Pastor's Chapel message: Listen to the right voice

Josh Watt, lead pastor of Redemption North Mountain, encouraged students at Monday's Chapel to tune out the negative voices.

Photos by Ralph Freso / Slideshow / Chapel stream

Josh Watt posed this question: If you could be given any superhero power you wanted, what would it be?

Someone in the audience knew exactly what superhero power he wanted to wield. He wanted to be able to conjure up any food he wanted from the palm of his hands.

Cool superhero power.

But Watt, lead pastor at Redemption North Mountain and a returning speaker at Grand Canyon University Chapel, had a different thought.

He equated receiving that gift to answering a common question Jesus posed in the Bible. He often asked, “If you could have anything in this world done to you, for you, through you, what would you want done?

“I think back to my college years, my pre-Christian years, and I think about a superhero power, or if Jesus met me wherever I was and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ I would not be able to answer it like I could now. Back then, I was not self-reflective enough. I didn’t have enough awareness of who I was, but looking back, here’s what I would want Jesus to do for me.

“Here’s my superpower I would love: I would love Him to take away all my insecurities,” said Watt, who spoke to the campus community Monday morning at GCU Arena. “The food coming out of the hand sounds nice, but I’d love NOT to have any insecurity.”

Watt said he shouldn’t be insecure and had all the tools he needed to be confident. He was popular in high school and part of a cool, "rougher" crowd. Still, he wasn’t quite as rough as his friends, and if he were to dissect his heart, he said, what would be at the center of it was deep-seated insecurity.

“Insecurity is not being comfortable in the skin God has given you, and for most of my life — all of my life before I met Jesus — I was never fully comfortable in my own skin, whether I was successful in baseball or sports or academics.”

The Worship team’s Trina Beecher sings in praise during Chapel.

To understand insecurity, Watt said we must look to the root of insecurity — sin.

When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, they sinned, and in that moment, “There’s this fracture that enters the world, the universe, for the very first time, and instead of running towards God, their Father, they run away from God, so there’s separation between man and God because of sin.”

Because of sin, there’s now friction between Adam and Eve, who blame each other. Because of sin, Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened and, for the first time, they feel shame in their nakedness and cover themselves with fig leaves.

“Where does insecurity come from? It comes from sin,” Watt said, adding that no amount of success, performance or popularity can take away our insecurities.

Watt shared with the audience one of his superpowers as a dad, which is to be able to name another human being. He began telling the story of Micaiah, after whom he wanted to name his third-born child (though he and his wife ended up not using that name).

In 1 Kings 22, Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, and Ahab, the King of Israel, discussed going into battle against Ramoth-Gilead and asked all the prophets whether God would be with them. They consulted with 400 prophets, all of whom assured them of victory.

Watt speaks of his insecurities.

But Jehoshaphat wanted to know, “Is there anyone else we can ask?”

And there was, the prophet Micaiah.

Ahab reveals that he doesn’t want to ask Micaiah because he only tells him things he doesn’t want to hear.

Micaiah at first repeats what the other prophets have said, that the kings will be successful in battle. But when Jehoshaphat and Ahab press him further, he shares the genuine word of God and reveals that they will not be victorious.

Alhough the other prophets told the kings what they wanted to hear, Micaiah dared to tell the truth.

King Ahab was killed in the fighting, just as Micaiah predicted.

In telling this story, the lesson Watt wanted for his children was that they would be the voice of truth, no matter the cost. But he said as his children get older, he sees this story through the eyes of Ahab more than Micaiah.

Watt shares the story of Micaiah, the lone dissenting voice among 400 prophets.

“Ahab made a choice. I’m not going to listen to all those voices. I’m going to listen to the voice I want to listen to, so I’ll gather up my people. …

“Micaiah’s life lesson, if I could write it down, is: Be the right voice. Ahab’s life lesson is this: Listen to the right voice, no matter how many voices you are hearing.”

And these days, it’s hard to hear the right voice through all the white noise, considering cell phones that give us access to news, social media and the chatter of the world every hour of the day.

NEXT CHAPEL SPEAKER (11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 6, GCU Arena)
Ashley Wooldridge, Christ's Church of the Valley

“You have all of the voices of the world right before you all the time, and are they speaking life or are they stirring in you that insecurity that was in me? That’s the question,” Watt asked.

Even in quiet times, we suffer from the “spotlight syndrome,” in which we overestimate how much others are paying attention to us.

“Here’s what’s real about the world we live in. We can’t ever escape it. You go into your room to be quiet, and there’s still the spotlight syndrome with all the technology, this constant nagging. People are thinking stuff about me. I’m not as good. I’m not as pretty. … It’s sad.”

Watt quoted French philosopher Blaise Pascal who said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

We’re so insecure, Watt said, that we can’t even be alone with our thoughts. We choose to distract ourselves in those quiet moments.

What we need to do is turn down the negative voices, and once you do that, “Listen to the right voice. … The voice that can eliminate, remove, turn down insecurity is His Son, Jesus Christ.”

While there is a thief that comes to steal and kill and destroy, Watt said, Jesus came so we could have life to the fullest, and that's the greatest superhero power.

Contact Lana Sweeten-Shults, Manager of Internal Communications, at [email protected] or at 602-639-7901.

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Bible Verse

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

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