The Walking Dead: Not Your Typical Zombie Story

“My God’s not dead. He is surely alive. He’s living on the inside, roaring like a lion.” This is the chorus from the Newsboy’s hit song that serves as the theme for the movie with the same title. While everyone is fighting the accuracy of Noah to the Genesis narrative, this movie has taken a bit of a backseat. I went tonight with a group of coworkers, and the movie stirred up a lot of thoughts for me.

God's not dead
To me, it all boils down to one main point. We, the church as a whole, have become the walking dead. If you think about the popular show, The Walking Dead, we’re playing the wrong part. We aren’t meant to play the “walkers” aka zombies who are dead and now just wander around aimlessly. We are called to be those who are set apart because we still have life.We don’t live our lives as if God is alive in us. Instead of roaring like a lion, I see us being content with the meow of a kitten. Where is our boldness? Here’s some things the film brought up for me even though they weren’t the main plot.[WARNING: Minor Spoilers! If you don’t want to know details, go see the movie. Then, come back and read.]

In the Film, there’s a Chinese exchange student named Martin. In the film, he mentions a woman back home in China who would meet with the Christians in secret. It was a sobering reminder about what it means to be a follower of Christ in some places around the world. Why would they need to meet in secret? Because being a Christian in their country means that you could easily lose your life. Persecution is not just in the Old & New Testaments. It happens today in 2014. When Martin decided to accept Jesus, he was well aware of the risk it would be for him to return to China. He lived there and knew what it was like for followers of Jesus. Martin decided that following Jesus was worth the risk.

The next character that really hit me was Ayisha’s story. We first see her wearing a hijab, the head covering for Muslim women. When she is out of the presence of her father, she removes it. Later in the film, she’s caught listening to a Franklin Graham sermon on her ipod. When her father discovers this, he slaps her, grabs her, and removes her from the home. Ayisha lost her family, her home, and everything she knew about her life because she chose to follow Jesus. She knew the risk it would be, and she openly chose that path because she knew Jesus is worth it. Her encounter with Jesus Christ made everything else worth losing because she had gained Him.
I believe we as the Church in America have a hard time understanding these types of sacrifice because of how vastly different our Christian lives are.Francis Chan has a chapter of the book Passion in which he talks about visiting the church in India and China. I encourage you  to find it. He speaks to this issue with profound but obvious reasoning. In our country, there are a number of churches to choose from. If we don’t like the music they play, can find better child care, or want to sleep in later, we simply switch churches. What a luxury we have! We have allowed our comfort focused culture to permeate God’s house. What do we fight for in God’s name? When is the last time we put our personal comfort on the line to Honor God?
Now, don’t get me wrong. America has its own issues and battles. I just think that our issues have caused us to tame the passion and burning pursuit of Jesus. When is the last time you took a risk for your faith? I’m not asking you to make yourself a martyr. I’m asking all of us, myself included, to look at the world around us.  The world around us is dying right in front of us. They’re waiting on us to decide to allow the spirit of God to roar from within us. We cannot sit idly on the sidelines while the problems of our society engulf those who don’t know Jesus. God isn’t dead, and through Him, we aren’t dead either.It’s time for the dry bones to come back to life, for Lazarus to get up. While our brothers and sisters around the world are in immediate danger, we of course, should be praying for them. We should also be taking advantage of the lack of restrictions we have in this country. They may be hindered from preaching the Gospel at times, but it is time we stepped up and used the time we are given. We need to step out of the fear the enemy has thrown at us, and step into our divine call from the living God.
We need to get back to work. For my God is not dead, and neither am I.
What would it take for us to live like God’s not dead?
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Though You’ve Been Shaken, You’ve Not Been Forsaken

We all get those times that we’re just in a funk, and you don’t know how to pick yourself back up. You know that going through the motions just isn’t cutting it, but you can’t shake it. I’ve just been off these past few weeks, and it needed to stop.  We’re not meant to stay stuck in a rut; we’re meant to get out. So, what do you do when you’re stuck and aren’t able to find a way out?

lilo

Although Lilo doesn’t have it quite right in her idea above, she’s got the right idea. When you get to the end of your rope, and everything you have tried hasn’t worked, sometimes, you just need to sit and wait.

Have you ever heard a certain quote or a line from a song that just kind of stuck with you? I could probably name fifty or more, but last night, as I was getting ready for bed and listening to the International House of Prayer’s 24/7 worship, Christina Reynolds and her worship team dropped one right into my lap. If you listen here to 1:15:26 – 1:19:26, you’ll hear the specific part that hit me.

“Though you’ve been shaken, you’ve not been forsaken. Emmanuel, God with us, has come.”  I rarely hear anyone refer to Jesus as “Emmanuel, God with us” unless it’s Christmas. Let’s get one thing clear, folks. The title of the God who is with us is not limited to a time of year. As Christians, we have a God who is always available to us.  Someone who promises that our circumstances don’t determine His presence. Jesus doesn’t look at us and say “They are a mess. I’m out of here.” Jesus looks at each of us, in these desperate situations, and says “I know it’s messy now, but I am right here. I’m not going to desert you now. I have something better in store.”

When everything is crashing down around us, we don’t know what side is up, and we really don’t think there can be a positive resolution, Emmanuel is faithful.We were created for a purpose. We are treasured and cherished as God’s children. We are made to live in much better places than the pits of despair we find ourselves in.reminder

It’s impossible to prevent those seasons of stress and being overwhelmed. The point isn’t to avoid it. The point is to not be controlled by it.  Take the moment, learn from it, and then remember where you’re going.

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