Who Will You Be If You Don't Believe?
I've said it before. God often speaks to me about himself and his kingdom through movies. I don't know why. But I love it. Wonder Woman is one of my favorites in terms of the spiritual parallels I've noticed in the storyline, among which include: fighting the battle of good and evil, leaving paradise and entering the world of mankind to deliver them from a hidden foe, becoming vulnerable and dependent upon the help of those who need help themselves, etc.
But one of the most important parallels I've discovered is about IDENTITY, which pertains to the identity of all believers as sons and daughters of God.
There is an enemy. And he knows who Diana is. But her mother Hippolyta says, "She must never know the truth about what she is," because her mother knows the moment she steps into her identity, she becomes the enemy's greatest threat. As a result, the battle would come straight to her, whether she'd asked for it or not.
The key to Diana's strength, the key to what makes her a threat is two-fold: the identity she had as the daughter of a god (the one destined to defeat Ares and restore peace) and her realizing and stepping into that identity. It isn't enough that her identity be true. It has to be believed.
The enemy of the cross of Christ knows who we are as believers. He knows that we are children of Almighty God, heirs to the promise, kings and queens and priests before God. He knows we have authority through the name of Jesus, and that no force of hell has the power to claim any part of us or silence our praise. However, we aren't an activated threat to him and to the darkness until the moment we ourselves know and believe who we are.
But we can be assured that the moment we do, we have his attention and the vengeance of all the forces of darkness. That's why it is so important to be rooted not only in the truth of who WE are, but in the truth of who HE is. When Satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus responded with, "It is written..." (Matt. 4). When we know the truth, the truth will set us free (John 8:32). And when we believe it, it becomes an impenetrable shield of faith that quenches all the fiery darts of the enemy.
Chris Vallotton, a pastor and author with Bethel Church in Redding, CA, once said that the Lord spoke to him in great detail about his calling, who he would become, and what he would do for the name of Jesus. After the Lord finished showing him these things, he heard:
"History will tell us if you believed me."
What a sobering thought. That our actions, our choice to believe the truth about our identity or reject it could be the key to everything we are and ever will be. This shifts the responsibility to us. It is our responsibility to believe; it is our response to the truth that determines whether that truth will be activated in our lives. All we're asked to do with what God has given us is to believe it, yet so often we don't do even that.
I say that free of judgment, knowing that I am guilty more than anyone of allowing fear and unbelief, which are in fact sin (Rev. 21:8), to keep me from being and doing what God has declared for my life. But regardless of how many times that fear and unbelief may have caused you to stumble or back away from the life you were always meant to live, it doesn't have to anymore.
In Wonder Woman, Diana is faced with a decision: stay home where it's safe or venture out into a world she doesn't know, without the promise of ever being able to return to the life she once lived. Her mother says, "If you leave, you may never return." But Diana replies, "Who will I be if I stay?"
Sometimes stepping out in faith, even before you fully understand who you are, can simply be knowing who you can't bear to be. To take a step forward, even if you have no idea where you're going, you must realize what you would regret more. Who will you be if you don't believe?
My suggestion: choose the unknown, choose what's scary, even if the truth you discover there proves to be your undoing, which is often the necessary effect of the truth. Let God rebuild you; let him do what he wants to with your life and speak into you what's in his heart, so history can tell us and generations after us that you believed every word.
Photo courtesy of imdb.com.