Movies

Man of Steel, (Wo)Man of Spirit

I am not a big Superman lover, other than Dean Cain, but I did in fact see “Man of Steel” not too long ago, and I did fairly enjoy Henry Cavill. However, it wasn’t until this last time I watched it that God encouraged my heart, and thus this post.

In the beginning, Clark parents decide to put the Codex, the power of a race, in him to man of steelpreserve their people, and had to send him to Earth, knowing he would stick out, but possibly help it. When I was thinking about that, it reminded me of God and how he put his Spirit, all of Heaven’s power, in us as believers, and we are called to stick out, but it’s that power we have that can change and impact the world.

As Clark grows up, he becomes overwhelmed by his gifts and often times is frustrated and afraid. His journey is all about learning to control his powers, rather than his gifts control him. In the same way, our life of purpose provides us gifts that if not used properly, can prove to be too much, thus God has to prune and purge us, so that we can properly develop and strengthen our gifts. Truth be told, sometimes our gifts scare us and we are afraid of what God is ultimately calling us to do, and it never helps when there are the naysayers and those that always have something to say and will criticize you at every chance they get. But remember, as a child of God with purpose, people are supposed to talk about you; they talked about Jesus, It may make you cry and may make you want to give up, but there is greater yet to come if you hang on.

The most profound line, in my opinion, is found in the first 25 minutes of the movie. When Clark is in the classroom, his powers start to kick in overdrive and he runs out the classroom and hides. Let me stop here and say, don’t hide from your gift and or your purpose. God gave it to you, He chose you for a reason. It was then that his teacher called his mother who came to console him and made this statement, “focus on my voice.” I was floored. There are so many voice that we are out there some that sound reasonable, but are still just plain wrong. When you live a life of your God-given purpose, you will have to block out all the other voices you hear in books, on social media, in music, on television, in politics, from family and friends, etc. Nevertheless, God is saying the same things Clark’s mother said to him, “focus on My voice.”

God’s voice is the only one that matters. He is the only one who understands what is inside of you and wants to be your support, refuge, and strength. His voice knows your destination and your future. It’s only His ‘yes’ that matters, even when everyone else says ‘no.’ So, to whoever is reading this, focus only on His voice, which means getting into His word, calling out to him, believing he will answer and show up every time, as Cal did with his Kryptonian father, and surrounding yourself with like-minded and like-spirited people. Still, the story isn’t over.

As Clark grows up and begins to accept his gift, there are many times he wants to use it, but his father won’t let him, because he doesn’t think the world is ready for what he has to offer. In the same way, you may feel like you are ready and that this is your season to break free and make your mark on the world. I encourage you to have discernment, many times we think we are ready, but God is saying “not yet My child,” because we may have some maturing to do. Other times, as for Clark, the world just isn’t ready for your full glory to show, and at times you may show glimpses of it, enough for people to notice the greatness locked inside of you, but don’t get prideful. God, your Heavenly Father, is Sovereign and knows best so just wait on Him, and sooner than later, you will hear him say, “this is your time. You are ready. The world is ready.”

It is then that Superman was born, but it happened at a time of fear and struggle, and as it often times happens here, God usually calls us off guard or when we least expect it, and like Superman you are thrust into your calling, which is why the Scriptures say “be ye also ready, in season and out of season.” More importantly, don’t doubt God. Of course, Satan, like general Zod, will try to misuse and destroy you and or your gift, or make you doubt or question it or belittle what’s inside of you. but you are an overcomer, so keep fighting and  “keep testing your limits,” don’t doubt yourself or your gifts.

I am so sure of Jesus and who he is for the simple fact that even when people attempt to discredit or devalue or cover him up, he still leaves footprints if you watch for them, and this movie is no different. You are a super man or a super woman, and you are called to be different and for people to talk about you, but you are destined for greatness and are the hope, like the ‘S’ symbol on Superman’s chest, that the world has yet to see and so desperately needs. Don’t be afraid, don’t run, don’t hide, but rather embrace and learned the gifts and the power that is inside of you. And when that moment comes, you. will. fly. And the world will never be the same.

Avengers

avengers

So, generally speaking, I am a super hero fan and my favorite super hero movie is “The Avengers.” I was watching it last night, but this morning I got to thinking about the battles of each avenger and Loki and began to see each one represented people in the church. Now if you think I took this it a little to deep, that is fine with me, still, realize that these comparisons I am about to make are not meant to be a perfect parallel to the movie(s) or the comics, just something to think about.

