Some of you will look at this picture and immediately know what it is saying, while others just don’t get it. And it comes down to a culture and experience difference. Those who have grown up playing video games will immediately recognize the hearts at the top left as health indicators — and will realize that almost of of the health (the red part) is gone from the hearts, indicating that this character is just one hit away from death unless something changes soon.
So to a “gamer”, this picture immediately conjures up images of “I’m about to die” or “I’m one hit away”, etc.
Many times in life, we can face trials and circumstances and challenges that might have us wondering if we are just “one hit away”. When life piles up a lot on you, like in a video game, we can try to run around trying to ignore the dangers around us until one eventually blocks us into a corner — or we can press on forward, trusting that we’r wil find that next healing right on time, exactly where it needed to be to see us through to the end.
And it seems in video games that the difference in the two approaches comes from either an attitude of expected defeat or of expected victory. In fact it reminds me of the movie The Matrix where Neo kept getting beaten and defeated until we hear Morpheus say, “He’s beginning to believe!”
Where does it come from?
How do we get it and not just fake it?
How do we go from just SAYING “I trust you” or “I believe” to actually meaning it?
Well, the Bible seems to teach me that trust isn’t a skill that we muster up and hone on our own, but that it is a gift from God. Yes, it is learned and imparted, but it is something that is built upon a foundation not formed by the hands of men. It is an altar made from stones not touched by iron tools or skilled craftsmen. It seems to teach that this good gift of faith comes down from the very God that it is meant to be used to teach us to trust. It seems to teach that it is a fountain of life flowing from Christ.
That’s some pretty circular logic there, isn’t it? That the very thing we are supposed to offer in return, comes from the source it is intended to honor/ glorify? Yes, the gospel at its core is so God centric and exclusionary, that anything outside of God and His perfect righteousness and holiness is an abomination, is an enemy of God, is a perversion of what is good and right and just. Something that tells us that any “good” that “we do” is either NOT GOOD, or WE DIDN’T DO IT (He did it through us and deserves all the glory).
People want to call their children good little boys and girls. People want to call their spouses and friends “good”. But the Word of God makes it clear:
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
Luke 18:19 ESV
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Romans 3:12 ESV
This is pretty easy to accept when you’re “one hit away”, which is I believe why we read that:
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6 ESV
because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord . Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.'” And they brought back word to the king.
2 Chronicles 34:27-28 ESV
Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.
Daniel 10:12 ESV
because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord , when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord .
2 Kings 22:19 ESV
Do you know that judgement is coming?
Do you know that Holy, Righteous, Almighty God who is light and has no part in darkness is coming to exact judgement upon the wicked a d to demonstrate His loving kindness and mercy to the faithful?
Even if you mock this in your mind, and in your rebellion, and in the wicked things you do that God tells you are wicked and that your heart condemns you for even now — you know deep down that they are true — you know that you fall short before a God who can see into your internal thoughts and desires even if you have learned to train your pet dragons so they aren’t glaringly obvious to others around you.
If a man is foolish enough to dismiss the idea of God, he must be an utter fool to dismiss the truth of the being a difference between right and wrong, light and darkness, that doesn’t chesnee by the whim of society or culture or what men choose to do and call right or wrong because of their own basest desires.
TO BE CONTINUED….