“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)
Friend To Friend
One Saturday night, my family hunkered down on the den sofa with an oversized bowl of popcorn, tall glasses of soda, and an action-packed vide Raider’s of the Lost Ark, starring Harrison Ford. We were ready to be entertained by suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance. Like any good movie, there were three principal characters: the good guy, the bad guy, and the damsel in distress. The good guy, Dr. Indiana Jones, who was a professor of archeology, obtainer of rare antiquities, and student of the world-renowned Dr. Ravenwood of the University of Chicago, quickly charmed us. The bad guy, a waxy-faced Nazi with a sinister grin and breathy laugh, who was always accompanied by an entourage of brutal, salivating, gargantuan, henchmen, quickly appalled us. Then there was the damsel in distress — the not-so-fair Marian, daughter of the now deceased Dr. Ravenwood and sole proprietor of a drinking establishment in the snowy mountains of Nepal.
In the opening scene, Dr. Jones is pulled from teaching his archeology class to meet with two agents from U.S. Army Intelligence. It seems that Hitler is obsessed with religion and the occult and is on a mission to find the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant which has been missing since Solomon’s temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. Obviously, the government officials missed a few days in Sunday School, so Dr. Jones fills them in on the significance of this rare treasure. The Ark contains the Ten Commandments and symbolizes the presence of God.
The government officials explain they have intercepted a German communication that reveals the Nazis are searching for the Ark of the Covenant in Cairo, but in order to determine its exact location, they need a map that is engraved on a gold medallion, once owned by Dr. Ravenwood. Dr. Jones’ mission, should he choose to accept it, is to locate the medallion, uncover the Ark of the Covenant, and bring it safely back to the United States.
Professor Jones, with the gleam of adventure in his eyes, whisks off his bow tie and wire-rim glasses and dons his suede Indiana Jones hat, leather whip, and trusty pistol. Off he goes to Nepal to find the fair Marian and hopefully, the medallion (which she has been wearing around her neck for years). Unfortunately for Marian, the waxy-faced Nazi also realizes that she is the key to finding the map and pays her a little visit just before Indiana Jones arrives. In adventure film fashion, a fight ensues, a fire breaks out, and the damsel’s life is in peril. Just before the blazing walls come crashing down, the spy notices the gold medallion engulfed in flames and hanging from a pole. Without considering the consequences, he grabs the metal disc from the flames, only to quickly drop it from his hot little hand, but not before it leaves a lasting impression. One side of the map is forever burned into the palm of his hand. Of course, Indiana Jones comes to the rescue. The music soars; the hero cracks his whip, saves the damsel in distress, and recovers the medallion.
The Germans, thinking they have the map in the palm of their hand (actually the palm of Mr. Waxy-Face’s hand) start to dig. But what Professor Jones realizes is that the map is actually on the front and back of the medallion. The Germans have only half of the map and thus are digging in the wrong place.
Now I have to tell you, this was supposed to be an evening of mindless activity and purely entertainment, but God spoke to me is a big way. He used this movie to teach me about searching for God’s presence, hearing His voice, and how different people go about it. Many people would like to have the presence of God in their camp. And just like in the movie, we could potentially play one of three roles.
Some people are like the damsel, who had been wearing the treasure map around her neck for years, but had no idea what it was. She only wore it because her beloved father had given it to her as a gift. Likewise, there are those who wear a cross around their neck, but don’t truly understand the significance of the gift of sacrifice and salvation from their heavenly Father. There are others who have a dusty Bible on a crowded bookshelf or displayed on a living room coffee table, but don’t realize that it contains God’s Words to them. They don’t understand that the Bible is the map to experiencing God’s presence and hearing His voice in their daily lives.
Some are like the bad guy with only one side of the medallion burned into the palm of his hand. They have heard parts of Scripture, read a few verses here and there, or visited a church on Holy Days such as Easter or Christmas. They are searching for hidden treasure of life, but because they don’t understand the whole truth of God, they are digging in the wrong place.
Finally, some are like the heroic Dr. Jones who possessed the whole map and knew exactly where to search for the treasure above all treasure — The Ark of the Covenant — the presence of God. Oh the joy that comes from following God’s map…not just parts of it…but all of it. God has not left us alone to figure out this thing called life on our own. He speaks to us through the pages of the Bible to tell us great and mighty things we did not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
The movie was over. My popcorn bowl was empty, but my heart was full. As the credits rolled across the screen, God seemed to say, “There are three principal roles. Which character will you play?”
