So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
As I’ve mentioned in this post on how to build intimacy with God, I love to watch movies with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I choose whatever I feel like, other times I feel him nudge me somewhere unexpected. Then I simply invite Him to come and watch and enjoy as He points things out to me. Sometimes He reveals things about Himself and His nature in the movie, other times He tells me things about myself, gives answers to questions I’ve been asking Him or reveals truths about our world and the Kingdom. You’d be surprised how much truth will emerge from the most unexpected places when you’re looking for it, and I imagine that many of these little hidden treasures God shows me are unknown even to the filmmakers. But seeing as we all come from the same Creator and all humans were created in His image, I find that even the staunchest atheists can’t help but release little kingdom truths into their creations. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find them, other times they are so blatant it makes me laugh at how oblivious the world can be to God when He’s looking them square in the face speaking truth to them through their own art!
This week we watched The Matrix, a movie I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, and I couldn’t believe how much kingdom truth was packed into this movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend watching it with the Holy Spirit and then coming back to read this and leave comments of what other truths you uncovered. Though I should disclaim that though this an excellent movie, it is rated R for violence. For those of you have seen it and need a little refresher, here it is:
Neo has what seems like a normal life, but is plagued by strange dreams. He feels unsettled about the world, but doesn’t know what it is. He is found by Morpheus who introduces him to the concept of the Matrix. The Matrix is the world in which Neo thinks he is living. It’s a digital world projected in his mind to feel like real experiences, but in actuality he and the entire human race are living encased in womb-like devices so that the ruling race of machines may harvest humans energy as their battery power. In one of the most famous scenes, Morpheus leads a confused Neo down a rabbit hole of clues leading to himself, where he gives Neo the choice to take a red pill and discover the truth of his world or to take the blue pill and go back to believing whatever he wants. Neo chooses truth as a leap of faith, not knowing what he will find, and consequently he wakes up in his womb like state, a rebirth of sorts, and is rescued by Morpheus and his team and brought to see what the world actually looks like outside of the illusion of “The Matrix.”
In explaining the truth to Neo, Morpheus gives a speech not unlike what I’ve said to non-christians in explaining why Jesus is the answer to their emptiness and questions: “You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me…It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth… you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.”
I wish I could meet the writers/directors, the Wachowski brothers (who I just found out today have both had sex changes and are now the Wachowski sisters) and share the gospel with them using their own movie. It’s so profoundly true about what the world is really like! Like Neo we were all once blinded by an illusion, unknowingly slaves to our sin, to our desires, to the things we thought brought us freedom. We were blind to how much evil was around us and blind to what is true. Completely blind to the spiritual world. Then one day our discontent, that deep-seeded knowing that something is not as it should be in the world, drives us to search out answers, to search out truth. Though God doesn’t leave His pearls of truth lying on the pavement, but His truths are all-around us, available to anyone who will seek truth with all their heart. (Jer 29:13) He’s constantly alluring us towards truth, but the full picture requires a leap of faith. On that journey of seeking truth, many of us stumbled upon the God of the Bible and the story of Jesus’ sacrifice to reconcile us to God, but we still had a lot of doubts, fears and questions. However each of us came to a point, like Neo, where we had to choose either to abandon our search for truth and go back to discontentment, believing what we wanted to believe, or take a leap of faith. Then, as soon as we took that leap into His arms and out of darkness, suddenly a light came on, and much that once was invisible became so clear. Of course God is real, He’s been there throughout my entire life! I once was blind but now I see!
We live by faith not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:6-7
Though we may now be able to see the truth with unveiled eyes, continuing to see with God’s perspective and walk out heaven on earth requires practice and training in seeing differently than we used to. Neo had grown up in The Matrix, had never used his muscles and had never learned how to play by real-world rules in a virtual world. Similarly, we grew up in the world, and were perhaps raised by parents and teachers who thought like the world. We never learned to use our spiritual muscles and we strengthened muscles we were never meant to live from like fear. When we’re newly born again, our eyes are more used truth being derived only from what we see and the spiritual world we can’t see as being imagined. But like in The Matrix, the world which appears more real is actually inferior to the spirit world in which we are seated in heavenly places with Christ (Eph 2:6). What is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. However knowing this truth and walking out this truth are two different things. Walking it out requires practice, strengthening and redirecting of our muscles, our sight and our faith.
Neo is trained in gravity defying tricks as he begins to realize that the impossible is possible when you’re living from a different world. However, he learns that people who die in the Matrix usually still die in their real bodies because their mind tells them they are dead. Whatever you believe is real often BECOMES real for you. Though the Christian walk is supposed to be about us being ambassadors from our heavenly kingdom to the lost people of this world, we often get so caught up in the problems of this world, that we forget that what is happening to us in the natural is not as real as what is happening in the spiritual. We forget that we have access to heaven and that as ambassadors, our own country’s rules, economy and politics are our reality more than the country we are visiting. We have to train ourselves to live as though we actually believe we have resources available to us in heaven: that we have everything we need and an assignment to bring that kingdom to this broken world. As we grow stronger in faith, we are able to bring the love, joy, peace, healing and resources that the Kingdom has for the world.
Neo goes on this journey of strengthening his faith as He learns that the “agents” not unlike demons, want to destroy everyone who knows the truth. They also have an incredible hold on everyone who is still in the Matrix. Neo must learn to fight them which at first feels nearly impossible, because they are machines inside their own program. To win requires him to have faith in who he is and what is real.
As believers we defeat the enemy in the same way. We must keep our faith in what is unseen, the promises of God, the resources of heaven, our acceptance as sons and daughters, and our eternal life already bought and paid for, even when we can’t see it.
Neo receives a lesson on how to live from truth and not get caught up in the lies of the enemy from a boy in the Matrix who is seeming to bend a spoon with his mind. Neo watches him amazed. The boy says to him,
“Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth..there is no spoon…then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
Neo later repeats the truth, “There is no spoon” to himself later in the movie and with his faith in what is real and what is not, he is able to stop the agent’s bullets coming at him in the Matrix from killing him in his natural body.
This is not so different than Romans 12:2 which says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As we step outside of seeing every problem the way the world sees it, and let our minds be transformed with the truth that we are seated in heavenly places, the arrows of the enemy won’t be able to touch us. Walking in the supernatural and being ambassadors of heaven will become increasingly normal as we realize that what seems to be impossible here is possible if we believe that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ. What’s real in heaven (healing, wholeness, joy, freedom) is actually more real than the sickness, depression, and brokenness of this temporal world. When we believe that, we can actually bring those truth to this world. “On earth as it is in heaven…”
I want to thank the Wachowski’s for making such a beautiful, deep, truth-filled movie, and I pray that they would have an encounter with God and discover how real The Matrix really is.
What do you think? Where else do you see God or Kingdom truths in The Matrix? There is definitely a lot more I didn’t dig into. Share your thoughts in the comments below and what movie you think I should watch next!