I have never been one to watch too many fantasy movies but was encouraged to by the way “Waking the Dead,” a book by John Eldridge, uses these as analogies to help readers understand the struggle we all live under.
John Eldridge, does not encourage readers to watch fantasy movies. He encourages us to wake up to the understanding that spiritual war is all around us and gravely affects our everyday life. The last thing the enemy wants from a Christ follower is success or to have anything good we attribute to God. He wants to keep us in a struggle so that we are not living up to our God-given potential, but instead we are as frustrated, disappointed, depressed and discouraged as possible.
I rented the Hobbit. Have you ever seen it?
As I watched it, I envisioned the dwarfs as the Israelites and Thorin as King David back in Old Testament times and King Jesus now and in the future. There are numerous attacks by forces of evil.
The way the forces of evil are depicted in the movie, I can clearly imagine this is what the invisible spiritual warfare is like all around us, but the majority of us remain as unaware to it as Bilbo, though we are indeed deeply affected.
Anyone reading my blog posts knows I have wrestled with all sorts of heart wrenching struggles since early childhood.
I have often beaten myself up wondering why me and where God fits in all this. We have all heard,
“If God is all powerful why does or doesn’t he _____________________?”
As a Christ follower, I lost count of the times I asked that question myself. These questions never have easy answers. God uses difficult situations in our lives to bring us to our full potential. Adversity makes us stronger and mature. He also remind us of our need for Him.
In 2nd Corinthians 12:10 Paul, the man who suffered much said, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1st Peter 1:6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Hebrews 12:5-7 “And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children, ‘ My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by Him, for the Lord disciplines those whom He loves , and chastises every child Whom He accepts.’ Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?
Hebrews 12:11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Through studying scripture, I have learned that we live in a world caught in a warzone, as John Eldridge puts it. It is an invisible war.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-4 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.
While we go around wondering what color we will paint our walls, or what car we will purchase next or what we will wear, or how many cookies we will pretend we didn’t eat, the spiritual warfare around us is brutal. We are oblivious to it, much like Neo in the movie Matrix who is initially completely oblivious to the reality of the war that goes on around him, though he has a deep sense things are all wrong.
We know life is full of every kind of struggle out there and we often run into brick walls just when we think we are getting ahead.
Pretty much all of my life, but mainly for the last nine years, I have felt like I was under a curse because of all the bizarre things that have happened in my life, including my son’s death. “Waking the Dead” has really brought to light many things for me.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
1Peter 5:8-9e Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God.
2 Timothy 4:18 [And indeed] the Lord will certainly deliver and draw me to Himself from every assault of evil. He will preserve and bring me safe unto His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
James 4:7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 5: 4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
I recommend “Waking the Dead,” it is an eye opener and I thank Tami Benson for sharing about it. Check out her blog.
If you don’t own a Bible, you can look these scriptures up for yourself on ‘Bible Gateway’.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.