Matthew 6:19-24 King James Version (KJV)
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
My Beloved listeners, today we will use verse 24 to discuss our subtitle: Mind Manipulation Inside The Matrix. To better understand what I am about to share, let us first discuss the Matrix. I am reading straight from Wikipedia, which says the following, The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers. It depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called "the Matrix", created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Cybercriminal and computer programmer Neo learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the "dream world."
So, let me state for the record, this secular film, in ways I will never be able to express in this setting, has re-educated me about my understanding of everything related to my Christian faith. I don’t want you to think I am using this platform to celebrate secular principals and people….no one I am aware of related to this feature has claimed to be Christians, outside of one Sophia Stewart but that’s a discussion for another day and teaching. I guarantee you Hollywood did not realize the significant moments in this film that point directly to Christ and our rebirth in faith. It also solidifies that GOD uses the foolish to confound the wise:
1 Corinthians 1:19-27 19
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Let’s use the main character of this movie Neo to lead our lesson tonight. I will not give you a scene by scene breakdown of the movie…. that would take months to go through. Instead, I will point out key points based around the following themes: (1) Life Without Understanding; (2) Realization You Are Unfulfilled; (3) Seeking Truth; (4) Rebirth and Cleansing; (5) Training & Discipleship; (6) Adversity & Conflict; (7) Victory.
Like many of us, Neo started at the (1) Life Without Understanding stage. He had a mundane existence as a computer programmer with an illegal cyber hustle and going nowhere fast. Yet the only encouragement he seems to have in his life comes by way of an online personality named Morpheus, who promises him there is a different way of living. Neo is unmotivated and prone to just going through the motions to survive each day. I guarantee if we are being honest, many of us can relate or are still relating to this way of existence. And believe me, if your situation is similar to Neo’s, you are simply existing and are really like Adam must have been before GOD breathed into him, the breath of life. Think about it, is your life like a computer program…Sundays I go to church and not go to church, Monday through Friday I do my 9-5, spend a bit of time at the local watering hole, go to the gym, go to bed?
Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
However, within Neo and within many of us, there is an emptiness; a feeling that there is something more to life than just existing; these online conversations he was having with Morpheus, were provoking him to escape the mundaneness of his present situation, and discover there is a whole new situation waiting for him. But how to get to it?
This is where (2) Realization You Are Unfulfilled comes into play. You see life has a funny way of sometimes forcing the issue and in Neo’s case; it came by way of an invitation to see Morpheus face to face, and by questionable authority representatives (eventually known as agents) who are pursuing Neo seemingly based on his cybercrimes. Again I am going to skip over some detail to get to the main portion of this lesson…. this is where Morpheus and Neo are finally in the same room, and after a bit of conversation, Morpheus proposes a challenge to him involving taking either the blue pill or the red pill. Morpheus further explains that by taking the blue pill, there would be no change for Neo. He could simply pick up where he left off, living his mundane life with a mundane future and a mundane existence. Or, he could take the red pill with the simple promise of one thing, THE TRUTH. Into this let me go to two familiar scriptures:
Joshua 24:14-15 14
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
This is where Joshua has called together all the tribes of Israel (along with the elders, judges, and officers) and basically gives them a comparison of how some of their ancestors went outside of GOD’s will to serve other gods, while Abraham and his descendants went into the land of Canaan….eventually to be led by Joshua who was serving GOD. Joshua was reminding the crowd the very ground they stood on was not of their own making, but GOD provided it all…kind of like today…. what have we done to deserve favor? Into this a choice was suggested, will you serve in the land of the pagan gods, or into the land GOD has made fertile for our growth and sustenance?
Neo was confronted to make a choice, just as we are confronted to make that same choice. What do we really want? What matters the most to us? What do we hope to gain? Neo decided by choosing the red pill, the question is, which pill are we choosing?
The second scripture is found in John 14:1-6 which states:
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Work with me people. If Jesus is the Way, isn’t it our choice to take the red pill? At the end of the day, shouldn’t we want the Truth? Haven’t we lived a blue pill experience for far too long? STOP THE PRESSES!!! If we have the Truth which is Christ, do we need to rely on our mundane existence just because it is familiar and seemingly safe to us? I tell my wife all the time, we can come up with any old lame excuse…things like, this is our nature, or this is a woman thing, or this is how GOD made me, or this is just me! I will tell you the truth, the more our conversations contain us in them, the further away we are to the Truth! Mind manipulation separates us from GOD, good old conventional thinking is foreign to GOD. How can an infinite, all seeing, all knowing GOD be reduced to computer chip thinking? There is a choice to be made and tonight we all we need before us to make that choice!