LYNCHBURG, VA – If you spend time with God and learn His voice then He will direct your steps.
That's the message Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford (R) delivered to thousands of students gathered for convocation at Liberty University on Monday.
Instead of delivering a political message, Lankford put on his preacher hat and opened by telling students, "I wanna have a conversation about where you are spiritually."
"Over and over in the Bible Jesus says, 'Come follow me,' " Lankford told them.
As students grapple with questions about what they're going to do after college, Lankford reminded them of Jesus' disciples.
"He didn't give them an occupation. He didn't give them a location – He said, 'Come follow me.' "
"The revolution in the Christian life is when you stop being obsessed with the 'what you do' and you become obsessed with the 'who you follow,' " he said to applause.
He encouraged students to get into God's Word, hang out with other people who follow God and spend time in prayer alone with God.
"If you're not spending time alone with God, you're not going to hear His instruction," he admonished.
"This is the part of scripture that Joy Behar calls 'mental illness,' " Lankford said, referring to "The View" co-host's recent comments about Vice President Mike Pence's faith.
"This is the part where people say, 'God speaks to you?' Yes. That's what 'follow' me means," Lankford said.
"For those who are followers of Christ we believe that He is not only alive, but He cares about our daily life," he continued. "And if He cares about our daily life, why wouldn't He guide us?"
"There's nothing more intimidating than praying at the beginning of the day by saying, "God, I want to spend my day following You,' " he told the students. "God will speak to you if you trust Him."
Before running for Congress, Lankford served as director of Student Ministry at the Baptist Convention of Oklahoma. He also served as director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp, the largest youth camp in the United States, with more than 51,000 individuals attending each summer.
Lankford says when he told people he was running for Congress, many said, "But you're leaving ministry."
He replied, "This is me following Jesus."