Having watched the final part of the Lord of the Rings recently, I have decided to outline some themes that came out of this film . I believe that these themes are significant; if we are to see the holy spirit moving fully in order to bring more people to Christ before Jesus returns on the clouds of fire !
Unite under one Banner
We saw that all of the armies had to stand and fight together to make a difference. Every person mattered. Now, if we look around at the church we can see the fractions and division that are producing fissures within denominations. We probably know of churches jealous of each other, or contending with the one down the road, that is bigger, better and more resourceful than ours ? ! this is precisely the tactics of the devil. He wants us to divide and not unify. God , however wants us to work as one body , in spirit and truth . We are the REPRESENTATIVE of Jesus’ bride . The body of Christ can only work together properly as ONE. The strength will be in UNITY , but still having diversity amongst members all working for the same purpose.
If we work together as ONE body, and put aside trivial differences such as how long we have been doing this ‘set routine’ , how we worship (hands up or down), what songs we sing, how we say liturgy, and even how we arrange the furniture and so on. Once we come together as one body, one spirit and one church under the banner of Jesus Christ, we will see transformation of lives. We will become stronger and work as a team to achieve more. We will be able to motivate, equip people with the right skills, encourage, and come alongside those who are struggling. When walls are broken down, the spirit can move freely, there will be a major outpouring of God’s spirit on all people.
1 Cor 12:25 -26 ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together’. God commands that we must work together in order to truly represent the body, this may mean working alongside other churches, outreach projects or different denominations – we must recognise that these differences, are in fact our strength in bringing many to God. When God’s word and spirit combine – this is when we will see God’s glory revealing itself to our nation.
The Lighting of the Beacons
This stood out as one of the more significant moments in the finale. The lighting of the Beacon in Minas Tirith happened when they were under siege by the enemy. The hobbit Pippin, was directed by Gandalf to light the first beacon. Pippin, in his quiet determination and stealth, managed to scrambled to the top of the steep ascent and light the fire. The importance of the first Beacon to be lit was an order to call for help from the Rohirrim. In succession, we can see that as each beacon is lit, another is lit until the final Beacon illuminates its flames and is sighted by Aragorn, who is in Edoras. This persuades Aragon, that must call on Theoden and his armies to aid with the battle. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWz51CiG2nA).
This magnificent and dramatic scene should inspire us to keep actively watching and waiting for the right time to engage with battle. The beacons brought hope and urgency to the situation, to the armies at exactly the right time. Likewise, Christians globally, need to pray, seek and know when to act and challenge the enemy in battle. Is the time now?
A woman named Lynn Green (General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain) had a vision for the UK. She saw fires being lit all and spreading out all over the country and that the lights represented beacons of prayer across the UK. People who were inspired to pray and seek the Lord, not with their own agenda but simply that they may draw close to Him. So that he would have the freedom to move amongst us and through us by his Spirit. ( May 2015). The passage below was used as a reference :
‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland’(Isaiah 43).
Fighting with the Spiritual Amour of God
During the Ride of Rohirrim, Theoden shouts to his army, ‘FIGHT NOW’, to all his soldiers. This stirs them to make them mightily move against the mighty army of Orcs. The riders take up their positions and fight with vigour , bravery, and speed. As they charge across the hill to the Orc’s, suddenly the Orc’s get scared and start to panic and run around in chaos. The Riders only cause is fighting for their lives to save their people and their country. Every beast, elf, man and goblin had to take up his sword in the Last Battle. The choice is clear, either, LIVE or DIE. We have to make that choice too. We can either take up the spiritual fight with God’s armour or we can move aside and let evil overcome. God gives us the right weapons (Praying, the Holy Spirit, Authority, the Bible), but we need to learn how to use them properly. God reminds us that we need to put on the full armour of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes. Our real fight is against the spiritual darkness and authority. ‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’ (Eph 10 – 17).
Waking up those who are in Slumber
King Denethor , who was the ruling steward of Gondor , failed miserably on a number of counts in these Last Days. He was supposed to be initiating the call to light the beacons to warn the troops of the immanent battle and send for help. He had been given an important responsibility in these Dark times, but had failed to respond to the call to war. He had let his people down and his God. In retreating completely and staying ignorant of the war surrounding him in the White Tower. He had turned to complete, utter misery and despair, and giving up all hope. In giving up his hope, it meant he could not see a future . God warns us, that he will deal with leaders who have absconded their duties and responsibilities (James 3:1). Some Christians leaders too, will fall away in the last days and not realise the imminent coming of Jesus Christ. Apathy and complacency will and is taking place in many churches across the globe. People are feeling disillusioned and mind fog is stopping people realise how much they need to return to their saviour and king. Even those in authority are bowing down to self and hiding away in their fancy homes, away from everyday life.
Learning to carry each other in Difficult and Challenging Circumstances
We see time and time again, that the Hobbit’s learnt to carry each other throughout the storm. They were true friends to each other. Particularly Sam and Frodo. Sam was the solid rock that Frodo learnt to rely on . He was so loyal that he would even die for him. He learnt what it meant to be a true friend . Are your friends there when you need them ? or do they retreat into their hobbit holes, when you need them, only to reappear when things seem better for you?
We can sometimes be dismissive of caring for people and learning the art of true empathy. It is easier to evade someone who is having a hard time, rather than embracing them and being there for them through a complicated problem, conversation or relationship. We say ‘leave that to the experts’! Maybe we feel inadequate to solve their problems or do not know what to say. You don’t have to say anything, just show them you are there and not just on Sunday. I don’t know if this is a common occurrence for you, but in my experience, often in larger churches, there appears to be a lack of people who truly care, neglect hospitality and seem very shallow! I have found it more often than not, very hard to form deep, solid friendships with people who I share my spiritual life with. My personality is outgoing and lively; if I find it difficult to integrate with churchgoers, then what about non-Christians?
God Chooses Unexpected Leaders
Who would have thought, that two little hobbits could save the world ? They were small creatures, fond of complete utter comfort, elevenses, did not stray far for adventure and quite simply ‘made do’ in their little contented lives. Sound familiar? However, the most unexpected, peculiar and trivial of all creatures, managed to saved the whole kingdom from utter ruin and despair. Do you find yourself getting to a point of complete comfort in your own town or city? You have good friends, your family are settled, jobs sorted, mortgage almost paid off? Is this the life that God has called us to ? maybe it’s time to rethink …..?!
It is very easy to put boundaries on ourselves, but God wants you to reach your potential fully. This can only happen, when we are uncomfortable. This means taking risks, going out of comfort zones and engaging with challenges. Possibly moving somewhere else or taking on a new role that stretches you. Look at the Hobbit’s Journey , it was gradual, but by bit, there were major challenges along the way, but nothing they couldn’t handle. God too, equips us with tasks that we are able to take on, step by step, and the more we step out, the more can be used fully for his purposes. Remember, the world wasn’t expecting these types of creatures to do anything special, this too can give us hope and encouragement, that we definitely do not need everything to be ‘sorted’ before we step out in faith. Again and again, we see that God uses those who would be the least likely to be chosen. We see that David, who was the youngest in the tribe of Judah was just a lowly and despised shepherd who eventually became King of the mightiest nation . We also see that Gideon, whose clan was the weakest in Manasseh and didn’t even believe in his own abilities, found this hard to believe. God used him to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites with only 300 men.