Thank you, Joy Behar
Joy Behar of ABC News and co-host of “The View” recently said, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you… that’s called mental illness.” I would not recognize Joy Behar at the grocery store. I am slightly familiar with her show but choose not to watch it. But, I am so thankful for her definition of “mental illness.” I will gladly accept and celebrate her diagnosis. I cannot imagine where my life or family would be without my heart, mind and soul connected to the voice of Jesus Christ.
Pull out a Bible or jump on a Bible app such as youversion and turn to the New Testament Gospel of John chapter 10. Jesus talks about his invitation to abundant life. He describes how satan is a thief with a goal to steal, kill and destroy. We read that Jesus is our only hope for forgiveness and a right relationship with our creator, God.
Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…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.” The Pharisees, who pursued intellectual gain without spiritual connection or obedient hearts, responded, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” and they prepared to physically assault Jesus.
I have never heard Jesus audibly speak to me. I would love it if he did. But I am so thankful that Jesus regularly invites me to “hear his voice” as I walk with him, my shepherd. I was at a church board meeting in 1996 and asked my friends around the table to pray for a major decision my wife and I were about to make. I did not share with them the decision but asked them to pray that God would give us a “clear sign.” My friend, Mike Johnson, prayed for me, lovingly and boldly. I get chills thinking about it. Two blocks in to my drive home on Highway 78, a road I had driven 100s of times, I saw a sign for the first time that said “ADOPT A HIGHWAY.” I let out a laugh. That was a “clear sign.” On the radio a song played that included the lyrics: “You’re lost and alone. Just leave it to me. I’ll lead you home.” Jesus had spoken. I was a sheep listening for my shepherd’s voice. Mike thought I was considering a job change or moving out of the area. But, the family decision I asked prayer for was whether or not we should adopt a baby that was due in two months. I had been afraid and unsure, but now my heart was at peace knowing that Jesus had spoken.
Spiritual maturity includes having a heart that seeks and hears from God, a mind that studies and knows the truth of God, and a will that surrenders to and obeys God. I am going to actively pursue all three. How about you?
God bless you.
Hauser is founding and senior pastor, Prairie Heights of Fargo Moorhead.