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Archive for April, 2004

So last Saturday night I finally got to see Kill Bill Vol. 2. If you haven’t seen this movie yet and you are planning to see it and you don’t want anything ruined for you then you may not want to read this until you have seen the movie. WARNING: POTENTIAL MOVIE SPOILER. DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.

Of course if you know anything about these Kill Bill movies, you know that they are basically the story of revenge with the bride trying to find and kill Bill. Well towards the end of the movie Bill says something interesting. Actually, it doesn’t have too much bearing on the movie or the outcome or anything, but I just thought it was interesting. As he and the bride are having a conversation, he notes that Superman is his favorite superhero. He goes on to say that what separates Superman from say Spiderman or Batman is in his identity. While Spiderman wakes up as Peter Parker every morning and Batman wakes up as Bruce Wayne, Superman really wakes up being Superman. Parker and Wayne put on their superhero costumes to become their super counterparts, while Superman does just the opposite. Because Superman is from Krypton, he wakes up with all of his super powers (but the real question is what super powers does Batman have?) and has to put on a costume to be Clark Kent. He, in actuality, is Superman (or Kal-El) that wears a Clark Kent costume and not the other way around. He actually has to try to hide super powers instead of putting them on like the others.

Now this is important because this is how some of us live. One of my favorite verses is “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Many of us think that we wake up as Clark Kent and we need to try to become Superman. But, how do we become Superman? Some people think that it is through prayer or doing good things or pleasing God in some way. This is, however, incorrect. We wake up being Superman. Once we are born again, we automatically wake up being children of God and we are therefore able to receive all of the benefits that it entails. Keep that in mind because somewhere in our past Satan has convinced us otherwise. Instead of waking up as a victor we wake up as a victim.

Part of being a superhero is knowing your enemy. If you know how your enemy is going to attack you can know how to defend yourself and counter-attack. The Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God so that we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Notice that we put on the armor of God not to withstand the devil, but to withstand the “wiles” or strategies of the devil. The devil will try to attack you in many ways so it is important to know what he will do.

Probably the biggest way the devil will attack you is by causing doubt or unbelief. If he can make you doubt God or his Word, he will have taken away two key components of the armor: your sword, which is the Word, and your shield of faith (Romans 10:17, Ephesians 6:16-17). This is why it is so important to know your Word. But is also important that you learn to trust God’s Word no matter the circumstance. See, the Word won’t do you any good if you don’t trust it, just as a sword won’t do you any good if you keep it in its scabbard when an enemy is coming because you don’t trust its reliability. Learn to have faith in God’s Word. If you don’t, you will be like everyone else who heard the Word “but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). To those that hear the Word but don’t mix it with faith, it does them no good. So keep studying and learning how to use God’s Word. Learn what it says about you and learn what it says about your enemy. If you keep doing this overwhelming victory will truly be yours.

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Here’s a little story for all of you golf fans out there. As you may or may not know, the first full week of April brings about golf’s first major, the Masters (www.masters.org). In golf, there are the regular events and the majors. There are only four majors a year (the other three being the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship) and these tournaments are a little more highly regarded than all of the others. In golf, greatness is measured not by money or Tour wins, but major wins.

With that said, there is also a player on Tour known as “the best player never to have won a major.” This is a title that no one wants to have since it essentially means that you’re at the border of greatness but you just can’t get there. Going into the Masters the BPNTHWAM was a man named Phil Mickelson. He is a very talented player who has already won 22 times on Tour but he could never pull off a win at a major. Going into April he was 0 for 42 in the majors meaning he has played in 42 majors but never won one. But that all changed on Sunday. After holing out with a birdie on the 72nd hole of the Masters, Mickelson finally won his first major. It was a defining moment in his life. Afterwards he said, “I think the most difficult part of this 10-year journey has been just dealing with the loses time after time. It can wear on you. Except that you just can’t let it.”

Here is a man that has waited 10 years for his reward. There was never a doubt about his ability. He was always a great player, but he finally got this monkey off his back and he can move on with life from a completely different perspective. Now, how does this relate to our Christian life? Well many times in life we run into hurdles and obstacles. We know that there is a greater promise in this life that God has promised us, but sometimes we can’t see it or we become discouraged. So what do we do?

The Bible says that “we do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12). That tells me that those who inherited the promises of God have had both faith and patience. Not just faith and not just patience but both faith and patience. See it would have been easy for Mickelson to give up and just accept the fact that he would never win a major, but he didn’t think that way. When asked about finishing his career without a major he responded by saying, “I had never thought about it.” Here’s a man who never even let the thought of finishing without a major even enter his mind. That’s exactly the way we need to think. The battle is won or lost in the mind. It is not a matter of if God will keep his word, but when. So if you’re waiting for God to keep his promise, keep waiting. Have patience because “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

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