The Original Hunger Games
Just how far have you been lulled into “sleep,” accepting that life is as it is and there is nothing you can do. Are you in the arena playing your part until death? Are you willing to accept the status quo because it's too hard to fight?
This is a great question from Oretha Winston at www.elev8.com. The new movie The Hunger Games has elevated this issue to a highly public discourse.
If you’re not familiar with the storyline, America becomes a futuristic dystopia where the Capitol wields absolute and despotic authority over 12 Districts. At some point in the past, the Districts rebelled against the Capitol, and in retribution the Capitol now requires that each District provide two Tributes to compete in the Hunger Games. By “compete” I mean that the 24 Tributes each have one goal: survival.
In The Hunger Games, much of the society has been lulled into a lethargic state and refuses to rebel against this ungodly and macabre spectacle that serves only to alleviate the self-absorbed boredom of the morally corrupt center of power.
But that would never happen now… right?
Or perhaps the concept behind The Hunger Games doesn’t seem that farfetched; because it isn’t that farfetched.
If you go back far enough in our cultural genealogy, you’ll find yourself seated in an arena called the Coliseum on a hot and sweltering day in ancient Rome. An eager anticipation and excitement spreads through the crowd as they hear the sounds of roaring lions and gladiators preparing for combat. Soon after, scores of slaves and prisoners of war are ushered into the arena, only to be slaughtered by the Roman “tributes” who leave behind a mass of human carnage. That wasn’t a movie; it was a reality for hundreds of years. These were the original “Hunger Games,” and many early Christians paid with their lives when they took a stand for their faith in Jesus.
How about you? Are you willing to pay the price to take a stand for Christ and His cause? While you probably won’t be called upon to face the lions or the gladiators if you speak up for Jesus, if you step out and share your faith, there will likely be a price to pay. The price may be the discomfort you feel when you bring Jesus up in conversation. Or the price may be your popularity. You may get labeled as “one of those close-minded Christians who think they have the truth.”
Did you know that Jesus asks us to give up our lives for Him? In Luke 9:24 He puts it this way, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” And Paul challenges us in Romans 12:1, “to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.”
Are you all in for Jesus? Are you ready to unite with other believers for THE Cause of Christ and share the message of the gospel with those who don’t know Him? Are you in the arena, ready for the spiritual battle laid out before you? Are you ready to give your life, whatever the cost?
If so, then take to heart the promise Jesus gave us just before His ascension:
“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, AMP)
Every believer has the power of the Holy Spirit, and we ARE Christ’s witnesses whether we feel like it or not. The question is - what kind of witness are you? Are you ready to be a change agent for Jesus to the very bounds of the earth?
Are you all in for Jesus? Believe me… this is no game! Life and death is at stake – for all eternity.
A great way to tell if you’re “asleep” is to do a heart check to see what breaks it. If you can tune into the news or primetime TV without your gut wrenching over the violence, pain and suffering in our world, then you’re in a serious slumber. Pray and ask God to give you His eyes and perspective on our culture, then use your newfound awareness to bring up spiritual conversations with your friends and share the life-giving hope only Jesus provides.
Jesus, we ask your Holy Spirit to open the eyes of hearts to the spiritual desert around us that grieves you. Please open doors for us to live for THE Cause and be your witnesses wherever we go.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Get involved on the Live the Cause Facebook page! Share stories and encouragement with others who are passionate about living THE Cause for Christ. When we stand together, we become a mighty force that triggers real change in a broken world.