Listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting in your life.
Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia have made it back to the Rebel base with the technical readout for the Death Star. Knowing that they now have the advantage, the Rebellion pushes for an attack- it’s a nearly impossible shot, but one of their pilots has to make a running hit into an exhaust port only two meters across- it’s the only weakness the Death Star has. They send out their best pilots to take on the challenge, but the Empire is ready for them. One after the other, Rebel ships go down in flames until Luke is the only one left. Hot on his tail is Darth Vader, along with two of his own fighter pilots.
Action, Obedience, Trust, Faith, Holy Spirit
Luke travels down the trench of the Death Star, on his way to the exhaust port, with Vader right on him. He’s going as quick as he can, pushing his computer to lock onto the target faster. But Darth Vader and his forces are gaining on him. Luke struggles to speed up his computer when he hears a voice -- the voice of his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi. “Use the Force, Luke. Let go, Luke!” But Luke hesitates -- the computer is usually the only way to hit a target this complicated, and he can’t afford to miss. However, even Vader notes that the Force is strong with Luke. Obi-Wan speaks again, telling Luke to trust him. And with this, Luke puts away his computer and goes by the power of the Force. The command center checks on him, noting that he’s taken away his most powerful piece of equipment. As they do, the Death Star finally moves into attack position on the Rebel base. With only seconds left, Luke races on. Vader gets a lock on his ship, but just before he can fire, Han Solo jumps into the fight, distracting Vader and his other pilots. Now free and clear, Luke fires two shots into the exhaust port, and they go straight down. He pulls his plane away from the doomed ship. Those on board have no idea what’s happened, though, and even as they’re celebrating their imminent victory, the shots land on their target, blowing up the Death Star and saving the Rebellion.
Luke has all of the pressure in the world on him. This is his last and only chance to save the Rebellion from utter doom. The most powerful member of the Empire is on his tail, and he’s gaining on him. In this moment, when everything is on the line, Luke hears the voice of his old mentor, asking him to do the impossible. Obi-Wan tells Luke to make the shot without aid from his R2 unit or his on-board computer. He asks Luke to trust the Force. Now, if you were Luke, would you be willing to trust the Force? If that question feels a little silly, change the Force to the Holy Spirit. Now I want to make it clear that The Force in Star Wars -- which is more like the Asian concept of Ying and Yang, or the light and dark forces of Manicheanism -- is not the same as the Holy Spirit, who is the Third Person of the Triune God. In this scene, I am only trying to get at the issue of trusting self or trusting in the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of God prompts you to do something that feels ridiculous or out of the ordinary, are you willing to follow through? Take, for example, the story in Judges 7 about Gideon fighting the Midianites. While the Midianites had around 135,000 men to the Israelite’s 32,000, God told Gideon that he had too many soldiers for the battle. He asked Gideon to whittle away his army until there were only 300 Israelites left. Gideon listened to Him, and in the battle, the Midianites were so afraid, they wound up fighting each other in their confusion. But imagine how afraid Gideon must have been as God told him to dismiss one soldier after the other. It seemed like the opposite of what any other commander would do, yet Gideon was faithful and was rewarded for his faith with victory. In John 10:27, Jesus assures His followers that they will hear His voice and know to follow Him. He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is the one who claims us for God (Romans 8:16). We can also hear God’s voice through His Word, the Bible (Hebrews 4:12). But when the Holy Spirit prompts us, we need to be ready to listen. We cannot lean on our own understanding, as is much more comfortable (Proverbs 3:5), but instead, we must trust in the Lord. He is faithful and good, and if we listen to Him, He will not abandon us (Psalm 9:10). He will protect us and guide us according to His will.