“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 (NIV)
One of the most powerful ways I hear God’s voice is through story. I am an avid reader of anything with a great story, but I also love a good movie. Movies are a vivid representation of story and God can speak through these as well if I’m paying attention. The question is, “Am I paying attention?”
I have a very eclectic pallet when it comes to movies. If you asked me what my favorite movie is, I couldn’t tell you because it would depend on the genre, and even then I would probably have several for each category. But I know my favorites, because they are the ones that I will stop everything for and watch if I’m scanning through the channel guide and see them.
I think sometimes God uses movies to speak to me because I don’t expect to hear his voice in them; yet, in different seasons of my life this is one of the most powerful methods he uses with me. It’s as if since I wasn’t trying so hard to hear his voice, it was somehow easier to hear him. I’m so thankful for these moments.
I’ve heard his whisper to persevere through movies like Braveheart, 300, and Hacksaw Ridge. A prompting to love well and enter into other’s pain through Good Will Hunting and Terms of Endearment. Any love story, I’m definitely drawn to, because they remind me that God pursues us with a love that never gives up. On and on I could go with this, but in recent weeks I heard his voice in the most unlikely of movies… The Devil Wears Prada.
I know what you’re probably thinking, what a strange movie for God to speak through. I know! I thought the same thing, and yet that is where he gave me the language to explain to others what has been going on in my life.
You see, as I’m moving into the unknown with God into various endeavors of writing and teaching, I’ve received a lot of questions. One of which has been, “How will you know if this endeavor with God is successful?” As I’ve pondered this question at length, a scene from The Devil Wears Prada came to mind and I had to chuckle as it gave me the answer to the question for which I’ve been trying to explain.
There’s a scene where the overbearing, nightmare editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine “Runway,” Miranda Priestly, is going to preview the new line of one of her magazine’s newest premier designer. As she sits, meticulously scrutinizing every garment that comes out, she lets the designer know how she feels in “her own way” without actually speaking a word. One nod, two nods, a smile (which has only happened once), etc., and everyone knows what each of these slight movements mean.
The most dreaded of all expressions is if she purses her lips. This means in no uncertain terms, “complete catastrophe.” So as the final dress in the designer’s collections comes out, which is supposed to be Miranda’s exclusive look for an upcoming event, and the designer sees her lips purse, all chaos ensues. The preview ends and the designer vows to fix the problem.
Upon leaving the showing, Andy, Miranda’s new assistant, is confused and leans into a colleague, Nigel, and whispers… “So because she pursed her lips, he’s gonna change his entire collection?” To which Nigel responds, “You still don’t get it, do you? Her opinion is the only one that matters.”
Hearing those words from Nigel caused me to pause as I thought to myself, “Yep, that’s it for me too!” Well kind of, just with Jesus and not Miranda Priestly.
You see, the whole point of being in a personal relationship with Jesus is so we can get to know him intimately, learning to hear his voice. Even though we don’t hear him audibly, at least I never have, I can hear his unspoken voice through reading, movies, nature, prayer, worship music, and many other things, which in turn allows me to be obedient to what I hear.
“How will I know if this endeavor with God is successful?” It will be successful if at the end of 2017 I lay my head on my pillow knowing I was obedient to the voice I heard, regardless of the outcomes, because…
His voice “is the only one that matters.”
For Your Reflection…
Do you know how Jesus speaks to you? This is the first step in being able to hear him, and it’s different for each of us. If you do know how he speaks to you, are you being obedient to what you are hearing?
A fantastic resource to learn how you are wired to hear God’s voice is, “Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Pathway to God” by Gary L. Thomas.