Sometimes when I lose faith in the world and wonder if there are any reasons to keep hoping against hope, something little comes along that shifts my perspective.
For example, did you know that the original Hunger Games installment made 300 million more dollars than the first Twilight movie? Yeah! All is not lost!
And now Hunger Games: Catching Fire will definitely set the box office ablaze as Katniss and company are back to continue the fight against the pompous privileged and their insatiable appetite for violence.
We join our heroine in much better circumstances than a year before (i.e., Kentucky mining town – why do all the Districts look like that?), but the powers that be want a battle royale, complete with poisonous fog and blood thirsty monkeys.
Yes, think Wizard of Oz simians on steroids…
Obviously Hunger Games 2 is a set up for the third installment, but there is something about Katniss and her straight-up boss attitude towards The Establishment that makes me want to go out and fight injustice as well.
How about you?
When you think about it, all Christians are in an arena that truly represents life and death. Every person on the planet is moving closer to trusting in Jesus for salvation and an eternity in heaven, or they are falling away from the Truth into a pit of darkness and a destiny separated from their Creator.
And like Hunger Games, there are wicked powers at work behind the scenes:
Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God. Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes. We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-12).
You may think that your troubles and battles revolve around people and circumstances, but there are dark forces that animate these conflicts, and they are very skilled in staying out of view. They are trying to deceive you into thinking that the arena we live in is a battle for survival where we have to compete to survive.
But in reality, Satan and his demons are fearful that you will wake up and start serving Christ and fighting for THE Cause! He knows that the day that you lay down the earthly weapons of gossip, jealousy, selfishness and pride is the beginning of your victory over his Spiritual Establishment on this planet.
If you are ready to fight for the souls of your friends, then you must go out into the arena armed to the teeth:
And this is why you need to be head-to-toe in the full armor of God: so you can resist during these evil days and be fully prepared to hold your ground. Yes, stand—truth banded around your waist, righteousness as your chest plate, and feet protected in preparation to proclaim the good news of peace. Don’t forget to raise the shield of faith above all else, so you will be able to extinguish flaming spears hurled at you from the wicked one. Take also the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed. And please pray for me. Pray that truth will be with me before I even open my mouth. Ask the Spirit to guide me while I boldly defend the mystery that is the good news— for which I am an ambassador in chains—so pray that I can bravely pronounce the truth, as I should do (Ephesians 6:13-20).
Have you have been experiencing defeat in your walk with Jesus lately? Have you felt beaten up by the world? Are you tempted to just stay down and wait for it all just to be over?
If so, I believe you need to suit up and get into the games! Ask Jesus to bring back your hunger for your friends to know Jesus, and don’t even think about walking out the door without putting on God’s armor.
Let truth rule and reign in your life, and don’t give into deception.
Realize that you are completely forgiven through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, so you are in a perfect and right standing with Him.
Consider every place that your feet touch as a mission field where you must share the gospel.
Take refuge in the fact that God has your back, and your faith in Him will protect you in ways that are unimaginable.
Keep your thoughts and imagination focused on Jesus Christ and His teachings, otherwise the Enemy will get into your head and defeat you at the core of your being.
And perhaps most importantly, remember that God is only a breath away in your prayers, and with that kind of confidence, you can go forward in His power and reach the world for Christ.
Let’s catch a fire!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
There is a God-given desire to fight injustice in all of us, and we are also drawn to great stories of self-sacrifice – no wonder Hunger Games is so popular! THE Cause is the ultimate way to fight the ultimate injustices that Satan perpetrates on our planet, because the self-sacrifice of Jesus brings the ultimate victory.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, You loved us while we were sinful, and You call us to fight for the souls of our friends. Give us the vision each day to enter the arena of spiritual darkness and put on the full armor of God.
Read: Romans 5:6-8. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Get: How to Share Your Faith With… Have friends who are atheists? Agnostics? Into Wicca? Check out these thirteen predominate worldviews for insights that will help you be effective in sharing your faith with others.
Discussion Questions for Leaders:
Big Idea: Hunger Games 2 reminds us that as Christians we are called to fight against the dark spiritual forces and put on the full armor of God.
Key Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20
- Are you a Hunger Games fan? Why or why not?
- What evidence have you seen that our fight is against the spiritual forces of darkness?
- How would putting on the armor of God help you in your daily struggles?
- How can you use this Soul Fuel to further THE Cause of Christ and spread His message?