. God never wants me to doubt what voice is His so sometimes He clobbers me over the head with His message. Can this message be any clearer? He said the sheep hear my voice.
I used to believe once, twice, three times a lady. Three times the same message from three different delivery methods yet all three are trackable to the same consistent source of God’s truthful Word. This is not a Lionel Ritchie song. This is clearly God speaking.
This is real important to me because I am not a believer in many coincidences and I need to discern what is of God or some other spirit.
“Spirit in the Night” is a great Springsteen tune but not one I am willing to take direction from.
God promises He will guide our paths and when we seek Him, we will find Him.
I found Him and I am more than thrilled He found me, loves me and leads me. I may not be only “just a guy on a journey” but just a sheep on a journey and with God as my Shepard I am more than ok with that.
What’s on your bottle cap?