Imprisonment and Doubt #5 November 24 The Red Pill or The Blue One?
In 1999 a movie took the Box Office by storm. It spawned a franchise that grossed over 3 billion dollars in revenue worldwide. The basic premise is this: Thomas Anderson is a computer hacker who goes by the name Neo and is considered by Morpheus (the leader of the rebels) to be ‘the one,’ the one that will save them from ultimate destruction by the sentient machines of The Matrix. As the movie progresses, it becomes apparent that many people doubt whether Neo is the one. They have placed their hopes of a future without being controlled by the machines firmly on Neo’s shoulders and as time goes on, and he does not overthrow the machines in the time frame they have set in their minds, the question of Neo’s ability comes forward. The question of “are you the one?” starts to make it around the ship. They begin to doubt whether they were correct in placing their trust in Neo. They were correct by the way.
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that “there is nothing new under the sun” and we see that here because this plot line was played out in reality over 2000 years ago. It is the early part of Jesus’ ministry, and John the Baptist has been imprisoned by King Herod for rebuking his sin. Like many people, John was probably confusing Jesus’ coming to establish a new kingdom to mean He would spearhead the overthrowing of the Roman government, thereby freeing the Jewish people from the oppression and tyranny of the harsh Romans. To the point, John the Baptist in Matthew 11:3 (NLT) sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Just as in the Matrix movie, they were asking “are you the one?”
Some commentators believe this is John asking the question to help clarify the doubt of his disciples. Others say this is John’s frustration of being imprisoned and not being able to do what he was called to do, coupled with the misunderstanding of Jesus’ purpose. Either way, we see some real-life doubt creep into the lives of some devoted followers. Have you ever been there? Have you ever started to doubt God? Maybe something you were told, or some promise you claimed but was taking too long to come true made you question whether or not you could trust what Jesus said to you. I know I have.
So, let me share from experience a few verses that can help in these situations.
Isaiah 55:8 (NLT) says, “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’”
Doubt creeps in when expectations are unmet. We need to understand that we cannot fit God into our mold and try to make His plans conform to ours. We must work hard to fit into His plans. Not only are His thought higher than ours, but His timing is also perfect. 2 Peter 3:9a tells us, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness…” and Philippians 1:6 (NLT) says that He is faithful to complete the work He started in us. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
So, when doubt and fear creep in, when frustration rears its head, when you begin to question whether or not God is hearing your cries and listening to your heart, when you think God’s plan for your life is never going to happen, be reassured. Please remember that His plans and purposes are high above ours, His timing is perfect, and the work He began in you will be completed. Stay close to Jesus and do not allow the toothless words of the enemy to cast a shadow of doubt on the greatness of the Word that comes from a Father who loves you dearly.
Assistant to the Reach Pastor