In a recent interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight shared how an encounter with God during a season of personal strife changed his life for the better.
"I was in a lot of trouble at one point. I had some problems, and I was really suffering for many reasons," the longtime actor told Carlson. "My career was in flux at that time, and lots of things were going on at the time. My relationship to my kids and my wife."
Voight, 82, noted that he was on the floor saying, "It's so difficult," in which he heard an audible voice who told him, "It's supposed to be difficult."
According to CBN News, Voight described the voice as "a voice of wisdom, kindness, clarity ... it has so much resonance, this voice."
"At that time, I knew what it meant. I'm not alone. Everything is known ... I am known. That's what it meant to me. I felt this tremendous energy," he recalled. "Somebody's rooting for me. It's like, don't give up. There's a purpose here. You've got a ways to go, son. And I felt great."
Prior to that moment, Voight acknowledged that he was not a person "who really prays with the idea that anybody's listening."
"Now I know that we're covered. Everything we think, everything we say ... everything, you're known," he continued. "Like they say God knows every bird that falls; this is us too. We all are known. We're being observed and helped and loved. And we're expected to get up and do battle, do something, do what's right ... whatever it is."
"There's a purpose here, and the purpose is to learn our lessons and grow," Voight explained. "And what's the big deal? To give to each other. To be here to be of help. The next morning, I got up and said, 'What have You got for me today?'"
Voight then recalled turning the radio on later that day and hearing the lyrics to the song "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" by George Gershwin.
"I'll build a stairway to paradise with a new step every day," the actor sang the lyrics during the interview.
Voight said that he has had many experiences since then that he believes are God's ways of "straighten out" his life.
"If I'm going to be a vessel for God, I better be cleaner than I was ... I've got to be a righteous fellow," he contended.
Voight made a case for the fear of God in keeping one's life on track.
"I have fear of the Lord ... I got it. I am afraid of offending God. Because God is everything. God is love," he said. "God is all these beautiful things, beauty, everything. And how can I live up to that? I need a lot of help. I think that is the fear of the Lord. It keeps you on track."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Staff
Video courtesy: ©Fox News
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.