I’m a fairly new Christian with a love for good scifi movies. Until recently I was a software engineer but I’ve got a new calling on my life now. When I was first approached about Christianity I was young and in a Catholic congregation. I had people telling me that there was a reality out there that I couldn’t see, taste, touch, hear or smell but it was the real reality. They explained that in fact I had sinned against a God whom I didn’t know was there, never heard or met to my knowledge and that there was an equally elusive enemy of my soul bent on my destruction. I had a choice to remain in ignorance or to accept the truth about Jesus and follow Him where ever He led me to go.
Now I’m especially fond of the Matrix series. If you’re not familiar with these movies, the story line goes like this. What if the reality that we think that we are experiencing is not real. What if what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel is actually a computer generated reality? The movie takes this premise and from the perspective of a young computer hacker named “Neo”, follows his path of discovery as he becomes aware of the true nature of his reality (termed “The Matrix”) and circumstances and becomes acquainted with the real world. His guide to this journey is another infamous hacker named “Morpheus”.
At one point in the movie, Neo is approached and offered a choice to be shown the truth or to just go back to his life none the wiser but he has to take a step of faith in the form of swallowing a red or a blue pill. What follows is a portion of that dialog:
Morpheus: Do you want to know what IT is? The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind…. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes…. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more…. Follow me….
Neo winds up taking the red pill and he is forever changed when confronted with reality.
My Red Pill was Jesus.
The choice that I took as a youth was not to take the Red Pill but to remain in ignorance. When I was thirty five the Lord touched my heart and I decided that it was time for me to take the Red Pill. I’m forty now, married with three daughters. The Lord has called me out of engineering to be a teacher to His Bride and He has called my family in to the mission field.
Following this path that the Lord has placed in front of me has been the most personally challenging and radical thing that I have ever attempted to do. What I realized is that I actually can’t follow in my own will and under my own power.
The apostle Peter encountered this problem head on when he was put in to a position to radically affirm his faith in Jesus but failed. Peter loved the Lord and said as much (Matthew 26:31-35) but that love didn’t come from God and as it happens in this instance was insufficient (Matthew 26:69-75).
In my ignorance and pride I too said to the Lord, I will follow you anywhere Lord, even unto death. Through the course of my walk with Him He has ever so lovingly and gently taken me right up to the limits of my love, willingness and faith and then taken me right past them. The Lord has kicked me out of the nest and forced me to fly so to speak. Like Jonah, I’ve tried to put my head in the sand so many times and run from the Lord but He has continued to pursue and stretched me. There were times when I longed for safety and familiarity of the nest whether it be before the day when I asked Jesus in to my heart or after when I walked an easy “tame” walk with Him. Still, the Lord disciplines those whom He Loves and my easy walk soon adopted a fairly steep incline to it.
Living out my walk with Jesus I came to an understanding of what Loving the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and strength actually means. Fully adopting the Lord’s Heart for things, then fully committing your self to the Lord’s end’s, even unto death, or should He request it of you, your wife’s or child’s death. The Lord requested this of Abraham and Abraham did not withhold his son from Him. This blows me away. Never could I have imagined this until now. Our Heavenly Father went one step further and actually allowed Jesus to die a criminal’s death. There have since been many Christians persecuted, willing to lay their lives down for Jesus.
No matter what you think you can give up for the Lord, He can and will ask for something that will go beyond your ability to say yes Lord in your own power unless you are in a position of having fully submitted your heart and your will to Him. The only way to do this is with His Holy Spirit filling you. In Acts this happened to Peter in the upper room (Acts 2). We call it the Pentecost. During this event the Holy Spirit came upon Peter and the apostles and filled them and what happened next was nothing short of spectacular. Peter ran out of that room and delivered a sermon with such boldness that he started a revival. Thousands were added to the Kingdom of God! Peter’s love for the Lord was perfected by the Holy Spirit and his Love was now the Love given to him by God. From this point on, Peter withstood beatings, persecution and eventually death on a cross but instead without fear but with boldness and full of Love.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
1 John 4:18
I exhort anyone who reads this to not find your self in a place where you are operating in your own love but instead are perfected in Love by the power of the Holy Spirit. May the Peace and Love of the Lord Jesus be with you.