Joy Behar recently said on “The View” that “it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.”
This was in reference to a statement made about Vice President Michael Pence allegedly saying that Jesus tells him things to say. Behar said hearing voices is a “mental illness” before Sherri Shepherd offered a limited defense of Pence.
Let me address this statement, “Hearing voices is mental illness.” If that’s true, then Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, the apostle Paul, and really all key biblical characters were mentally ill.
It was God speaking to Moses and then writing down on tablets of stone the 10 Commandments that became the basis for right and wrong in the Old Testament, and they were foundational not only to Western Civilization overall but specifically to the establishment of the United States of America.
When we talk about hearing the voice of God as Christians, we are not talking about hearing audible voices. That rarely happens, but God does speak to us in many ways. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NKJV).
Sometimes He speaks to us through other people.
Sometimes He speaks through a deep sense of conviction. That’s what William Wilberforce sensed when he wanted to overturn slavery in England.
But most importantly, Jesus always speaks to us through the Bible. Every other “voice” is subservient to that.
After all, what does the word “inspired” even mean? Oxford Dictionary puts it, “as if arising from some external creative impulse.” We also use the phrase in a looser sense: “That movie spoke to me,” for example. Can we not apply that phrase to our faith as Christians?
There have been times when Jesus has directed me to say certain things. I have personally experienced that when speaking before crowds in stadiums and in one-on-one conversations. People have told me that hearing a message changed the course of their life. One young lady was going to get an abortion and heard me speak about what the Bible says about the value of all life, and she changed her mind. I recently met her as she was holding her beautiful 18- month-old daughter.
I think Jesus has something to say to all of us, and here it is: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV).
I wish more people would listen to Him.
In the wake of this tragic shooting at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I think the most rational response is to call out to God and ask Him to speak. This is not a time to mock those who have faith in God through Jesus Christ. This is a time for all Americans to pray and listen for the voice of God.
And I’m personally glad we have a vice president that listens to the voice of God.
Greg Laurie is an American author and pastor who serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, Harvest Church at Kumulani in Kapalua, Hawaii, and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California.