Monday, April 11, 2011

Convicted!

No, my irrational fear of wrongful imprisonment has not come to fruition. Not that kind of convicted.

We have a Roku player in our home. A Roku player allows us to stream audio and video content from various internet locations, including Netflix, Crackle, Amazon on Demand, Pandora, etc.

I love it.

It's what we have instead of cable. There's always something on I want to watch—movies, TV shows. As I've probably mentioned before, I'm a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I've seen every episode because all the seasons are streaming on Netflix, and I recently watched the latter seasons on the Roku (whole seasons which I somehow missed originally?). Lately, I've started watching the show Angel, which is a spin-off of Buffy. Same evil creatures, same heroic Scooby-type squad. Took me a while to get into it, but now I'm on season three and hooked.

The other day while I was watching it, this little voice in the back of my head said, "Stop watching Angel."

What what? Stop watching Angel? For reals? I assumed I misheard it and continued watching.

The next day, the little voice popped up again. "Rachel, seriously. Stop watching Angel."

Again, I ignored it. The voice didn't pop up while I was working on the last few seasons of Buffy. Why would it have a problem with Angel? Nope.

This voice kept popping up and bugging me. Well, we'll say it was nudging me. Not without cause—I'd recently had some terribly frightening Angel-related dreams. That in itself should have scared me out of watching the show. The dreams were that bad. Then at our small group on Friday, we were studying John 3, and John 3:19-21 says:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

Interesting. It doesn't say, "It's totally acceptable to hang onto some darkness and some light. Also, it's totally OK to ignore God. No big deal."

We started talking about ways we still dip our toes into darkness when we're supposed to be living in the light—and the things we don't want to live out in the light in front of other followers. So I opened my big mouth to my small group and said, "I think God wants me to stop watching Angel. But I don't want to!" At first, one of my friends—who is also a big Buffy and Angel fan—said, "No! You can't! I want you to watch the whole thing so we can talk about it!"

That had crossed my mind, actually. I thought, "Well, I only have two and a half seasons to go. Once I'm done, I won't need to watch them again. I just want to see what happens!"

But that's not what God said. He said, "Stop watching Angel." Not, "OK, finish the series and then stop watching Angel."

Then my friend realized that she didn't want to advise me to disobey God, naturally, so she said, "Yeah, you've got to stop watching. Darn it!"

Darn it, indeed.

This isn't a commentary on Angel being darkness—although, you know, demons and such aren't exactly light viewing. There's nothing inherently wrong with watching Angel. The problem here is obedience. I heard God's voice, and I refused to listen. I wanted to do what I wanted to do!

Kind of a theme in my life.

You're either in darkness or in light. You're either listening to God or you're not. You can't say you're a follower of God and then ignore him. When you feel that tugging at your heart, you've got to listen. He's got his reasons. Even when I really want to know what happens to Angel because I hear he turns into Angelus for a while and that's scary and how does he change and I really want to see how they deal with Wolfram and Hart and if Darla comes back and what happens with her and...and...

I'm done. If nothing else, I can just go read the synopsis somewhere and figure out what happens without having to watch it. And now that I've made the decision, I feel a lot of peace. Because I listened.

What's God been asking you to do, and why have you been ignoring him?

11 comments:

  1. Ugh. Punch to the gut first thing on Monday morning! No fair!

    Really. Good post. Now I'll be more attuned to that still, small voice today that guides me even when I don't listen or obey. So really, thanks.

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  2. I had to stop reading those celeb gossip things on the internet. I could be using that time in the Word.

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  3. Thanks for confirming my niggling conviction about picking up my laptop to check FaceBook and my favorite blogs first thing in the morning, before even saying hello (forget listening) to my Creator... I needed the extra shove. Thanks. :-)

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  4. Ugh...I hate to admit it but my little voice (let's face it, it's "the big voice" but if you try hard enough you can convince yourself) told me a long time ago to re-evaluate how I spent money but it took me a LONG time to finally listen to it.

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  5. I'm with adventuresindinner. I've been hearing about it because of my spending habits. I have got to give this to Him and let Him guide me with this area of my life. What am I waiting for?

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  6. First time here. A couple of weeks ago, a couple from my church went on a short term mission trip to Honduras (they are still there, but come back this weekend). I haven't been getting much work for awhile, so the money hasn't been coming in - I haven't had much money for anything. But, after hearing them talk about something they wanted to do with some of the kids and adults down there (take them to a local attraction) that they normally can't go to because they don't have money to do that.

    Well, I felt God nudging me to give them some money so they could take another kid or two on the excursion. I didn't want to, because as I said I didn't have much money to begin with. However, I followed through because I felt God telling me to do it.

    Aside from that, I haven't been hearing God speaking to me much lately... :o(

    Shelley

    P.S. Hope you'll stop by my blog some time!

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  7. Man, I hope you hear a voice being like "Ok, you can watch Angel again", because you're missing entire plotlines!

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  8. @Missy I know! I'm hoping that if I listen now I'll get a reprieve later. lol

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  9. I've never really heard His voice that clearly.

    There is something in my life that I feel like I'm being told to give up, but I also don't know if I'm confusing what God would want me to do with a convenient excuse. (not that yours is like that- just talking about my own. LOL)

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  10. In my teens and early twenties I was a soap opera junkie. I remember clearly when God told me to stop watching them. I knew when He said to stop that it was for my benefit. He pointed out to me that the over-the-top romantic storylines were distorting my view of what love should look like. I went cold turkey and haven't watched a soap since and even have given up a few night time shows that became too soap-like for me.

    Several years later I had to give up ALL ministry/volunteer work for two years because God told me to...because I was spending too much time "doing for God" and not enough time "being with God". At first I thought He just wanted me to scale back, but He made it clear I had to give it all up.

    I don't know if I would have had the will to give up these things if I had not understood the reasons. Which leaves me wondering if there is anything I am clinging to that my Father wants me to give up and I am just pushing the notion aside because I don't understand the why. Hmmmmmm?

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  11. Good post! When I was in my first semester of college, I was addicted to Anne Rice. I loved not only her stories, but also her style of writing. It actually helped me to write after reading one or two chapters of the Vampire Chronicles! I began to get very uneasy when the books began to deal with the question of whether or not God existed. They got really dark. I think that began my journey of discernment when it came to entertainment. I hate horror movies now, and I have a tendency to despise anything that distorts truth (like ghost-whisperer, supernatural, etc..) and causes people to buy the lies that they sell. I have a feeling that you are never going to hear that voice say "start watching again.." Obviously it is not about works, but God is shaping you for His glory in this area and He usually doesn't change His mind! I enjoyed your post.

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