Dear Lord, thank You that You have given me the entire map of where to find the treasure of all treasures…eternal life. Help me to unfold Your truth all the way, see the entire picture, and not simply look at one panel or one particular part. Thank You, Lord, for loving me enough to give me a map with such clear directions. I am looking forward to the day when I reach my final destination and spend eternity with You.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
In the above devotion, which character do you resemble the most?
Which character would you like to resemble the most?
Do you need to make any adjustments in your life in order to have the map readily accessible in your mind?
If so, what adjustments do you need to make?
I LOVED HOW YOU USED A MOVIE TO BREAKDOWN THAT THE BIBLE IS AND SHOULD BE OUR GUIDING LIGHT. I FELT THAT ANY BOBY READING THAT WOULD FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WERE SAYING AND HAVE A CLEAR GUIDE TO STUDY THE BIBLE FOR ANSWERS AND GUIDANCE. THANKS SO MUCH VERY INSIGHTFUL. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
This devotion touched on something that I had been communing with God about for the last couple of days. Thank you for your fresh word from God daily to remind me that God is present and available to me.
I found that the character I resemble the most at times is the Nazi guy, because I think I lose sight of my goal, which is to glorify God each and every day of my life. Sometimes my focus and thoughts shift to myself and I’m back to trying to control my life. If I take captive those thoughts and shift my focus back to God, the joy and peace are there as well as the risks and the adventure.
Wonderful devotional. A real eye-opener. An excellent way of connecting the movie with the Bible. Thanks a lot, Sharon! God bless You!
I eagerly wait for your kind teachings on God’s words and lessons.
I pray that I seek Him especially in my work place where I am going through some struggle. Christ knows my strengths & weaknesses and I do hope I can be like Dr. Jones in which I can read God’s words and especially apply it to every part of my life. Thanks for devotional teachings…..may God Bless You and Yours.
Great deotional. Spoke volumns to me. Infact, I printed it for furure reference.
I love today’s analogy. I use a lot of the Girlfriends In God devotions with my class! Thanks, Lisa
Excellent! Thank you!
Thank you for your insight! A group of girlfriends and I have just finished (or are finishing today-sadly!) Beth Moore’s study of Esther. We had a wonderful journey this summer of looking into each character in the story very personally. There are times when I saw myself at the abdicating foolish King Xerxes (I fear man and let them dictate what I do), the evil manipulating, proud Haman (who would rather DIE than have his own person be humbled or submitted), Mordecai (the voice of reason, the pillar who believed and the exhorter!), or Esther…the once assimilated into the world around her, then risk taking, generation changer. Anyways, that’s drama right?! Which one are we..it is all throughout the parables, all throughout Genesis, all thrhoughout…well, I hope that as Jesus reveals to us the reality of US…that we will also see the reality of HIM conforming us and shaping us into His image. Humble, sacrificial, wise, faithful, pure and forgiving. Thanks for the “convo” this morning! Way to reach people with words! Way to love your Jesus with your gifts! Have an AWESOME day in the Lord! Love, Con
For the past year I have been receiving the daily devotionals and they have been a great encouragement to me. Just within the last three days there were things I was praying about and the devotionals that spoke out to me the most was, The Woker and the one from today. I have some major decisions to make this year and at times I feel somewhat like the damsel, the only difference is I know where to find the truth I just have trouble applying. I guess I feel like I am back in fifth grade social studies and I can’t understand longitude and latitude. Sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing between my own personal desire and God’s Will.
I must admit that this devotional brought true tears of repentance to my eyes. I am the Nazi at this moment. I know the road map, but have chosen to only follow half of it.(or had chosen I should say) My focus has not been for God’s glory, but for that of myself. Thank you for using such a simple thing to remind me of my true purpose here on earth and this is to Glorify God with all that I have and am.
After reading your devotional I want to see the movie again with an entirely new perspective than I had before. Your insight is inspiring and a true gift from God. Thank you for speaking to my heart.
I praise God for the work that He does through Girlfriends in God. I was once again blown away by this message. Be blessed.
What an amazing parallel. So often I forget to follow the entire map, and I just focus on the pieces that are easy to follow. Thank you for your encouragement to really study God’s Word so that I can fully follow God’s map for me through Christ Jesus. The GIG devotions are such a blessing to me – thank you!
Thank you much for that nicely written blog post.
I just simply want to say Thank you.