Hearing His Voice by Randy Rowley 3/4/11 ©


I’ve always admired well trained bird dogs, especially upland bird dogs.  Their noses, concentration, and desire to succeed are amazing.  Many times I’ve witnessed labs whining because there are no ducks or dove in the air.  They’re more disappointed than the hunters are!

But I’ve also noticed a negative trait that is common to bird dogs – they don’t listen well!  If anyone other than their master gives them a command they completely ignore the command and look at the one who issued the command with the unvoiced question, “are you stupid or what?”

At first glance one might think that these dogs are just stubborn.  But that’s not the case at all.  A good bird dog knows his master’s voice and responds only to it.  I can give somebody else’s dog commands, such as to drop my dove that it fetched until I’m blue in the face, but it usually won’t respond to me.

Often when I’m dove hunting people are no doubt entertained when they see me suddenly break into a run.  No, I’m not trying to work off too many calories from lunch.  Rather, I’ve shot a dove and I’m hurrying to get to it before one of my friend’s dogs does.  I don’t know how they do it but they seem to know exactly when to kick in the afterburners and snatch the dove right from underneath my outstretched hand.

My commands to “stop,” “come,” and “drop” are completely ignored as the dog happily trots with my dove over to his master, the one that the dog knows.  When the dog’s master speaks, suddenly the dog, that I thought was either stubborn or deaf, listens.  He knows his master’s voice and obeys him.

On the last day of a mid-January duck hunt near Port Aransas, three ducks came in to the decoy spread from the left and I shot the far right bird.  The other two birds were killed also.  There was a flurry of movement.  The hunters and the dogs all went to get the ducks.  As I waded towards my duck I saw a brown flash.  It was Roy Brigman’s dog Hershey and he was heading straight at my duck!  Knowing that I can’t beat Hershey to a bird on dry land, much less while wading in water, I didn’t even try.

Hershey retrieved the duck and then turned and headed back towards land.  But the most amazing thing happened.  Instead of heading to Roy as he always had before, he headed straight towards me and came to a stop an arm’s length away directly in front of me.  I issued the command, “drop.”  And he did it!  I guess that he had heard my voice enough that he finally listened to it.

Jesus often talked about animals when he was making a point.  In John Chapter 10 he used sheep to drive his point home.  He responded to a question, probably from the Pharisees, as to who he was.  John 10:22-28 says, “Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.  The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe.  The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.””

Jesus speaks to his creation in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • In his word.  Joshua 1:8 (NLT) says, ““Study this Book of the Law continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.  Only then will you succeed.””
  • Through prayer.  Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV) says, “‘Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.’”
  • Through the words of other Christians (such as preachers and teachers) – Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
  • In the beauty of his creation – Psalm 104:24-25 (NLT) says, “O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!  In wisdom you have made them all.  The earth is full of your creatures.  Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small.”

Psalm 46:10a says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  In order to hear him we have to be still and then listen.  We can’t hear him when we’re doing all the talking.  After we hear the still small voice, then and only then will we be able to obey.


Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog –

Mark Dillow’s blog –