Ah, The Matrix! In 2000, I saw a sanitized version on TV with my (then) 11-year-old son. I was clueless! So when Lead Pastor Ben Snyder unveiled a higher meaning to this sci-fi megahit, I was surprised to see Christ, forgiveness, and salvation throughout. Funny how God unveils spiritual truth through temporal examples!
In one scene, the main character, Neo, realizes the world around him is merely a mirage and believes it cannot hurt him because he is not of it. This scene demonstrates what happens when a person first discovers God’s offer of his love and forgiveness. By embracing that invitation, one becomes an eternal being—a child of God—in the world but not of it (John 17:14). That’s the moment of clarity. The moment we realize this domain is only temporary.
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
We, like Neo, realize this temporal realm is not what it seems and charge out to conquer evil. Dare I say, he begins to feel invincible … until his arch-enemy “kills” him. How’d that happen? Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever forgotten that Satan is the father of lies and loves nothing more than to see us fail when we fall for those lies?
This happens to me more times than I can count. I forget I’m a child of the one true King and blink when Satan spews a lie at me, hitting the mark by sending pain, fear, pride, and failure to distract me from God’s missions for me.
Most recently, I’ve been plagued with an ongoing string of illnesses and have allowed Satan to make me flinch. Consequently, I resigned from four of the ministries I served. I felt defeated. Then my friend reminded me to see this setback from an eternal perspective—to remember God IS still on his throne and in control, and I am still his servant. She said I should pray and open my heart to whatever other ministry God may have for me now. Since then, I have become a prayer warrior, a better listener, and God has sent me three different people to help by sharing what he taught me when I was in their circumstances.
Remember that even though Satan may derail your service to God with his lies, he cannot take your salvation as a child of God! Jesus paid the price demanded for ALL your sins—past, present, and future. Satan can harass, distract, and lie to you, but you can choose not to fall for it.
Are you so distracted by the temporal that you have lost touch with the eternal?
If so, what are you going to do about it?
Consider reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis for an interesting take on how Satan and his minions rob us of our joy and effectiveness.
Turn off the podcasts, news reports, pundits, etc. Step away from your phone. There is nothing Satan likes more than to distract us with fear mongering. Open your Bible and READ it—one verse, chapter, book, and testament at a time.
Pray. Make the most important thing the first and last thing you do every day. Jesus’ brother James wrote, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world” (James 4:8).
Dear Lord, thank you for your love and how you can use all things to guide us to you. Help us to keep our eyes and hearts open to those lessons wherever you may put them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.
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