Last weekend, I had the pleasure of watching "Jurassic World." (My fellow staff members who attended the movie with me might not say the same. I am an action movie spaz, but that's besides the point.) It was super intense, but once I finally stopped shaking due to my muscles being clenched the whole time (in suspense, not fear, of course – two different things), I seriously enjoyed it. As crazy as it may seem, I even drew some parallels to the Gospel. Who knew, right?
In the movie, the super smart scientists in the lab at Jurassic World have created a genetically modified (female) dinosaur called Indominus Rex. As mayhem ensues, the biggest problem the main characters' face is not knowing what various animal genetics have been used to birth this monster. Time after time, they discover a new trait, but only after she has wreaked a new havoc.
Lately, I've been learning more and more about how we need to know our enemy, too. As followers of Christ, we really are under attack at all times. Sometimes, it's hard to talk about spiritual warfare, especially in the American society where Satan sometimes attacks in sneakier ways. However, that doesn't mean we don't need to prepare ourselves just as well as if we were fighting a dinosaur that wanted to eat us. In fact, we need to prepare even further, since ya know, dinosaurs are extinct and Satan is not.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 5:12
I have been learning that Satan knows us infinitely well, especially our calling, and he will do anything possible to keep us from being world-changers. After all, he was there in the beginning when we were created, and he desires nothing more than to see us wither in the face of adversity.
This wrestling with the enemy will last until our Savior returns; there is no question of that. However, how wonderful it is to know that Jesus has not left us on our own! "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20), so when we rely fully on Him, all things are possible. Not only that, but Christ promises us "the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14:26). We have "the full armor of God" (Ephesians 6:13), people! And it's time we really learn how to use it.
On the flip side; however, I am also being reminded over and over that our Father also knows our deepest calling – He is the One who put it there. He "created my inmost being; [He] knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13). And the same is true for every person on the earth – past, present and future. He has a specific plan for you, and when we turn our lives over to Him, His glory will abound and we will have the greatest privilege of witnessing the furthering of His kingdom.
But how many leaders and emperors and dreamers had their bright futures snuffed out? I believe we must say, "No more," to the prince of darkness. We are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). Jesus said, "It is finished," (John 19:30) and God said, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
I am learning more and more that the potential which lies within every person is insurmountably great when God shows up. Each girl who I am working with at The Vine has undergone tragedy, hardship, pain and abuse.
"BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:4-7)
Oh, what a phrase that is … BUT GOD. He has raised us up. He is showing the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Every single resident and staff member here at The Vine has beautiful gifts and callings directly instilled in them from our Creator. It's time for us to look at every individual and fight for them. And fight for ourselves. May the Spirit lead us as we encourage one another and build each other up to greater things that will last for eternity. May we know that "the thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy." But may we also know that He has come that we may have life and "have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
We will know our enemy fully, that we might fight "the good fight," finish the race, and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Even more so, we will know our God fully, remembering all the while He "raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power" (1 Corinthians 6:14). What a powerful, loving, complex and True God we serve.
Brianna Childs is a summer missionary with Go Now. She is currently serving in Savannah, Georgia at The Living Vine Christian Maternity Home. To read more from Brianna during her summer trip, please visit her personal blog.