My little daughter has discovered the “Chronicles of Narnia” movie series. As we’ve watched the movies, she immediately understood the symbolism without my telling her that the Lion was representative of Jesus and how in the Witch represented Satan. “Jesus,” she said, “wins over them all.”
I love these movies – but you know I’ve read the books and the truth is that the books are better than the movies. To get the story right, you have to read the books. You see when you read the books, you get the whole story, not a brief and unreliable version of it. Movies that are made about books are brief summaries based on opinions of others who read the books – how they understood the plot, perhaps not to the liking of the author.
The “Narnia” movies are somewhat accurate in keeping the storylines to those of the books – but they leave a lot out as a 2-hour movie doesn’t lend enough time to tell the tale of several hundred pages of narrative. It’s still a “bare bones” rendition, leaving out what the original authors wanted you to get out of the story.
Some years ago the movie, “Noah” came out. I went I think a couple of days after it was released and I left thinking I had seen a science fiction movie. There were rock creatures that talked and all kinds things that weren’t present in the Book. You see, it was told as the screenwriters wanted it told so it might sell more tickets.
Our lives with the Lord can somehow be uncannily similar; there are “screenwriters” out there making a display of what living for the Lord should look like so it can appear popular to the masses. So they can sell their movie tickets, so they will be popular among the “relevant” movements in Christianity. The screenwriters are so wrong in their editing movies for I’ve never heard of a movie being better than the book. Yet, for some reason, people fall for their movie trailers and promises of great popcorn and perks if you sign up for their movie app.
The Father, the Author, wants to write His Book in you and live it through you – WHAT IF we allowed Him to do just that?
So, it may be that you have been watching a movie trailer or have been watching the movie itself. Maybe you read parts of the book before but the movie sounded so good; the details of the Real Story have faded in your memory. The Book is so much better – maybe the movie has changed your mind just a bit. Made the truths you knew fade into the far recesses of times past. Perhaps the screenwriter version has become so popular that you find yourself wondering at times if the Book really is true.
I wanted to bring us back today to the Greatest Storyteller of all time Who not only wrote but sent His Son to live out the story for us, to make us free. What has happened over time is that this world and even Christianity’s “make me feel better and relevant with this world” culture, waters down the truths that this, the Greatest Author of all time, wrote in His Book.
Does this new screenplay we are all watching in this day and age really make us feel better? The compromise, the belief that God’s standards are somehow “out of date” and need to be “altered” to fit today’s world. It’s outdated, they say, so it needs to be made relevant.
Yes, languages change, colour palates change from season to season, and we may even change our hairstyle (I have heard every woman has an average of 5-7 hairstyles in her lifetime and some of us still remember the colour “seafoam green”), and we have hopefully stopped wearing shoulder pads that made us look like football players.
But the Book tells us what He is really like, what living for Him is meant to be. It is easy to be persuaded to believe something else when we don’t remind ourselves of what He is like daily. When I begin to listen to what “the evidence” points to, that God doesn’t care about me, or I’m not sure if He loves me, or that I should live holy but it’s ok if I don’t, I start the process of forgetting Who He really is and replacing what I once knew to be true, for a lie.
Our enemy fights, but not overtly. He begins by telling us lies – his ambition is to take our authority from us for he wants to take as many down with him as he can. Satan’s lies begin as partial truths that are overemphasized into error – let me give you an example. Are we the righteousness of God in Christ? Yes!!! But we are also nothing without Him. If we only speak of how wonderful we are – we sway into error and forget that He is all and all and without Him we are lost!
What if we took the time to open the Book, and really remember what it says?
The Greatest Storyteller, the Author, sent His Son to live as one of us so we could reign with Him – and our Lord Jesus won His war. And now the spiritual war that wages in the heavenlies is ours to win through His wonderful victory ( see Ephesians 6).
Jesus left heaven, became fully man and was at the same time, fully God (see Hebrews 2:7) and Jesus, in His lifetime, used the authority Adam had lost. He was not the offspring of Adam; He was not subject to the laws of fallen man because He was God in man (see Hebrews 1:8). He then turned around and shared His authority with us:
Revelation 1:6 NKJ “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 2:9 NKJ “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
We don’t fight with a sword, flailing in our own strength. We stand with a scepter as kings. This is how we win – understanding what the Book, not the movie (society, popular messages and movements), says.
Today’s messages tell us to be self-centered in that we are to seek after what’s best for us and our own – but God’s wisdom says we are to serve as Jesus did Philippians 2:3-11 vs. 5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” We are to take up His mind and put away our own for using our own hasn’t worked thus far, has it?
Imagine what happened! Jesus left heaven as God, He returned as God-man as He completed the work of redemption and left us with the authority to enforce it in the earth. And then life happens, the movie trailers begin to play, and we are no longer “mindful” or full of the mind of Christ.
But you see the Book reminds us of the truths that the screenplay leaves out:
Revelation 12:11 NKJ “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
We will overcome, not by falling for the lies and deceptions of the movie trailers – but by His blood and the testimony of our lips of what He, the Son, has done for us. How do we win a war when we are in prison? What prison, you say? The one we put ourselves in when we allow our minds to be chained to the screenplay. We are in prison when we are deceived, when we believe a lie.
This was done just for our age, what will He do in ages to come?
Ephesians 2:7 NKJ “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
For there are more Books to be written, more stories He will tell – this is only our beginning. The Father has been forever; there’s never been a time that He wasn’t and He has chosen to include us in this journey. Why not join Him and read the Book – stop watching the movies – and break off those chains.
He is good, His purposes are good, and the Book is definitely better than the movie.