Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Don't Get Snatched!
Ever think you’ve lost yourself? Note to self - you did. You were taken.
The movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was true. Heck, they made it twice--once when I was born (1956) and again in 1978--doesn’t that convince you? I think National Geographic made the film, and they don’t lie.
In the movie fatigue overwhelms you so you lay down to sleep. Big mistake. Right next to you a sinister, pretender you emerges, having managed to suck the life out of you, thank you very much. And then it shaves and gets dressed and out it goes into what was supposed to be your day. Only you don’t act like you used to--you sort of go through the motions without any real heart or zeal. Maybe a little better than a zombie. (Those are real, too. Think how many movies they’ve made of those. Evidence.)
What else explains the every day awareness you have that there might be two of you? That somehow in the night something or someone else took up residence and began acting like you, but not exactly. Not quite as on. Not much enthusiasm.
I have days where it seems like the real me, the focused and moving forward me gets hijacked and replaced by a cheap imitation, one which is slow and plodding--you know, a bit of a dim bulb, just light enough to get the job done...sort of. The apostle Paul had the same thing happen to him, too. His best defense was to write about it in such a way as to require other people to help him stop the invasion of the body snatchers. In that way together they could stop the whole thing.
To the constantly threatened Ephesians he wrote:
“Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Eph 4:21-25 NIV, italics mine.)
Many have told me that after we wrap up a seminar it’s not long before old thinking, old habits and old tendencies begin popping up. Body snatching begins. The flesh provides lovely sinful desires (Eph 2:3) to induce us to follow its leading. If we do, it’s then that it behaves through us, masquerading as us--and don’t we feel awful. (Gal 5:16-21)
For those who live in border states such as California, you might think of this in the context of illegal immigration. Something foreign sneaks through, begins to change things around you, and now something has to be done about it. The drain on you is finally becoming too much to bear.
The battle you face is for the real you, the new creation you, the new self created in Christ Jesus. Everyone faces this fight because everyone grows. We’re to put that new person on and we’ll need help. Paul says we’re to “speak truthfully” to one another, and that means we speak the truth, biblical truth, especially concerning how we’re doing with the war between the selves. That kind of speaking keeps the important struggle in the open--and that’s vital! If we don’t talk about it much we’re in danger. It won’t be long until the false self will wear us down, weary us out, and get us to abide by its desires. Even though it looks okay, we’ll know it isn’t. We’ve been snatched.
If we’re to not give place to the flesh we’ll need help. What can you do? Call a Christian friend, forward this email and talk about it. Ask how the battle of the body snatching goes--you may well save him loads of turmoil and grief. Besides, the truth revives, and who doesn’t need that?!
I know this is a chore, but isn’t it real? Isn’t it how we grow up in Christ? Wouldn’t this kind of work for each other help? Don’t wait for someone to call you--pick up the phone, or email me about it. You know this goes on every day, so in faith fight! Remind each other of what Christ did on the cross to make you a new person, a true son of God, now to live in an entirely new way. Tell each other that the foul desires and thoughts which sometimes plague us are from the flesh and not from ourselves. Tell each other to look to the Holy Spirit who lives in us, to listen for Him, to talk to Him, acting as though He were there because He is! That rescues believers and revives them.
You’ll be invaluable against the body snatchers and you’ll realize that you’re better off than you think.
Don't let Donald Sutherland get you!
(Having been body snatched himself, Donald Sutherland rats-out a real person. From “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”)