“The Lord says, ‘Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time, their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’”
- Deuteronomy 32:34-35
Have you ever felt assaulted, beaten down, drained? Life seems to just be too hard at times. Pain seems to be everywhere you turn. You open your eyes to a new day and the pain comes rushing in, the feeling of chaos and numbness just blasts you before you can even get out of bed.
Doesn’t it feel sometimes like there is something out there that is just against you, derailing your life? There are days when it seems as though someone is out to get you, to steal your life and your joy, right?
Those feelings are all true. There is something out to get you. There is someone who hates you with a hatred you cannot imagine. There is someone who wants to steal your life and kill your joy. You are under attack. We have an enemy. His name is Satan and he’s not alone. He’s coming after you and he’s bringing his little demonic friends with him.
I think it is very important that we recognize a couple of things here. First, we need to redefine our source of Life. Our only source of Life is God. Period. Without Him, there is no Life. Secondly, we need to recognize spiritual warfare for what it is. We live in a world at war. We have an enemy and he hates us.
I watched a movie again recently. I have seen this movie several times but this last time, Jesus showed up and said, “Let’s turn the dial here and look at this through another lens.” It changed my perspective on some things in the movie. The movie is named ‘Man on Fire’. The main character is a man named John Creasey, played by Denzel Washington. Creasey, as he’s called in the movie, is a haunted, broken man. He cannot get away from the pain, violence and shame of his life. So, he has done what many do. He surrenders his heart; he drowns his pain in booze and self-loathing. Until…
He is hired as a bodyguard for a wealthy family. His job is to protect their daughter, Lupita Ramos. Pita, as she is called in the movie, is played by Dakota Fanning. Pita is a precocious, vibrant little girl. Her innocence and child-like joy in life awakens Creasey’s heart. He crawls out of the dark and learns to love again. Then, tragedy strikes. Pita is kidnapped and presumed dead. Creasey is badly wounded during the abduction.
When he receives the news of what is believed to be Pita’s death, Creasey is crushed. His rage is palpable. He vows to have his vengeance. Through the course of the rest of the movie, Creasey takes that vengeance on those responsible for the abduction. He completely dismantles a criminal organization. With cold-blooded, brutal efficiency, he finds those responsible. He tortures and kills all who had a hand in what he believes is the death of the person who taught him to love again.
How like Jesus this is.
We too were innocent and vibrant once.
Before we were assaulted and our innocence and joy stolen. Violated, attacked, ravaged by the enemy, by pain and fear.
Jesus vow vengeance. Don’t believe me? Read Revelation 19:11-21. Our Warrior-King is coming to rescue us, to avenge our losses. He will have His vengeance on the enemy. Read that passage, look at the images. The passage speaks of His robe dipped in blood. It speaks of Him waging war with our enemy. And when that war is over, He will have His revenge. He will throw the leaders in the enemy camp alive into a burning lake of fire and kill the rest with the sword of His word coming from His mouth.
That, my friends, is vengeance.
Do you know that God is angry about what has happened to you? Do you know that He is angry for the pain caused by the enemy? Throughout the movie, Creasey is haunted by the sound of Pita screaming his name. God is listening, my friends. He too, I believe, is haunted by our cries of pain, weeps at the echo of us screaming His name. He is coming to take that pain away. It might not happen immediately. Pita was in captivity for several days but was rescued in the end. He will rescue you. Perhaps not now but one day, He is coming again.
In the latter part of the movie, Creasey’s friend Ray says this about Creasey, “Creasey’s art is death and he’s about to paint his masterpiece.”
Jesus is coming for you, my friends, to rescue your hearts. Jesus’ art is redemption and He is about to paint His masterpiece!