In 2008 a low budget movie about an epidemic known as sex trafficking hit theaters with high hopes to break even and make a good enough profit. It starred one big name and many lesser known faces. The movie was called "Taken" and not only did it break even, it earned 5 times the cost to make it and went on to become the most quoted movie that Liam Neeson (the big name) would do thus far. The movie's premise (in case you don't like being entertained by the cinema) revolves around a father's unconditional love for his teenage daughter who, after traveling to Paris with a friend becomes the victim of sex trafficking. As the movie unfolds the father (ex special ops of course) follows the trail of her captors, finds her and saves her. Not only as a trip down movie memory lane, but we hi-light this particular movie for what happens during a phone call between the father and daughter in the middle of the abduction, in particular, what the father says to the daughter that upon first watching, takes us by surprise. "The next part is very important, they're gonna take you," a gut wrenching line for anyone who has children (of any age) to have to say to someone they love. The significance of this line however, proves (in the movie) to be a sobering reality to get the daughter focused enough to pay attention to the instructions from the father, which would eventually guide him to her. WOW. Why in the world would we start with THIS MOVIE plot, in this blog, during this moment? One word, INEVITABLE.
Let's all take a minute to look around us right now. What do we see? If we are watching the news, we see Coronvirus and Covid-19 pop up on any screen many times per couple of seconds. If we are out and about on the streets, we see people wearing masks and gloves and maneuvering around each other. If we are driving past our favorite beach or hiking trail or even Disneyland, we are seeing CLOSED signs blocking us from our preferred recreation. THIS IS THE BEGINNING. The times getting worse, weirder, stranger, and more constraining is in one word again, INEVITABLE. Don't believe us? Let's check on the TRUTH of the matter as Jesus says in ...
Matthew 24:3-13 (EASY)
"After that, Jesus was sitting on the hill called the Mount of Olives. While He was alone, His disciples came to Him. They said to Him, "Please tell us when all these things will happen. Also tell us what will show us that you will soon return? What will show us that the world will soon end?" Jesus said, "You must be careful! Some people will tell you things that are not true. Do not believe them. Many people will say that they have come on my behalf. They will say, "I am the Messiah." Many people will believe their false words. You will hear about wars. You will hear reports about wars in other places. But you must not be afraid. Those things must happen first, but it is not yet the end of everything. People in one country will attack the people in another country. Kings and their armies will fight against other Kings and their armies. Some people will be hungry with no food. The ground will move in many different places. All those things will be like the first pains that a mother has before her baby is born. Then people will TAKE hold of you and they will give you pain. They will even kill some of you. People in every country will hate you because you are my disciples. At that time, many people who believe in me will stop believing. They will put some of my disciples in the power of their rulers. They will hate each other. Also at that time, many people will say that they are prophets from God. Their message is FALSE, but many people will believe them. More and more people everywhere will be doing very bad things. Because of this many people will no longer love each other in the way that they did before. But God will save the person who remains strong until the end."
Our reality is this, we KNOW the TRUTH, we are doing all we can to NOT go along with whatever the latest scare manipulation tactic is being utilized to get everyone to cooperate and not kick up a fuss. But what if it gets worse? According to the scriptures IT WILL GET WORSE, or to put it in our movie reference terms "They're going to take you". This isn't us wanting it to get worse. This isn't even us speaking the worst scenarios into existence. This is a forewarn from our Father to get us to collectively focus enough to pay attention to the instructions that He is giving to us. Now, of course, this is where our parallels to that movie end; but it is our beginning to something greater and much bigger than what we read.
The obvious thing for us to ponder then, is how do we stay focused if things are going to get inevitably worse? Good question. Because if we lose our focus, we lose our balance. When we lose our balance, we start groping and compromising to maintain our balance. This puts us in a vulnerable position, not being able to resist whatever forces there may be, attempting to take us off course. In concept, staying focused is simple, keep our hearts open and in constant communion and communication with Jesus. But, navigating this in real time with real people who are most certainly NOT in communication with Him, is a whole other beast. This would require us to utilize something called our reticular activating system, which gives us the ability to block and screen out interference's (verbal and visual) that would distract us. Being forewarned means that we can get forearmed to be on the lookout, staying sharp, anticipating the things that are here already and ever more so, coming that would attempt to take our focus off that course. Listen, if we lose track of our CENTER (which is JESUS) because of fear or worry or anxiety, we need to get back on course by immediately establishing verbal communication with our heavenly GPS system. In other words, pray and listen.
How do we continually keep our spirit and soul in freedom, when our body (physically) is being restricted? We find our example in a boy, born into a family of men and betrayed by the same. Joseph was taken and placed in a situation where his freedom (physically) was ripped away from him. He was relegated to living a life that he didn't choose. The key to not only his survival, but his success was his focus on what God had told him that he would become.
Genesis 37:5-9 (NIV)
"Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: we were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and even stars were bowing down to me."
This dream that Joseph got from God would carry him all the way through being taken and stripped of his freedom, because he kept his focus on God, who gave him the dream to begin with. This example is one we can apply to ANYTHING that attempts to imprison us literally or figuratively as we look not at the things that are seen but the things that are unseen, because the things that are seen are temporary and the things that are unseen are permanent. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) Get use to it, this scripture will become your absolute favorite, by the time we finish. In this reference in particular, it isn't speaking generically of the invisible world, but specifically of God the Creator of all material things who upholds them by the word of His power.
God has given every one of us the opportunity to acquire a particular set of skills that will definitely come in handy moving forward into the predetermined future of humanity. First things first, our relationship with the creator of everything. Next we must develop a keen sense of hearing His voice through the written Word, as well as the whispering of the Spirit within. The understanding of our authority to proclaim the will of God over our lives, our families and our situations in the name of Jesus is our major offensive weapon against destructive forces. Included in this package is a powerful defense that the Blood of Jesus provides us with, by this proclamation we find that we can apply the blood to any situation, to expeditiously vanquish the enemy. HEY! The final skill in particular comes to us by way of grace (through no effort of our own). When we speak by way of the Holy Spirit in the supernatural language, not only do we have a hotline to God but we are also enabled to spiritually set some things in motion including angelic intervention.
A particular set of skills, indeed.