Last night, my family participated in one of our frequent family activities – family movie night! We are fans of cinematography and love curling up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and some chocolate milk for a few hours of escape into someone else’s false reality. Our dramatic piece in which we invested our time for the evening was The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
*Commercial break - If you have not taken the time in your life to read the epic series written by the genius of C.S. Lewis, than stop right now and go to the library and begin. Better yet, click over to amazon and order it. It is worth the investment as you will pass it down from generation to generation in your family. The Chronicles of Narnia is a fantastic series written with phenomenal creativity and provocative verse that beckons to be read over and over again as each time the spirit of the Lord awakens within you the underlying story of His grace and mercy that Lewis so brilliantly presents without even a mention of Bible. This is mission work to the academic arena as all, believer or not, is attracted to this series and the nonbeliever receives the great story of Christ’s love without even realizing it! Amazing!
If you have not seen The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I will try not to ruin the movie for you for I do want you to read it and see it. In this movie, the heroes are battling a villain that is capable to capitalize on your fears by morphing into your greatest fear and utilizing that to render you either helpless or subject to his service. During one scene, the villain morphs into a large sea monster and threatens to destroy their ship as one of the heroes allowed the thought of such fear to sweep through his mind at just the “wrong” time. Yet earlier in the movie, the villain creeps into the scene and attacks more subtly. A female hero, Lucy for all of you who have already seen the movie, is exposed to the possibility of altering her appearance to become more like her older sister whom she covets in beauty and maturity. Lucy does not sustain the spell, but does steal the page from a book so that she may experiment with it later on down the road. And yes, later on in the movie, she engages in this attempt once more and battles a stronger grip from the enemy.
This is yet another human quality that we all, ALL, possess. We have weaknesses, fears, and struggles. Do not think that you are exempt from the same experience that Lucy had. Satan is very determined to not allow you to be a part of the effective population. He wants you to be a part of the effected population that is contaminated and unable to do the work needed in order to further the kingdom of God and protect those who are in need of our strengths. Satan knows your EVERY weakness and if you do not stay on top of this, you will find yourself in the middle of the ocean fighting to swim before you even realized you were traveling on a boat that would lead you to this fate. Temptation is EVERYWHERE – even at church. No one is immune. Not one! You’re human. It is our job to love God and love people – the Jeremy Powell paraphrase of the greatest commandment (Mark 12: 28-34).
In order to love God, we must daily spend time with Him and get to know Him and learn from Him how to protect ourselves from the temptation to disengage slowly from an interwoven relationship with Him. God knows your weaknesses even more than Satan does. HE MADE YOU! He didn’t necessarily give you weaknesses, but HE DID give you strengths and He wants you to find them and use them!! It’s like exercise. The more you exercise, the stronger your body becomes and the weaknesses of your body are overpowered by the strengths.
In our developing of our strengths, we are also equipping ourselves to better love His creation, including others. If you are a believer, you might have experienced this. The closer you are in your relationship with God, the easier it is to love others, including the unlovable. You tend to exude greater patience with the rude and better tolerance for the manipulator and less disregard for the arrogant. You tend to find the good in you when noting the desirable attributes in others. You tend to love people and in that love you are pushed even harder to become stronger SO THAT you can prevent yourself from being brought down to the level of those you are loving…those that are in the mire and in need of rescue from the temptations and struggles. Before you can truly engage into battle and fight for the innocent, you have to be ready to go into combat. Know your weaknesses. Know where you can and cannot go and where you are effective. Know who your allies are and who possesses the strengths you do not have. Know when to walk away before you get sucked into the storm. Until you know, perhaps stay away.
I cannot fly a plane. Therefore, I am not even going to place myself in cockpit. If you cannot handle overspending, stay out of the mall and off of amazon. Make sense?
More tomorrow…God is good. He loves you so. God is BIG. We are small. Yet, He finds us where we are.