Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges.  This week’s topic is part of our series called God Is… where we’re trying to learn about God’s character and nature through some key stories in the Bible.

Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. Every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with others in community.

In a classic Simpsons episode, there is a scene where Homer thinks his life is perfect the way it is, and asks God to keep it that way in this prayer:

Dear Lord: The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here’s the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won’t ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no sign. Thy will be done.

Homer clearly deosn’t expect God to actually answer with words, or actions, he expects no response at all.  It’s all a game to eat cookies and milk.

It shouldn’t be funny, but it is.  Do you know why?  Because it’s how many of us pray, but we won’t admit it.  We see prayer as a therapeutic exercise, that’s all about helping us feel better.  Or we see prayer as futile – something we’re supposed to do, but that won’t make any real difference.

But what if God actually spoke to you?  And he was challenging the very thing you just requested?  Would you change your mind, or try to plow ahead anyway, imagining you didn’t really hear God at all?

That’s what happened to one man in the story we’ll explore this week.  But first,

Question: Have you, or someone you know, claimed to hear the voice of God?  Did you believe it?  Why or why not?