One morning as I climbed out of the shower I heard a wheezy kind of whistling noise. At first I thought it must be my wife snoring, but the longer I heard the evenly paced, high pitched sound, the more I was convinced it was coming from outside my bathroom window. So I grabbed my glasses and looked out the window and there on the corner of our storage shed roof was a robin.
When the red breasted bird opened his beak, I knew for sure that's where the sound was coming from. He looked like a young bird as I could see the speckles on his breast. After I listened to his lonely call a few times, I wondered if I could mimic it. His chirp was more like a whistle than a bird call. I couldn't resist, I finally gave a short single pitched whistle back to him. I knew it wasn't the right pitch, but it made him stop. He finally gave another whistle, so I changed my pitch just a bit and let out another short tweet. Sure enough, he stopped his chirping again and began to look around. After several tweets back and forth, and the poor bird looking all over trying to find me he flew to the tree in the backyard and I lost sight of him.
Later that day, I couldn't help but think about that little bird. I wondered if he was looking for his mother. There was one thing I was sure of: Had that bird been a mature bird rather than a young one, he wouldn't have given my whistles the time of day. I wasn't truly close enough to his pitch, and a full grown robin has more of a "song" in their call. He obviously wasn't old enough yet to be familiar with the true tweets from his kind. I recalled John 10:1-6: " . . . the sheep follow Him because they know His voice . . . they will never follow a stranger . . . because they don't recognize a stranger's voice."
I thought about how often as a baby Christian I felt like that little bird. Sometimes I was so eager to hear Christ, I mistake other thoughts and feelings for His voice. I was anxious to find Jesus. Sometimes I wanted protection, other times I was simply looking for advice or encouragement. No matter what it is that caused me to seek my Savior, I’d discovered that the more I got to know Him, the more often I wait until I was sure the voice I heard was truly Him, the better my life became.
Perhaps, like me, you've answered the phone and had someone begin talking without identifying himself. On those occasions, I would find myself paying more attention to the sound of my friend's voice than the actual conversation. Generally before we're on the phone too long, his timber, tone or something he said would give me the clue I need to correctly identify the caller. But this only works with a friend, someone I knew well and have talked to a lot.
And as you may have guessed (or already have discovered in your own life), the same is true for Jesus' voice. Until we've talked with our Savior and listened for His response on a regular basis, we won't recognize Him when He calls you, and much like my little bird friend, you'll be easily fooled when a stranger tries to imitate the Holy One.
As Christians it's vital that you get to know our Savior's voice. You need to do be a 1 Thessalonians 5:17 person, praying continually and listening carefully to His voice. Reading scripture is equally important so that you can become more and more accustomed to the things Jesus might say. It may take some time, you may miss His voice from time to time, like my new robin friend. However, the more you grow, the more you listen, the closer you get to Christ, the more you'll be ready to recognize His voice and the better you'll be able to fly free!