The Sword and The Silence*

What’s the scariest monster you might find under your bed? (Please do not comment your ideas!) The creators of Dr. Who probably ask themselves that every night as an exercise in creativity because the villains keep getting scarier as Kris and I go through the BBC television series. I thought the Weeping Angels were the worst, but this week we watched “The Impossible Astronaut” (2011) and met the Silence. The Silence is this type of ugly-looking monster that Wikipedia says was inspired by Munch’s The Scream and Men in Black. Click the links (be careful of spoilers if you are a fan) to see what they look like because I am not posting a picture on my blog. Eeeek!

We’ve seen some creepy-weird monsters in this show before, but the powers of the Silence are what get me. These aliens go undetectable because after someone looks at them they look “away and immediately [forget] what [they] [look] like.” The characters forget that they even saw the Silence. The characters in the show go to extreme measures to try to find more out about their enemy. They mark their bodies when they are looking at the creatures so that when they look away they will have the mark to remember them by. They try to take pictures of the Silence. They try to take voice recordings of themselves describing the creatures to listen to once they look away. It’s a terrible predicament because the characters keep forgetting their enemy.

A lot of the villains in Dr. Who I don’t plan on encountering in real life (thankfully!). But the Silence has a striking resemblance to villains in the Christian walk. Did you notice how I described the Silence above? These aliens go undetectable because after someone looks at them they look “away and immediately [forget] what [they] [look] like.” The end part of that sentence is actually from the New Testament book of James.

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

When James talks about the word he is talking about the Word of God. It would be so weird to look at yourself in a mirror like the girl in Rockwell’s Prom Dress and then forget what you look like! But, I’ve done that before looking at myself in the mirror of God’s Word. I’ve not done what it says. That is really scary. Because God’s Word has the truth about me and life and I want to know it and do it!

My grandma told me once that she always used to pray for recall of the scriptures she was taught. I think that is a great idea. Why is it that God’s Word falls out of our heads? It’s still in our hearts (“planted in you”), but we just aren’t paying attention to it.

In an earlier Dr. Who episode the Doctor tells Amy to “look.” 

“Look where?” asks Amy.

“Exactly where you don’t want to look, where you never want to look. The corner of your eye.”

Maybe that’s why we forget what the Bible says. Because truth hurts sometimes and it’s hard to go with the truth. But Jesus loves you! And you can’t forget that. And it’s okay if truth is hard because Jesus is right there with you and truth makes things better in the end.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

When I read this verse I think about surgery, not fighting.

Paul calls the Word of God the sword of the Spirit in his letter to the Ephesians and talks more about using it as a weapon in battle.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

In addition to remembering what the Word says about us, we need to remember to take the Word (our sword) with us each day in our hearts. Because things can get hairy throughout the day and we need to remember what God says in order to fight battles (big or small) for good. A battle might look like helping a friend or doing the right thing even when it is hard or believing the truth when you keep hearing lies about yourself.

In Genesis, the very start of the story of the Bible, the serpent says “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Uh-oh! The serpent still throws in questions like that today, “Did God really say..?” I heard it just the other day when I was trying to make a choice. We need to know what the Bible says about us and about life and REMEMBER it! We also need to REMEMBER that we have a real enemy (whether it’s the flesh or the devil) out there that functions like the Silence. We don’t always know what it is that is causing trouble. It’s easy to forget and the enemy takes advantage of that.

GREAT NEWS, THOUGH! We have ONE GREATER than the Doctor.

Even though Doctor Who arranges to save the day in every episode, God made you and is actually real! We messed up and disobeyed God, deserving death, so God sent Jesus to die instead of us! GOD LOVES US! WHAT!? THAT IS AWESOME! Oh, and Jesus came back to life and sits next to God talking to Him about us even today! That is great news! Then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to stay with us until He comes back to get us. HOW AWESOME IS THIS, FOLKS!?!?!?! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, I would encourage to just ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Give it a shot.

Let’s sing a song about how God is Greater than the Silence!!!!!! 

In order to use our swords (God’s W0rd) to fight the Silence (forgetting), we need to practice and train. Soldiers do that, you know. So what does it look like in this situation?

  • Reading or listening to the Bible even in small chunks
  • Listening to teachings on the Bible (go to church or look online)
  • Talking about the Bible in groups
  • Memorizing Scriptures

If you need tips on how to get started in any of these areas, send me a confidential inbox message!

Here are some results of training like that:

  • You will be blessed, delighted, strengthened, free, comforted, thankful, safe, wise, directed, and sustained. (Psalm 119)
  • Your mouth will say good things. “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34b)
  • You will be able to overcome strongholds in your life. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
  • You will be ready to go. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • You will have more hope and be able to explain why you have it. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15b)

God’s Word does great things!!!

So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

Be blessed! Share a story in the comments about how God’s Word has been helpful in your life!

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*I was praying this week about what my next blog post should be about and that God would help me prepare my lesson for the Warehouse Saturday night about the sword of the Spirit. It seemed He had given me a gripping idea for a blog post, but when I sat down to work on my lesson (more of a priority) I kept falling asleep. Finally I realized that God had answered my prayers together. I wrote this blog post and it organized my lesson. So cool!  

In preparation for writing this post I read these items along with the Bible. 

 

Featured image from https://pixabay.com/en/sword-victory-triumph-weapon-war-790815/

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