With all that said, the first on the list is Hulk. The way I see it, the Hulk represents the self-pity Christian, the one who tends to say “woe is me.” Like some of us, Banner was afraid of what was inside of him and refused for some time to embrace it, although, he had good reason. Sometimes we get a glimpse of what God has called us to be, but those things about us that seem out of control, whether mentally, emotionally, physically, or whatever it is that makes us different, force us to hide it or deny it, and in doing so sometimes we hurt ourselves or others and become depressed. Some just become angry altogether (like Banner), others just run away and run from God and some turn to things like drugs, alcohol, or busy themselves with a career. Nevertheless, when we finally tap in to who we are in Christ, and know that our imperfections make us perfect (Ps 139:13-14), understanding that God’s Word will help us gain control (Heb 4:12), there is nothing that can stop you. The Hulk then becomes one of the most powerful people in the body of Christ, especially when you have people around you like Tony Stark.

Iron man is the arrogant Christian who may very well have every reason to be, because of the success and money. Yet, Stark did have to overcome some major demons and often times felt invincible and was disruptive. Many Christians are like that, they don’t consider other people’s feeling or individual walk, and can be brash and take things into their own hands, without putting others ahead of themselves, leaving others behind. However, once Stark learned to humble himself, he was a very pertinent part of the Avenger team. Like Iron man, when believers use their gifts and talents for the benefit of the kingdom and not themselves (1 Pet 4:10), God uses such people in a marvelous way. However, these people often clash with Captain America.

Being older, Captain America had a different mindset that didn’t match with someone like Stark. He can be considered the close minded judgmental type of Christian. These people like the Captain, were faithful and take the gospel seriously, but too often they miss the bigger picture; they have tunnel vision and refuse to think outside the box and are orthodox and condemn those that aren’t. However, the moment they open their eyes and accept the new thing God is doing (Is 43:19) and humble themselves enough to learn, they are awesome leaders for the kingdom of God, even with the Black Widows.

Natasha Romanoff represents a person trying her hardest to redeem herself from her past sins. This person may not be a believer. Many times a person chooses not to come to Christ because he wants to get himself together and right all his wrongs. The beautiful thing about Jesus is that when you come to him, you don’t have to live with that guilt or live bound up in chains by your past (Luke 4:18), because when Jesus forgets, he remembers your sins no more (Ps 103:12; Mic :18), so why should you? As Black Widow tried to do, you can’t earn your salvation, that only comes through Christ, and the moment you come to him, the only one who can redeem you (Ps 78:35), and give him all your mess, that pain becomes a mighty purpose and you can lead others like Hawkeye.

Hawkeye I think represents the one who got to sure of himself, but it was then that the enemy came in and he fell under the trap. Many of us do that when we reach a certain point that we lose focus or misjudge the enemy and use our own wisdom, and next thing we know we are in some mess. That’s why the scripture tells us to be careful and watch out so that we don’t get so caught up that we fall (1 Cor 10:12), for the enemy is around every corner, and sometimes the distraction can be one like Thor.

I think Thor could relate most to the Christian that has a soft spot for the world; he knows its dangerous but still has a heart for it and it’s a constant battle, although you can’t serve two masters (Rev 3:16; Matt 6:24). More so, Thor thought he could defeat the enemy alone. As a believer, we have to let go of the pleasures of the world and be sold out, even if that means leaving family or friends behind (Lk 9:23). Now later on, God may send you back, but He needs to do a work in you first. Furthermore, like Thor, learn to appreciate and use the people around you that can show you the enemy for who he really is, who is a lot like Loki.

Loki simply represents the Devil himself, whose objective is to steal, kill, and destroy just as Loki. Let’s call his army demons. They came and caused a lot of Havoc on earth, but when the Avengers came together, called by Nick Fury, it was rough but they got it together and won in the end.

In this walk of life you may be one of these avengers, each with different gifts, talents, personalities, skill levels, and abilities, but ultimately that makes up the body of Christ (1 Cor 12) and God has called us, as Nick Fury called the Avengers, believing in us when others didn’t believe in us and we didn’t even believe in ourselves. Still, as with Fury, God doesn’t always tell us the whole story, but the more we follow Him, the more He reveals things to us (Amos 4:13). He has a special plan and a special purpose for each of us, and the more we learn to work with each other and not against each other (as the Avengers did in the first half), the greater our impact will be on this world for the purpose of God’s glory.

The Lion King

So, I think it is safe to say that “The Lion King,” is one of the greatest movies ever. If you don’t agree, well I don’t agree with you lol. But in all seriousness, there are some Biblical truths in there that I thought were worth sharing.

