movie

Gothel

gothel

I can’t believe I am saying this, but “Tangled” has become one of my favorite Disney princess movies. However when I watch it, I am reminded of how damaged many of them were because of things that were told to them by those closest to them, which today would be easily called emotional abuse. Nonetheless, the last time I was watching it, I was again drawn to the character of Gothel, Rapunzel’s “mother.”

The story’s focus is on the sun and how a piece of it fell from the heavens and could bring healing and restoration. You may already see where I am going with this. Needless to say, that’s the exact thing that the Son did, he came down from the heavens and brought healing and restoration to whoever was in need, and that awesome power is still available today. The problem though, is that there are way too many Gothels, because if you remember the movie, she did everything she could to hide it and didn’t even consider the queen worthy enough to receive its gift. She wanted to keep it all to herself, like so many of us.

Too often those of us that know of the healing and saving power of the Rose of Sharon, just as the special golden flower in the movie, refuse to share it and instead hide Christ. We want Jesus all to ourselves or we falsely make judgments of who deserves his power and salvation, and as a result, the world around us suffers greatly. I mean just look around and listen to the news; it really is depressing. It’s as if people have truly lost their minds and it’s only getting worse. The world is in need of serious healing, and like the people in the movie, the world is searching for a miracle that only heaven can bring, because time in fact is running out. The world is desperately looking for a savior, and as a believer, we have what this sick land needs, but we hide it.

For some strange reason, like Gothel we hoard Christ and put him in this box of what he can and should do, limiting his expanse throughout the nations. Like Gothel, maybe we are afraid that someone will take our gift away and we will lose access to it, or the power will run out, or it will get in the wrong hands, or perhaps we are just greedy or prideful, let alone understand the greatness of what it is we possess. The awesome thing about the gift of the Son from the heavens is that his power stretches far beyond Rapunzel’s; he will never lose power and we will always have access to him no matter how much we share him with others. No one can separate us from his love or snatch us out of his hand. And all that he does is for our good, no one can misuse or manipulate him no matter how much they try. However, when we refuse to share the gift and the power that has been given to us, we in turn become powerless, because the more we pour out the more he will fill us up and the more we are able to see the awesome of the power of the Son. There is no reason to be stingy, hold out, contain it, or confine Jesus to one thing, like Gothel did in trying to stay young. Far too many are dying without the golden flower, the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley. Don’t let that blood be on your hands because you want things your way.

The world as I already said is in need of a drop of Son-light from Heaven; it’s crying out for a miracle, and we have it in our possession as followers of Christ.  So being you for a purpose is simply sharing the gift of Heaven however you can so that others can be healed and saved physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually. Being you for a purpose is realizing that you are the hope and the light the world is searching for, so let the Son use you to spread his power. After all, that is what we were commanded to do.

 

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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?