At The Movies: Moana
Inspired by the movie, Moana, this week’s message reminds us that we as Christians need to remember who we truly are and to discover what our purpose is as children of God. We need to answer His call for our lives, knowing that there is a war for our hearts, but that God carries us through that battle and will guide us in our purpose.
Something To Talk About:
Most of us are deeply concerned with living meaningful, purposeful lives, and we spend a lot of energy trying to figure out if we are doing it. We want to know what God wants for our lives, and we want to know today. So how do we discover our purpose? The movie Moana gives us some insight.
- Your passions reveal your purpose: We all will ask a couple of core questions at one time or another in our lives: “What am I supposed to do?” Or “What is my purpose?” Chances are, you’ve asked yourself that question more than once because each passing season of life gives way to another where your circumstances, relationships, and desires change. Why is it important to discover your true identity, place, and purpose in life? From a Christ-follower’s point of view, the term “passion” can be easily misunderstood. An accurate description of “passion” is found in Romans 12:11: “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” Our passion is an interest so powerful that it bubbles and boils inside of us. God desires for us to find such causes and invest in them with intensity. Those passions can be a sign of your God-given purpose. We are passionate about our spouse, our children, our work. We get fired up over injustices in the world; when we hear about children being abused we get angry. When coupled with our talents, these passions point in the direction of our purpose. God has called you to a purpose and wants you to walk in it — for others and for your own joy. Also consider that since God has called you, He is completely able to reveal your purpose to you, and He will, as you diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
- Seek after God and he will reveal your purpose to you: The ending of Moana starts with an epic battle, then Moana says calmly, before the looming, furious Te Ka, “Let her come to me.” The ocean parts and Te Ka bears down angrily as Moana sings Know Who You Are, “I have crossed the horizon to find you /I know your name /They have stolen the heart from inside you, but this does not define you /This is not who you are /You know who you are.” Your Creator has a beautiful plan for your life. He designed you with a specific purpose on purpose. Your identity, gifts, and talents weren’t by chance, but an intentional design created by God’s powerful hands. But sometimes knowing which path to take and which direction to choose can be overwhelming. We overthink and allow confusion to take root while doubt clouds our judgment causing us to hesitate before we ever take that first step in faith. Yet understanding God’s purpose doesn’t have to be confusing or even mysterious. While our path may not always be clear with neatly planned out steps and directions, we can always trust God to lead us. When you’re searching for the next step, ask God. Seek Him. Ask Him to reveal His purpose for your life – listen and be obedient. And, while He is faithful to lead the way, trust that He will reveal Himself to you in His perfect time. As you seek and wait, and then pray. Persevering prayer is life-changing. Psalm 143:8 sums it all up: “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”
- What effect did Moana have on the way you relate to who you are and what should you do?
- Do you spend a lot of time questioning what your purpose is?
- How would knowing who you are, help you to know your purpose?
- When you think about how God knows everything, does that make you feel any differently about His purpose for you?
- Is it hard for you to commit to following God’s purpose for your life? Why or why not?
- God’s plan is perfect; God’s reason is perfect; God’s timing is perfect. Agree or disagree and why?
- Read Isaiah 55:8-9. What do those verses say to you?
- What are you passionate about? How can you use your God-given passions and interests to serve others effectively?
- How can you begin to follow God’s purpose for your life if you don’t know what exactly it is?
- Where do we go from here? What’s the next step God wants you to take? When will you take it?
- What is one thing you can do this week to grow in having your conversation be always full of grace?
Take one thing home with you:
Imagine for a second that Moana represents Christians and the sea represents God. The sea calls to Moana, just as God calls to us, to do great things, and she must choose whether or not to act on that call. Like the sea protects Moana as she travels, God protects us as we make our way through the twists and turns life has to offer.
Moana’s doubts and struggle to accept her ties to the sea also reflect Christian experience. After several draining battles and hurtful fights, Moana begins to lose hope in everything she once believed. The sea “abandoned” her and in her darkest moments, she tells the sea it chose the wrong person. It accepts her rejection but works its magic to convince her of her calling. We as Christians must remember that in the darkest of moments, God will reveal Himself in great, unexpected ways.
Moana knew she was called by the sea for a reason, and you should know that God calls on you for a reason. Moana followed her instinct even when her family pushed her from her destiny, and we should use this to look upon what God has done. Don’t doubt God’s call; it’s your purpose in life.