I’ll never forget the first time I watched Monsters, Inc. with the kids. We’d rented it so were watching it at home. Both of them were pretty small. They laughed in all the right places–and the grabbed hold of my arms and scrambled into my lap at the expected ones too. They–and I–thoroughly enjoyed the movie. But what I remember most isn’t honestly the plot or the names of the characters or anything like that. What I remember most is the bad guy. Or rather, one particular trait of the bad guy.
He could make himself invisible. And that made him terrifying. Because you never knew where he was. What he might be doing.
It’s the same thing with the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World, right? The fact that this enormous, vicious creature could hide right out in the open…TERROR. Pure terror.
We always have this idea that if we can perceive it, we can fight it. If we can identify it, we can defeat it. If we can put our finger on it, we can solve it.
But sometimes we can’t…because we can’t.
Too often, though, that’s the kind of enemy we face. It’s true of cancer. It’s true of autoimmune disease. It’s true of viruses. It’s true of termites eating away at your foundation and of mold growing in your attic. The unseen, unperceived, unknowable things are the ones that sneak up on us without warning, slithering about in the dark. And then when they pounce . . .
What? What are we to do? How are we to fight it off?
The invisible enemy is the scariest enemy. I’ve been entirely certain of that ever since I first watched that cute animated movie with my kids. But it’s something I remembered not just because it’s true in storytelling and disease…it’s something I remembered because it’s true in the realm of the Spirit as well.
We don’t fight against flesh and blood. We fight against powers and principalities and the rulers of darkness of this age. Invisible things. We always fight against invisible things. And while it can seem terribly unfair, terribly terrifying, terribly difficult for us corporeal beings, there’s something we have to remember.
We’re not just fighting an invisible enemy.
We’re serving an invisible God.
I’ve never really seen that in a movie–salvation for the hero coming from an unseen force. An invisible hand sweeping it all away. It probably wouldn’t be satisfying to watch, right? Though we still hope for it in the real world. God, put an end to this! God, stop the bad thing! Why doesn’t He just swoop down and make it right?
And yet . . . and yet we do see salvation coming from an unseen direction all the time. The character you thought was out for the count. The helicopter arriving in the nick of time. Physical things perceived with our eyes and ears and noses.
Kinda like Jesus. He came in the flesh to be our physical salvation. To be the visible answer of our invisible God. He’s done that already, my friends. Triumphing over the ultimate enemy–death. It may still claim our bodies, but it cannot touch our souls. As if we have that
certainty, how can fear rule us?
We will always fear what we can’t see. Can’t know. But faith, my friends…faith is as powerful a weapon as any we could ever ask for from the military. Because it too harnesses that Invisible. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.
How do we know God is at work? That His armies are marching against our enemies? Because of faith. If a sneeze is the evidence of a cold–that unseen virus–then faith is the physical manifestation of God Himself. We don’t think of it that way, do we? We tend to think of faith as another not-physical, unseen thing.
But it isn’t. It’s fully visible. Fully physical. It is the substance.
Which means we need to SHOW IT to each other. More, we need to show it to the world. We don’t need to fear the invisible–because we serve the Invisible. And faith is our proof that it works. Now is our time to Shine it forth.
Now is the time to fast. To pray. And to cling to Him and His promises with a visible shield. Faith. It can protect us from the fiery darts. But only if we lift it up before us.