Have you ever experienced a time when you were absolutely sure God was showing you something, teaching you, encouraging you? There are times when I hear the voice of the little angel on my shoulder, whispering that perhaps something isn’t a good idea – I’ve learned to listen to that voice because it’s been right more than wrong. But I’m talking about those times when a sequence of events, scripture, or conversations just keep recurring; when something just won’t let go of your thoughts, your dreams or your focus. Have you ever experienced that?
Since becoming a Christian, I’ve had this experience a several times. At first I would brush it off and not take it too seriously, and when I did that I missed opportunities of various kinds. I’ve learned that when this happens, I need to pay attention. I need to pray about it and search the scriptures – I need to get with God and understand what He’s trying to tell me, because yes, I’m sure that God speaks to us if we truly listen with our hearts.
The past couple days God has been showing me something. I’m not sure yet where He is taking me, exactly, but I am sure He is taking me somewhere. First, a recommendation for a Christian movie showed up in my social media feed. I moved past it without much thought, but the recommendation kept recurring – so I investigated the movie premise and was intrigued. I made a note to consider watching it and then the thought slipped out of my head again. Long story short, I finally watched it because I knew that reminder wasn’t going to stop until I did.
The movie spoke of drawing near to God, of being aware of the danger of becoming complacent in our Christian faith and obedience to God’s Law. It spoke of how movies, television, and other activities can expose us to things we know are against God’s Law, and how by continuing to participate we can slowly become numb to those things we know are wrong. It was a reminder that Christians need to be very discerning in all that we do, that our life should reflect Christ. As I watched the movie, I realized that I need to make some changes. When I went to bed, I prayed about what was shown to me and thought I was done, that I had satisfied that nudge I was experiencing.
Now those of you who have experienced God’s push know that it’s usually not that easy. There always seems to be more — and there was. The next day, I opened my devotional study and the title was “Drawing Near through Christ.” Hebrews 10:22 “Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” and 1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”
As I meditated on these verses and the message of the movie, I recalled the sermons of the past few Sundays. Our pastor is teaching in the book of James, and has reminded that God’s wisdom produces peace & righteousness without partiality or hypocrisy, that sinful passions draw us away from unity with Christ, and of the dangers of becoming too friendly with the world.
I think that God may be reminding me of the importance of discernment in all my activities. If the movie I’m watching goes against the Scripture, should I watch? If I know that I lose control of my tongue when I have that 2nd glass of wine, should I have it? If an activity suggested by friends makes me uncomfortable, should I participate anyway? Would God join me in this activity?
How we live and govern our lives comes down to a personal choice and the convictions God places on each of us. But if we profess to be Christians, we should be striving for unity with God’s Word, and our lives should be a reflection of His light. We should listen to his voice and hold fast to Him. We should carefully consider how God sees our choices.
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7 NIV