I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name bear witness about Me, but you do not believe because you are not part of My flock. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:25-27
I don’t know if you have followed the flap in the media this week regarding the comments made on the ABC show “The View” about Vice President Mike Pence. Former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman said that the most dangerous person, the one that we should really be afraid of, is the Vice President. She said that he not only talks to Jesus, but Pence also says things because he believes that Jesus talks to him and tells him to say them.
Joy Behar then said, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you…that’s called mental illness.” John 10 makes it pretty clear that there is a division between those who will hear Jesus’ voice and those who won’t. Those who don’t are not a part of His flock. The group of Jews around Jesus had been arguing with Him and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” He answered, “I told you, and you do not believe. You don’t believe because you aren’t a part of My flock.”
In John 15:18-23 Jesus went on to warn His followers that ‘the world’ was going to hate them. They hated Him, they were going to hate them. The same thing applies to us. The same spirit of the world is here today. It drives the media, politics, and just about everything around us. And it hates Jesus and it hates followers of Jesus.
And for sure, if we start talking about hearing Jesus talking to us, they aren’t going to get it. Not even most believers get it. I’m not even I understand His voice most days. The voice of Jesus is one of the most wonderful, most precious and most confusing things in my Christian life. If I were to start my sentences with things like, “Jesus told me to give you this money,” or “Jesus told me to quit my job, so I’m quitting,” the words ‘mentally ill’ would soon trail behind me as well.
I like what JD Greear writes in his book, Jesus Continued: “Such experiences (like God throwing us a curveball, or God moving in our spirit is not on the time table we thought it was) should teach us to hold our perception of what the Holy Spirit is ‘telling us’ loosely,” on pg. 166. I can sense that God is telling me something, or leading me to make certain decisions, or pressing something on my heart. All of these have happened to me in varying degrees of intensity.
There are times when I know from the Holy Spirit pressing inside of me that I need to say with boldness that it wasn’t just a coincidence that I knew to give somebody something specific, or to call at the right time, etc. but that God led me to do it. To tell that to a nonChristian at work takes a risk. And there are times when I know that God is speaking that I can’t deny that it could be Him and I need to act on it.
I am i the middle of sensing that God is moving me through His Holy Spirit to uproot me from my current full time job to a possible ministry position. This is where the rubber meets the road. It is not just a debate for “The View” between scoffers or those who genuinely can’t understand this talk about hearing from God. It is about my husband and I listening to God and obeying Him.
In Hebrews 11 it says that Abraham left without knowing where he was going. I’d like it to be a little more clear than that. I am trusting Psalm 32:8-9 that promises (and warns), I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
And no, I am not mentally ill. I am one of Jesus’ sheep.