Sunday, August 16, 2009

Focus on His voice

It's been a while since I've written a blog, so I apologise in advance if this one gets a bit long. This blog is also a bit different than most....

Today's blog came from out of the blue while I was at church. I got to thinking about how wonderful Sundays are...they are a time to refocus on what is truly important. While I love the Lord, the distractions of daily life can sometimes cause me to lose focus and get slightly off course. Today, during worship, I thought about how important it is to focus on His voice....that's where the random thought came in. The words "focus on His voice" reminded me of something else.

Last night, I watched a movie that I have seen bits and pieces of before...."Enough" with Jennifer Lopez. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it is the story of a woman who marries a man that later turns out to be quite crazy and tries to kill her. In desperation, she learns to defend herself using Krav Maga, a form of martial arts. It is definitely not a movie for children, but in it I found some very interesting parallels. Those are the source of today's blog.

To begin with, the villain in the movie was played by a very handsome man, Bill Campbell. He seemed to be perfect and offered all our heroine could hope for. Once he "had" her however, things began to change. Once she had given him what he wanted (in this case, a child) he was pretty much done with her. The relationship went from passion to disinterest to abuse and as the movie progressed it became evident that he meant to destroy her by any means possible. That reminds me so much of the enemy we battle. Satan goes to and fro about the earth seeking those whom he may destroy. At first, he appears as an angel of light - beautiful and promising. Over time however, his true character emerges and he can be seen for the monster he truly is.

In this movie, the woman tries to escape with her child only to be hunted down by the husband. He is violently abusive toward her and anyone who tries to help her. Intimidation is his favorite tool. Finally, she has had "Enough." She can no longer run and hide. No one can do this for her. If she wishes to save her daughter, this battle is hers alone.

She sends her daughter off to safety with a friend and then she begins to train. (Some may recognize the martial arts form being used as Krav Maga.) There are of course the montages of her practicing with the trainer and becoming ever stronger. Finally, she has but one more lesson to learn. Her instructor tells her that you must plan for the unexpected because Life doesn't always deal with us fairly. There can come a momentary distraction and the enemy hits us with a blow that throws us to the ground. As the young woman lies back on the mat, her coach admonishes her to listen to his voice...focus on his voice. In that moment, when she is lying there, he reminds her that her enemy will be true to the coward that he is. When he thinks he has her - he will come and kick her...

Those who have seen the movie know how this ends. For those who have not: spoiler alert!

The young woman goes to the home of her husband and waits. While she waits, she removes his guns, knives, all weapons that could be used against her. Then she dresses for battle. The part that impressed me most was her feet. She put on boots that reminded me so much of the scripture in Ephesians that say our feet are to be shod with the preparation of peace. Then she waits.

The battle that follows is frightening and at one point you think she has won, but she cannot bring herself to land the fatal blow. As she calls a friend to tell her she cannot do it, her enemy sneaks up and hits her from behind. She is lying there and you are sure she is done for...True to form, her enemy comes to kick her while she is down, but then hear her coach's voice saying: "Focus on my voice..." The final kick of insult that the enemy meant to land instead becomes his downfall. In the end, she wins and her enemy is dead.

There are so many times in life when satan is like the bad guy in this movie. He comes as a beautiful promise, only to then turn to destroy you. In this movie, the woman wasn't fighting simply for her own life. She was fighting for her child. Quitting was not an option...losing wasn't either. She tried to run, but running wasn't going to make this problem go away. She had to take a stand and fight. And at some point in our battles, we may find ourselves like this woman - down and waiting for satan to throw his is then more than ever that we must focus on our Father's voice. Listen to Him, do not be distracted to the left or the right. There is yet hope, it is not over, and we will win.

I don't know what battles you face today. Just remember, even if your adversary has you down, you are not out yet. Even if it seems the devil is coming to deliver his final blow, do not give up. Focus on your Heavenly Father's voice. Shut out everything else and focus on HIS voice. It's not over yet.

1 Peter 5:8 -11 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen

Ephesians 6: 12 -18 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

No comments: