We Live in a Rogue Nation
Most (if not all of us) have things we love about summer…
Maybe going to the pool? Taking trips to the lake, beach or mountains?
Or just plain old having time off from school and sipping lemonade in your backyard?
But one of the things I love most about summer is the massive competition between movie companies for the best blockbuster! The end result is about a half-dozen films that provide two or more hours of “cure for the occasional summertime blahs.”
And my vote—for what it’s worth—is the spectacular return of Ethan Hunt and his stellar crew in MI5—Rogue Nation. Adore him or abhor him for his personal life and other (ahem) affiliations, anyone who literally hangs on to the door of a jet while it’s taking off has got my respect!
And from that opening scene, the plot keeps ascending and Tom keeps cruising while the audience is strapped in for a cinematic ride with the disavowed IMF running for their lives and simultaneously trying to save others.
But wait a minute…if you’re a Christ follower, doesn’t that storyline sound a little familiar in real life? Not that you should try the jaw-dropping stunts that Ethan Hunt pulls off, but let’s look at a few of the fascinating parallels between the movie Mission: Impossible and the seemingly impossible mission of the believer:
First, are we—no matter what country on earth we inhabit—living in a “rogue nation”? Well, if the definition of rogue is “dishonest” and “evil,” then the Bible tells us we all very definitely citizens of just such a world! Jesus tells us that the devil is “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30), and that his purpose is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). The villains in the MI series are often secretive and shadowy, but our archenemy is openly seeking to devastate and obliterate those who name Jesus as their Savior!
The Bible also warns that Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Lions often use deception and misdirection, so we always need to be vigilant and wise about whom we trust and who might be out to get us!
Second, do we have a seemingly impossible mission and incredible weapons to use in our efforts to fulfill it? You betcha!
The Bible unveils our arsenal in this way:
It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, TLB).
Ethan Hunt and gang may have the latest and greatest techno-weapons that nobody sees coming, but as believers we have the very armor of God and the infinite power of prayer to Almighty God on our side!
How do we use these spiritual armaments? We wake up each morning asking the Holy Spirit to fill us and Jesus to give us wisdom in our decisions. Then throughout the day we focus on how we can reach out to the lost and share the love of God and the truth of the gospel with everyone we can.
Though we are being hounded and harassed in this rogue nation, we must make use of the defenses He has provided for us, then get on our knees and fight relentlessly!
Fight for what? Well, that brings us to the Mission: Impossible…
He told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20, TLB).
Jesus gives every believer this mission, and at face value, it very much seems impossible. How are we to “make disciples” of every rogue nation? On our own, there is no way. But, He promises to be with us “always, even to the end of the world.” In other words, when the going gets tough and we’ve lost the will to keep fighting for THE Cause of Christ, it is then that we sense His power and presence working in our lives, and we find the strength to battle for the souls of our friends and families for another day.
So enjoy the pool, the lake, the beach and the mountains, but don’t sit all summer sipping lemonade and watching movies, because we have an impossible mission to accomplish, made possible by the very power and presence of Jesus Christ!
You may not be Ethan Hunt, but you are a follower of Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit on a Mission: Incredible! Make great use of your remaining summer and enjoy the adventure God has laid at your feet!
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “Want a thrilling summer mission? Check out this week’s devo: http://hubs.ly/H011Bkz0”
LEADERS: Be sure to check out the Discussion Guide for this week’s Soul Fuel – We Live in a Rogue Nation!
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