The first is about Scar. He was such a great villain I wanted to punch him from the moment he first opened his mouth. Anyhow, he is like Satan, and like Scar, Satan’s main goal is to build his own kingdom and destroy God’s people. Consequently, if we are not careful, we can be like young Simba, who on more than one occasion got tricked by his lies and deception, thinking he wanted to help us, when in reality, Satan is trying to kill us (John 10:10). But you know what? Praise God, because Satan’s end is in the fiery pit, just like Scar who in addition to the fire got eaten by hyenas. So I encourage you to know God’s truth so you can be protected by the deception of the enemy, even from the mouths of those closest to you. Afterall, Scar was Simba’s uncle. Just as Mufasa saved Simba from death, Jesus gave up his life to save us, but our Jesus is so much greater than Mufasa, because death couldn’t hold him.

Another truth is about the favorited song “Hakuna Matata,” which means no worries for the rest of your days. You know what, Jesus taught us not to worry, but to pray and trust God to do what He does. So when we reach the pinnacle of our walk – when our faith is so strong that minimal things even phase us or take us off our groove, because we understand the sovereignty and faithfulness of the God we serve and our prayer life is where it should be – that song should be our anthem. As I heard recently, if we pray as much as we worry, we would not have reason to worry at all. Hakuna matata, it is possible, we just have to believe it, that when problems come, we can rest in the peace and promises of God, and do what we can and leave the rest up to Him.

Probably my favorite song of the whole movie is “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and as I was listening to the lyrics earlier I couldn’t help but think of God’s love for us. Simba’s lines are are follows: “So many things to tell her, but how to maker her see the truth about my past? She’s turn away from me.” Those very lines are why many are reluctant to come to Christ, they feel their past condemns them forever and Christ wouldn’t accept them. That’s the whole point of God’s love, that in spite of our sin and mess, no matter how big or small, He knows it all and is waiting to forgive us, wanting us to come home. The next lines of the song by Nala are just as powerful: “He’s holding back he’s hiding, but what I can’t decide. Why won’t he be the king I know he is, the king I see inside?” Beloved, that is what God has said to us, why do we hold back from Jesus? Why do we hide? He doesn’t care about your past, he sees your purpose. That’s what it’s about. Your history does not at all determine your destiny. There is a king or queen inside of you and the world is ready and eager for you to take your place. God sees you on the inside and what you can become if you allow don’t hold back or hide from Him, and allow Him to work in you. He chose you and he chose me for reasons I couldn’t tell you, but I do know that he has an awesome plan and purpose that He wants you to wake up to and impact this world for his glory. That’s why Satan tried to take you out or mess you up mentally and or emotionally, he knew, like Scar, your destiny when you forgot or never learned. For now is the time to remember.

Which brings me to my last point. Probably the most prominent line in the whole movie was when Mufasa’s cloud apparatus appeared to Simba in the field and he said these words: “Remember who you are. You are my son and the one true king. Remember.” This is the point of it all, the whole meaning of living on purpose. We should speak and act like the sons and daughters of the God of the Bible; everything we say and do should reflect God our Father.

When you acknowledge and remember who you are, you should walk and talk different. You should live in victory and boldness, persistently striving to fulfill your purpose in life. So I encourage you, if you have been tricked by the enemy, get up and run home; if you have fallen and slipped out of your walk, stand up and run to His arms. Remember who you are, you are his son, his daughter, the one he died for. Remember. Then act like it.

Matrix

The More I mature, the Christian walk seems more and more like the Matrix. The idea of Matrix is that the world we live in is only a cover up of reality. I think of Morpheus and how he came to Anderson (which happens to be my last name) and gave him the option to join him or go back to life as he knew it. Jesus did the exact same thing with his disciples. He gave them a choice: red pill or blue pill. He gives us a choice follow him or refute him.

As a Christian, we learn the Word and it’s like the scales our removed from our eyes; our perspectives and world views change and the truth is revealed. Just like the movie, there were many people inside of the Matrix, but not that many on the outside. Like Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” Matthew 7:13-14. Furthermore, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that the enemy was not perceived by those in the Matrix, only those on the outside. Paul told the church in Ephesus the same thing, the “struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” As Christians, our spirits our more sensitive to the evilness in the world that we were unaware of before coming to Christ.

If you remember the movie, those who were no longer in the matrix, like Neo, they didn’t live glamorously; they actually looked shabby. The Christian life is a life of suffering, and Paul talked about it plenty in the old testament. In the same way, they looked broken, which is how we should be, because God has to break us to build us. However, they did go back to the Matrix from time to time to save the world from the machines and looked the part. As Christians we have to live in this world, even though it is not our home, and help bring people to safety (witnessing).

