Recently, the Lord has been reminding me of the 1999 hit movie called The Matrix. It was a movie that took the entertainment industry by storm and totally revolutionized film-making with its spectacular visual effects, using a ground-breaking technique called bullet time that allowed the viewer to explore a moment progressing in slow motion as the camera appears to orbit around the scene at normal speed. But the true value of this movie is not its ground-breaking visual effects, cast of actors, or success at the Oscars. For me, what sets this movie apart and gives it great value are the powerful prophetic truths or principles embedded within the storyline and communicated so profoundly on film. It is one of those movies, I am almost convinced, was written and produced through divine unction.
It had been so long since I last viewed this movie that I felt strongly compelled to acquire a copy of it for review. I am happy I purchased it, because watching it again brought even greater revelation and insight than the first few times I had seen it. I would strongly recommend that if you are one of the few who have not yet seen this movie, that you consider either renting or purchasing it for your benefit or pleasure. It is thoroughly entertaining and action-packed, and even though it was filmed over a decade ago, the message it communicates is as valid today as when it was first released. And even if you have already viewed it, view it again; only this time let it be from a Kingdom perspective or biblical world view.
Trinity, one of the main characters in the movie, made this statement:
“I know why you're here, Neo. I know what you've been doing... why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You're looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn't really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.”
The question that Trinity is referring to here is “What is the Matrix?” This is an important question, but beyond this question is the context which defines it. Neo is pursuing the answer to a question that he doesn’t fully understand. Yet, in his sincere pursuit, the answer continues to elude him. All Neo knows is that there is a deep, internal discontent that keeps nagging at him that there is something wrong with life. However, what he (like Trinity before him) had been pursuing in ignorance was actively pursuing him in truth.
What Trinity is describing in this statement is a hunger and pursuit of something that seems to often elude us. We feel isolated and alone even in the midst of a large religious company with whom we fellowship and worship. We can hardly sleep at night because we are driven before the presence of God through prayer and study of the Word; deeply aware that what we have been experiencing thus far is not even close to what God intended or promised in His Word. In the midst of all of our ministry, religious activities, and church services, there is still a huge and unexplainable spiritual void where we are unable to truly touch or experience the presence of God and His Kingdom to the degree and dimension that we should. We are hungry and desperate for more, and something deep within our hearts questions and rejects this present reality.
If you viewed the movie, you will note that Neo’s experience doesn’t happen with everyone—only the chosen. To everyone else other than Trinity and the others unplugged from the Matrix’s system, everything was fine and “normal.” There was no deep dissatisfaction or internal discontent that would have caused them to question or reject the “normal” projected through the Matrix. They were totally unaware of its existence. But for Neo it was not so. Something inside of him had been awakened that there was more. A burning question had arisen within his heart, and while he thought he was pursuing truth, truth was actually pursuing him. Just as Morpheus (another main character in the movie) pursued Neo, the Father is pursuing those few He has chosen and awakened with the understanding of the true and false Kingdom.
Neo's encounter with Trinity set him upon a new path of discovery. However, from the moment it became known to the enemy (the agents of the Matrix) that Morpheus was pursuing him, the enemy’s opposition became very intense. The enemy’s intent was to keep Neo in ignorance and darkness, thus maintaining their control over his life. Morpheus’ intent was to lead Neo into all truth, thus delivering him from the darkness the system had used to keep him in bondage.
The first tactic of the enemy was accusation. Neo was taken into custody by the agents, interrogated, and accused of being a rebel who was stumbling down the wrong path and wasting his potential. He was accused of having problems with authority by those above him. From a religious context, it would be the same as saying he was a trouble-maker, or perhaps rebellious against church protocol, leadership, or doctrine. It is also the same as saying that he couldn’t be trusted.
Accusation is an old enemy tactic meant to weaken you and load you down with guilt or shame. It has the ability to erode your faith. The prophets faced it, the apostles faced it, and even the completely sinless Jesus faced it. It doesn’t matter how holy or righteous you are, the enemy can always find something to accuse you of. You don’t have to accept these accusations. In fact, you shouldn’t. By rejecting these accusations which may often come from learned religious or reputable men in positions of authority, you may appear proud, arrogant or rebellious. But as long as your heart is accurately postured and submitted to God, you can trust that He will always lead and guide you into all truth, bringing correction when necessary. You must remember that our spiritual enemy is not called the “accuser of our brethren” for nothing (Rev. 12:10).
The second tactic employed was intimidation. Because of Neo’s outright defiance and request for his entitled phone call (possibly to contact his lawyer or alert others of his predicament), the agents magically sealed his mouth shut and caused it to literally disappear from his face. In other words, the enemy wants to shut you up. Every tactic of intimidation employed by the enemy is intended to accomplish this one goal—to keep you silent.
Do you remember the Jewish Sanhedrin’s strategy against the early apostles, namely Peter and John?
17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name." 18 And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:17-18 NKJV
The threats and intimidation leveled against Peter and John were intended to fulfill one particular purpose, and that was to keep them silent. Had the enemy been successful in silencing the apostles, the people would have remained in ignorance and impeded God’s Kingdom advancement. It doesn’t matter what form the intimidation tactic takes, whether through closed door confrontation, demotion, rejection or litigation, the enemy’s intent is to silence your voice. They may try to deny you a platform to speak, or attempt to take away the platform you already have. If they do, just build another platform. Don’t let them silence you or shut you up. Don’t let the enemy quench the fires of reformation within you. Continue to speak out, speak on, and speak up in the name of the King.
One of the greatest prophetic tragedies in Scripture was when Elijah was left feeling abandoned, rejected, discouraged and alone after his bold confrontation and challenge to Jezebel and the false prophets of Baal before all Israel. While scripture records that there were "seven thousand in Israel" during that time who had "not bowed to Baal," possibly including "one hundred prophets" who had been hidden by Obadiah, Elijah was forced to stand alone against this great evil, without any support, while the faithful who had not bowed were silenced by Jezebel's intimidation and cowering in a "cave" with fear (1 Kings 18:4, 13; 19:18). Their uncompromising personal stance is to be commended, but their failure to speak out, make a public stand, or at least lend support to the prophet during this critical time and season is not. Your voice may seem small and insignificant, but it has eternal value.
The third tactic used by the enemy in this movie was infiltration. The agents overpowered Neo and planted a tracking device within his biological system so that he would lead them to Morpheus. When that strategy failed, they depended upon a traitor or “Judas” within the team in order to accomplish their goal.
We must be vigilant against the enemy planting evil seeds within our hearts and lives that can be used to the enemy’s advantage to undermine the work of God later on. It may seem small and insignificant now, but given time that seed has the potential to grow into a large tree or even a forest. The seemingly insignificant sinful remnant you fail to eliminate or conquer today may grow strong and powerful enough to overthrow and conquer you tomorrow (Ex. 34:11-16; Judg. 1:27-35).
We must also be prepared for betrayal, for when the enemy is unsuccessful in infiltrating our hearts, he attempts to infiltrate those close to us in order to frustrate or stop our advancement. There will always be Judas’. Jesus had his Judas, and so did Paul. Paul was constantly in danger of false brethren masquerading themselves as true in order to bring him into bondage (2 Cor. 11:26; Gal. 2:4).
Don’t allow this understanding to make you paranoid or distrustful. Continue to walk in love and trust God for grace and discernment.
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