“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 (NIV)

Believe it or not, God has not called us to be successful, not even fruitful! He has called us to be obedient! Our obedience is the proof that we are abiding in Christ (John 15:10). Jesus Himself said that if you love Me you will obey Me (John 14:15)! When we abide in Him, meaning when we love Him with our whole heart and obey Him in everything, we will be fruitful. Fruit is God’s plan, but it only comes when we abide in an intimate place with Jesus. Fruit comes when we, as branches are connected to the Vine. Fruit is the Father’s desire, but we can’t do it any other way (John 15:1-8)! Our success is measured by Him, not by numbers or the accolades of man! In fact, from man’s perspective, we may not look successful at all! But again, our desire must be to please God and not man!

True obedience can only come from a place of intimacy, for it is there that we know His heart. Jesus said that His sheep would know His voice, He would KNOW them, and they would follow/obey Him (John 10:27). In other words, successful sheep listen to His voice, walk in close intimacy with Him and follow Him wherever He leads! That is success! Our greatest reward will be to hear His voice in heaven say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant!”

Cry out to God to show you where you have placed success over obedience, accolades of man over commands of God! Cry out to Him for deeper intimacy with Him. Ask Him to give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you would know Him deeper, better and more intimately (Ephesians 1:17). Choose to draw near Him no matter the cost, for He promises to draw near you when you do (James 4:8). Tell Him you want to know Him more and will take the time to listen to His voice and that you will obey Him, no matter what He asks you to do! Pray for your pastor to clearly hear Jesus’ voice and for courage and faith to obey Him no matter what! Ask God to create an atmosphere of expectancy of hearing His voice at your church. Cry out to God to remove all the ear wax from His sheep in our city so that they could hear His voice in this crucial hour.