The best part about it, “bullet time.” Just as Jesus chooses us, Morpheus picked Neo. Although, he could not just fight on his own, he had to train. We have to train – 1 Timothy 4:7 and Hebrews 5:14 – Through reading, studying, listening, praying, and fasting we train ourselves not only to defeat the enemy, but to understand the world around us and not get caught up in the illusion and deceit, even the things that seem right, like Neo. Needless to say, the most popular scene in the movie is when the enemy is shooting and he bends all the way backward and avoids the bullets. We were given armor to defeat and defer the attacks of the enemy (Ephesians 6). As we grow, mature, and solidify our walk and salvation, the enemy becomes weaker; we become stronger through Christ. As we stay faithful we will be able to accomplish more things than we imagine and no obstacle is too great.

Our purpose is not inside the Matrix; it’s not found in this world. Our purpose comes from heaven. Only Christ can open our eyes. So I ask, red pill or blue pill?

Phoenix

I am a huge ‘X-Men’ fan and I was floored when I was able to make the parallel of Jean phoenix5Grey and Phoenix, to [my] life as a Christian. It was really life changing, if I may say so myself. I’ve explained it several times, and each time it amazes me, thus, I’m putting it to writing to share with you.

When you think of the ‘X-Men’ plot, the two most significant characters are Professor X and Magneto. Particularly in the last movie of the trilogy, lets assume Professor X to represent God, and Magneto lets assume him to be Satan. In the beginning of the movie, we see the Jean Grey as a young girl. She knows she is different, but doesn’t really understand or know how to handle and or accept it. Nonetheless, she is introduced to and put under the care of Professor X. Just in that, like me and many other we were saved at a young age. We grew up and embraced the Christian lifestyle, like mutants. And not much different than today’s society, the rest of the world didn’t like Christians, just like they persecuted mutants. In the same breath, just as some Christians, some mutants hid their identity and didn’t want to be labeled or persecuted – closet Christians blend in and you won’t know them to be Christians unless you ask. – Likewise, you have Professor X and Magneto fighting for their alliance.

Furthermore, years go by and Jean Grey develops her skill and matures in every aspect, as one should. However, in the second movie she starts to have random visions and starts to lose control. It’s not until the last movie that she learns she has so much more power than she ever knew: the Phoenix. Professor X and Magneto knew this as well. Most importantly, there is the scene where they are fighting over her. Confused and lost, she chooses to go with Magneto who would allow her to lose control and do whatever she wanted. Magneto’s main defense was the fact that, Professor X had known Jean Grey’s power all along but kept it under control, still, Professor X said it was for her own good.

The same thing happens to us, but I pray we all choose the latter. As years go by, our faith is challenged by the world, a world that says we should be able to do what we want when we want no matter the cost. As individuals, God created us each with different powers and abilities, called gifts and talents. When we give our lives to Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, he desires to mold us and mature us, shape us and make us fit for the power locked inside of us. Without His control, we are prone to do crazy stupid things (Romans 1) just as Phoenix did in the “X-Men: The Last Stand.” On the contrary, the Devil, like Magneto, wants to use the same power to bring destruction.

Just like Jean Grey should have trusted the ways and purpose of Professor X, so should we trust the ways of God (Isaiah 55). Contrary to the lies of Satan, like Magneto, God is not looking to destroy who we are as persons and make us like robots; He wants to perfect us and the gifts He gave us so that we can be the most effective in His kingdom.

At the end of the movie (spoiler alert) we see that Phoenix has totally lost control and the only way to stop her antics is death, and so Wolverine kills her. Yet, when he kills her, before dying, she smiles as if to say “thank you.” That stands out to me for a couple reasons. I pray I never get so off track and off focus in doing my own thing, that I bring more harm than good and wind up in a space wondering how in the world I got there. Yet, if God forbid I get there, death is only option, death to self that is, so Christ may be resurrected in my life (Galatians 2:20). So the question would be, who is my Wolverine?

God has an amazing purpose for you. My prayer is that you won’t let Satan, or your Magneto, discourage you and make you doubt what God is doing in your life. There is a season for everything, and God knows the beginning and the end. So when you get anxious, and your mind starts to wonder and your heart gets confused, trust God and trust His heart. You have the amazing power of Christ in your life, whether you realize how great it is or not, and when God Himself says you are ready to release, the by all means fly and change the world. Who knows what good Jean Grey could’ve done if she would have stayed with Professor X. Likewise, don’t get to heaven and have God say if only you would have stayed with me…