Knowing that the God of the universe is interested in each one of us, that we can communicate with Him, and He with us, it has long been my desire, and I have often expressed my wish, that He would communicate with me more.
While God gives us many directives in the Scriptures regarding how to live life (i.e. love, serve, forgive, etc.), I desire specific guidance. I often think that I have too many things to do in a day (or too many things that I want to do) and say, “I wish God would just hand me His ‘to-do’ list for me each morning.”
Yes, I want my wise, all-knowing heavenly Father to guide me.
Earlier this week I had an interesting experience: Several times a week I exercise on our elliptical machine and watch a part of a movie while doing so. I continue the movie where I left off the next time I elliptical, so it takes me two to three sessions of using the elliptical to finish a movie.
In this way, (I have been doing this for around five years), I have watched all the movies we own many, many times and am on the lookout for new movies to borrow from the library, or from friends.
Earlier this week as I exercised, I began watching a movie that I had borrowed. It was a “chick-flick” – a romantic comedy. Not an amazing movie, but enjoyable enough, distracting me from the pain of exertion, which is the point.
After I turned it off, however, I felt a nudge from God that I shouldn’t continue watching it next time I exercised, that I should give it back.
Why ouch? Because I wanted to watch the rest of it. If I walk in on someone watching something (even though I had no previous interest in watching it), I could get sucked in in no time flat, and here was something that I had been watching for forty-five minutes!
But I really felt a nudge from God, so I decided to return the movie to the lender, unfinished. It was a little bit difficult because it went against my desire. But as I struggled with it I thought, “Wait a minute. If the Almighty God wants me to not watch a certain movie, is it really a big thing not to? Seriously?”
So my decision was made.
I did believe that it would be quite all right to look up a brief summary of the story online to see how it ended because knowing the end had nothing to do with why I wasn’t to watch it. So I looked it up on “pluggedin.ca” which gives a summary of movies, and tells of specific content – foul language, sex, violence, and spiritual/religious content.
At this point my struggle began again because the summary/review I read made it sound like quite a nice, harmless movie that had some positive elements. So I thought: “This movie is harmless: maybe I could just finish it.”
But no, I chose to listen to the nudge from God. That still small voice that I am pretty sure is God’s. I have heard it before: sometimes as I am about to open my mouth and say something, that still, small voice tells me that I shouldn’t say what I was about to. Sometimes that voice leads me to do something, i.e. call a certain person.
I can choose to ignore it (and I have, at times). I have heard it said that God wants to communicate with us, He speaks to us, but if we keep on saying ,”No” – ignoring Him – we will stop hearing Him.
There is discernment involved. Every thought or every voice we hear is not necessarily God’s. Knowing God’s written Word very well (the Bible) is essential to our discerning His voice.
For example, the nudge that I felt was in keeping with God’s Word that says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8). The movie missed that mark quite a bit.
So I have resolved to continue to say “Yes” to the still, small voice of God, whether He is leading me to do something or not to do something. If I want God to guide me, I should listen when He does.
Don’t you think?