Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Never doubt that you are to be aware and open to God working in your life at all times. Most importantly, never doubt that if you are working for God, then you will be face to face with evil. You see, I am a firm believer that when I am doing God’s work, the devil is not happy. I know that you may think I am crazy when I say this, but I have seen it happen way too many times. Whenever I am working on a church retreat, speaking or writing, I seem to have a lot of obstacles in my way. When those obstacles don’t exist, then I have to think, “Am I doing the right thing for God, because if I am, why isn’t the devil trying to stop my work?” Even in the small events of life, if you are working to become closer to God, evil will be an obstacle.
Yesterday, my friend and I decided to take our daughters to a movie. Both my friend and I had been face to face with very exhausting weeks. I had even turned down an invitation from my sister for play tickets that very night because I was just completely wiped from my week. Shortly after my sister called and I had turned her down, my friend phoned me.
“Heh Anne, how about if we take the girls out to a movie tonight?” my friend asked.
“You know what, I think this might be good for me, and I know Megan would enjoy a good movie.”
As tired as I was, I logged on to the computer and purchased the tickets for the movie my friend had suggested and I had agreed to. Now, I am going to preface this with, my friend is a wonderful Christian woman. She is someone I completely admire and love to have God conversations with. So it surprised me when I logged on to the movie site and realized the movie was rated “R.” Okay, well, I had never taken Megan to a rated “R” movie. I had seen previews for the movie, and I couldn’t imagine besides vulgar language what possibly could happen during this film to give it such a rating. My friend surely knew what she was doing and I completely trust her choices. Anyway, I bought the tickets and had a short conversation with Megan about what might happen during this rated “R” movie. Trust me when I say, I had NO IDEA what was ahead of us.
So anyway, we bought our popcorn and drinks and saved seats for our friends. The movie was very funny and one that didn’t require a lot of thinking (which was good because both my friend and I couldn’t have put two thoughts together after our week), but the additional scenes that made the movie rated “R” took both my friend and I aback. Not only were we completely embarrassed that we brought our 14 year olds to this movie, but I think both of us realized – we must have been crazy when we saw this was rated “R” and still walked into the show! I had waved at the beginning of the evening to one of my friends who had brought her husband to the movie for date night. I was thinking to myself, “What kind of mom does this woman think I am?” Oh my. I was definitely going to hear about this when I see this woman at our next bell choir rehearsal. I was sinking lower in my seat as I realized what I was watching. I sunk even lower as I turned to the two innocent teenagers that we brought into this theater.
The best part of the whole evening was when my friend turned to me and said, “Of all the friends that I would bring to this movie, I brought the Christian writer and speaker!” I could have said the same back to her after all she works at a Christian Foundation that markets to Christian youths. What. Were. We. Thinking???
Anyway, the evening was planned out of the goodness of our hearts. We wanted to spend time with our teenage daughters. We wanted to show them that we love them by taking them to a movie. We wanted to get in some time with our children after a busy, hectic and tiring week. Our motives were good. And as I sat down to blog this morning, I realized that yep, I was definitely doing something powerful last night because evil was right there trying to tempt my friend and myself. So as I got home last night, I got a text from my friend. She said, you know the message was good in the movie. We probably should talk to our girls about redemption. The message was clear. People can change and become more Jesus-like at any point in their life. We should give everyone a chance to see Jesus within us and show them how to place Jesus within their hearts. At this point, I re-read her text, which said, “Well to debrief the movie, I think there are some important themes of transparency, forgiveness and redemption. Of course, it was masked by a lot of colorful moments but hopefully God will keep those veiled from our daughters.”
Perfectly said. When evil works in our lives we have to counter it. We must take it and sink it back to the ground where it belongs. Even better, we must deny it admittance into our hearts. I could have beaten myself up about my mistake. Sure, I could have stopped when I saw the rating and called my friend, but it is never too late for redemption. God will always show us the route back to good and do His best to stop us from evil. When you are face to face with evil choices, look to God. He will ALWAYS give you a way out.
In the meantime, my friend and I learned a valuable lesson – ALWAYS GO SEE A MOVIE BEFORE TAKING YOUR CHILD TO IT. Thank goodness, it is never too late for redemption!