Friday, October 30, 2009
The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
Have you ever thought that you just weren’t yourself? Like maybe you were replaced in the middle of the night by something less than you, and that what woke up in the morning wasn’t getting the job done?
Note to self—it’s true. You were taken. I have evidence.
The film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was true. Heck, they made it twice—once when I was born (1956), and again in 1978. That ought to convince you. I think National Geographic might have made the film, and they don’t lie. Right?
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 or pep. Maybe a little better than a zombie. (Those are real, too. Think how many movies they’ve made of those. Can you say 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 that is slow and ugly and dull in the head and heart. 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 in Ephesus, 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 or conference it’s not long before old thinking, old habits and old tendencies begin popping up—stuff they might have done before they received Christ, and now want no part of. That’s the evidence that body snatching has begun. The flesh produces ugly, sinful desires (Eph 2:3) to induce us to follow its leading, which means living without the life of God. If we do, it’s then that the flesh behaves through us, masquerading as us—and don’t we feel awful. (Gal 5:16-21)
The battle you face is for the real you, the new creation you, the new self created in Christ Jesus. 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, it’s not long before 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 or link to this note and talk about it. Ask how the battle of the body snatching goes—you may save your friend loads of turmoil and grief. Besides, the truth always refreshes and revives us, and who doesn’t need some of that?
I know this is a chore, but isn’t it real? Isn’t it how we grow up in Christ, by assisting each other? Don’t wait for someone to call you—pick up the phone, or contact 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 that 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 is there because He is! That rescues believers and revives them.
You’ll be invaluable in the fight against the invasion of the body snatchers.