I watched a movie the other day called “Race”. It is the story of Jesse Owens, one of the greatest Olympians in American history. Jesse Owens was a black track and field athlete at Ohio State when segregation was still prevalent in the United States. Let’s just say that he was not warmly welcomed at Ohio State by a all of the white athletes.
In one scene in the movie, Jesse is working out with his coach on the track, and some of the football players come up and start hassling him. They are saying some pretty degrading things about him and the color of his skin. It distracts Jesse from the workout. When he gets to the locker room, Jesse’s coach is upset with him. The coach is asking Jesse why he let the football players distract him.
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While Jesse’s coach is giving his talk, the whole football team walks in behind him. The football coach tells Jesse’s coach to leave so that the football team can have the locker room. Jesse’s coach sort of brushes him off and tells the football coach to hold on until he is done talking to his track team. The football team doesn’t like that very much. They all get angry and start yelling at Jesse’s coach. But Jesse’s coach doesn’t even flinch. He doesn’t even pay attention to the football team, and just keeps talking to his track team. The track team gets scared and tries to leave, but their coach tells them to sit down. The coach says, “It’s just noise. Pay attention to me, not to them. That’s just noise. Can you hear me?”
Eventually the coach looks right at Jesse in the middle of all the chaos and says, “Jesse, can you hear me!?” In that moment, Jesse is finally able to tune out all the noise around him and hear only his coach. With a big smile on his face, Jesse says, “Yeah, coach. I can hear you!”
I sat in awe as I watched this scene and thought to myself how it was such an amazing parallel to our spiritual walk with Holy Spirit. He is always there talking to us and instructing us in the way that is most beneficial for us and everyone else. He is always lovingly whispering into our ear. However, at the same time, we have an enemy that is just like that football team. Always yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs, trying to distract us and keep us from hearing the voice of Holy Spirit. He threatens us and tries like crazy to steal our identity in Christ. While our enemy is trying to intimidate us, Holy Spirit is just looking at us and saying, “It’s just noise. He has already been defeated. Just listen to me. Can you hear me?”
I am getting ready to go on a trip to Africa to help put up a church building and a well in a community that is primed and ready to further the gospel. At this point, I have seen God do some miraculous things for this trip. He has brought in more financial support than we could ever imagine. He has taken what we thought was a big vision and expanded it. It’s been miraculous to watch. However, there was a time in this journey where my faith was dwindling. I knew that He had called me to go, but there were so many voices that were coming against it. The enemy was doing everything he could to get me to go against the instruction God had given me. It was the toughest opposition I have ever faced for a mission trip.
God certainly brought me through it, and He has claimed a huge victory already. We kept pressing forward, and He proved once again that He is God and His plans will not be thwarted. But seeing this seen in the movie the other night really solidified things for me. It was like God, as the personal coach of my life was looking directly at me and saying, “Brian, it’s just noise! Do you see now!? I am bigger and far greater than anything that can come against you. Can you hear me!?”
So I ask you today, “Can you hear Him?” What is God calling you to do that the enemy has been trying to drown out with lies and intimidation? It’s just noise! The enemy cannot even begin to stand up against our great God. Forget about the noise today. What is your Heavenly Father calling you to do? That is always the voice of truth that we can trust and follow.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way;walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21