Tag Archive: fear

Rise of the Guardians

main idea: You live when you discover the “centre” of who you are.

Through the movie Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine) is asked to join the Guardians (Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Sandman and the Tooth Fairy) to protect the children of the world, especially against Pitch Black aka The Boogeyman. What keeps each guardian alive is children’s belief in them; once they stop believing, the guardians seize to exist. Jack however has never been acknowledged by any child nor does he know where he came from. Santa challenges him to discover what his “centre” is i.e. his essence.

Two things move Jack to accept the challenge of being a guardian: 1. Jamie (a little boy) acknowledges Jack’s existence and thus is now seen by children (a deep longing Jack had since he could remember) and 2. he discovers that his “centre” i.e. what makes him unique in what he offers is fun. When he discovers this, he’s able to take his talents/gifts and use them in who he was meant to be. The same can be said about our identity in Jesus, seeing who we really are in conjunction with what the Spirit has gifted us with.

Other key elements:

  • Fear can be conquered when we are willing to face it head on.
  • We all want to be seen i.e. we all have the longing to be known by others (not necessarily as a celebrity but by those we value).

Words from a Prophet

Lately, there have been three distinct themes in my life:

  • a conversation with someone about “fear of the Lord” and how it impacts our lives
  • my recent Bible readings of Israel and Judah before and as they were being exiled along with the contemporary prophets of that time (chronological reading is coming in very handy)
  • a couple of conversations where people are contemplating whether to approach others with the truth, speculating whether it will be heard in vain

In a lot of ways, this isn’t unusual. It seems lately that God has kept the prophets in the back of my mind for a reason. So many times the prophets were told to give a message and God even states that the people won’t likely listen to it. Yet God charged them to speak anyway. At the end of the day, whether we think our actions or words will be ineffective or a waste of time isn’t really our decision. When God charges us to speak a message, it needs to be spoken, no matter how hard it is. (That doesn’t mean we don’t attempt to communicate at our best, that we just flippantly blurt out whatever we think we want to say. Rather, we communicate the message as best with as much grace as possible, yet leave the results with God.)

The flip side of this is that too many times there are some of us who speak too abrasively. We seem to think that anything coming from our mouths is “a word from the Lord” when really it’s our own opinions or perspectives. We think we’re speaking God’s truth when really we’re spewing out our own agenda, our own ideas (attributing them to God). This is a grave danger because 1. we’re blinded by our own arrogance and 2. we’re delusional. So even if God were to correct, unless our attitude and mindset changes, we’re really in the same boat as the people to whom we are judging.

This is where “the fear of the Lord” comes in. When we speak on behalf of God, we must realize that the magnitude of what we’re suggesting. I think sometimes many of us speak with a false sense of pride (perhaps even arrogance). But to speak God’s word or God’s truth contains a sense of profound fear that challenges us to make sure we have it right in the first place. (Because if we’re wrong, the consequences are disastrous both for the audience and the speaker.) This isn’t limited to sermons or public addresses, but includes personal conversations as well. So many times God warns that there were prophets who kept giving the people what they wanted to hear yet claimed to speak for God (when they weren’t). They evaluated their performance based on what the audience wanted to hear, not what God wanted to communicate. Whether this was intentional or delusional, it was false.

It’s one thing to have a personal opinion; we’re all entitled to that. However, it’s different when we claim to speak for God. When we do that, we had better make sure through much prayer and discernment that this is God’s message. That being said, once it is confirmed as God’s message, we must deliver it, whether or not we feel it will be effective or well-received. That part isn’t our concern.

Woe is me if I do not speak the words God has given me.

Mirror Mirror

main idea: When you face your fears, you can unlock the truth.

In this retelling of Snow White entitled Mirror Mirror, people are afraid of the Queen (played by Julia Roberts).¬†Using dark magic, she intimidates everyone who stands in her way, starting with the king, the people of the kingdom, even Snow White herself. Throughout the story, people refer to the Beast which haunts the woods in the kingdom. Because of fear, people are not willing to stand up to his evil. Eventually, Snow White (played by Lily Collins) not only builds up her confidence in standing up to the Queen, but eventually unlocks the truth of her father’s disappearance and the Queen’s dark secret.

It’s interesting how it seems that sin lives in one of two ways: pride and fear. Pride feeds on the selfish sense of entitlement through demeaning others. Fear immobilizes us in finding out the truth, even if it can be scary. I’ve witnessed both forms in my life. There are times when I’ve been very self-centred and that has led me to sin. There are also times when I’m afraid to really get to the bottom of the darkness within my self and until I do so, sin/fear paralyzes me and doesn’t allow God to really work the sin in my life out of me.

What are you afraid of? (What is it keeping you from discovering?)

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