I’ve Seen The Desolation of Smaug!
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students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

I’ve Seen The Desolation of Smaug!

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We humans aren’t really all that different from hobbits, right?  To be sure, they are smaller in height, have bigger (and hairier) feet and live in holes in the ground rather than houses up above.

But despite the superficial dissimilarities, we share much in common with our imaginary heroes from the mastermind named J.R.R. Tolkien.  We like to enjoy food and good company like hobbits. And at a deeper level, we are both creatures of comfort who have turned into comfort creatures.

We like to dream about adventures, but when it comes down to it, they represent disturbances in our well planned and structured lives…so if Gandalf came knocking on our doors, our reply would most likely be, “No, thank you very much!”

“We are creatures of comfort who have turned into comfort creatures.”

My friends, I am right with you.  I love my hobbit hole and all the amazing amenities contained within.  I don’t have a handkerchief and an overcoat with many buttons, but I certainly couldn’t leave home without my smart phone and MacBook Pro!

But lately I feel like I’ve heard a knocking on the door of my heart, and I’m not sure if it’s a Wizard or the voice of God – but I can definitely make out what the message is: “We’ve been blind, and in our blindness, our enemy has returned.”

In the same way that we are like hobbits, our world parallels Middle Earth in many aspects, as well.  In their world, the relative peace and safety turned the eyes of the good people away from vigilance and kept it focused on all the wonderful “stuff” they had at their disposal to enjoy.

Then the dragon came…

We’ve been blinded too, my friends.  The glitter of our success as a culture has made us blind to the evil and suffering around us, and “in our blindness, our enemy has returned”!

What enemy?  None other than the one mentioned in Revelation 12 as “the Dragon”!  Smaug the Stupendous is definitely a fearsome creature, but compared to Satan and his power, he is more like Smaug the Sickly Snake.

Our enemy doesn’t have the dragon sickness that is driven by a lust for gold.  No, his gaze is set on something infinitely more valuable and eternal: the souls of those who haven’t trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation.

So have you heard the knock on your door as well?  Jesus calls us to go fight the real dragon and reclaim what is rightfully His.  Not a city under the mountain filled with treasure that will one day pass away, but a planet under the gaze of heaven comprised of 7 billion ever-living, never-dying people who need to be set free!

Gandalf wisely observed in An Unexpected Journey that while “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

And do you know what? Gandalf’s advice aligns with The Bible!

This is what the Lord… “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies (Zechariah 4:6).

If you feel like ordinary folk , only capable of small acts, then you, my friend, represent a bigger danger to the Dragon than you realize.  ANY act, large or small, done in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God is a victory for the King of Kings.

When you sit by someone in the cafeteria who has no friends, you keep loneliness at bay.

“Let’s leave our hobbit holes and play out our role in the grandest story in the entire universe.”

When you forgive an enemy, you keep bitterness at bay.

When you say no to temptation, you keep addiction at bay.

And when you share the gospel message for the sake of THE Cause with your family and friends who don’t know Jesus, you keep hell itself at bay!

Let’s leave our hobbit holes and play out our role in the grandest story in the entire universe.  Let’s go fight the dragon who keeps the souls of our friends jealously guarded and seemingly unreachable.  We are armed with the Sting of God’s Word and the company of fellow adventurers. Doesn’t that beat out our cozy little creature comforts any day of the week?

And by the way…I’ve seen the Desolation of Smaug.  Not only the movie, but also the day that the real Dragon goes down:

A battle broke out in heaven. Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon. The dragon and his messengers returned the fight, but they did not prevail and were defeated. As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven. So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers (Revelation 12:7-9).

Now THAT’s the best ending I’ve read in a long time!

Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

Don’t get too comfortable in your hobbit hole. Take some time this week and pray about what adventure Jesus might be calling you to, and what role you can play in keeping the darkness at bay! Then get started!

Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause

Pray: Jesus, thank You that You love us just the way we are, and You love us too much to let us stay that way.  Give us the courage and strength to fight the Dragon and do our part for THE Cause of Christ, and may all this be to Your glory.

Read: 2 Corinthians 10:4. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.

Get: Check out this list of simple, creative “Random Acts of Kindness” ideas, then do something kind for someone every day for the next week!

Discussion Guide for Leaders

Big Idea: Like Bilbo, we have been called to fight the Dragon and help set the souls of those who don’t know Jesus free.

Key Scripture: Zechariah 4:6

Discussion Questions:

  • What are your primary ‘creature comforts’?
  • Do you like adventure? Why or why not?
  • What role can you play in defeating the Dragon?
  • How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?

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