Have you ever felt stuck in a perpetual state of wonder? I’m not talking about the awestruck kind of wonder… rather, the kind that is more akin to stomach cramps:
“I wonder if this difficult season is ever coming to an end?”
“I wonder if God is still in the business of miracles?”
“I wonder if this paycheck is going to stretch all the way to the end of the month?”
“I wonder what is waiting around the corner? Is God’s plan really for me to prosper? To give me a future and a hope?”
One the biggest “wonders” of my heart has always been this: if God is in control of all things, then will my efforts and actions have any impact on the outcome of a circumstance?
If it is God’s will, surely it is a given? Is everything that happens to us then, ordained, willed or simply allowed by a God who decides to bless some and condemn others?
Knowing the nature and character of God and the unchangeable truth of his Word, I cannot imagine that God would ever be unkind or inconsistent. I know it is not his will for anyone to perish, and yet there are many who do, daily.
The truth is that we are not controlled by a sovereign power. God does not override our free will, but invites us to surrender our lives to his will so that we can experience his plans. And his plans are awesome. His plans are good. Always.
It took me a long time to cotton on to the fact that I had to choose to engage in this new life I had been given. I had to discover. Learn. Surrender. This would take time and effort, beyond a Sunday church service.
This however, is not a command (though some might disagree), but an invitation. You can live a “come what may” life, or you can link arms with heaven and live the life you were meticulously and beautifully designed for.
A few years ago I found several keys to this mystery, in a rather unlikely place. I found them in Tim Burton’s Wonderland (his follow up story to the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland, released on the big screen in 2010).
Alice, now a fair bit older than her first visit to Wonderland are quite confused as she finds herself in a place where everything is rather strange. A smoking caterpillar, a white rabbit with anxiety issues, a floating cat! You too, would be convinced you were stuck in a weird dream.
All her old friends are so excited to see her back in Wonderland. And it’s not only because they have missed the antics of little Alice, but they have been awaiting her return in the hope that she will fulfill a long foretold prophecy.
She is the chosen Champion. Destined to defeat the Jabberwocky; a terrifying dragon owned by the Queen of Hearts, who will do anything to protect her rule of the kingdom.
Understandably, Alice is quite shaken by the prophecy, and to make matters worse, she doesn’t remember ever being in Wonderland. She is conviced that she is either dreaming, or she is another Alice (not the one spoken of in the prophecy).
But as her adventure unfolds, she starts to care about her new, old friends. The pressure of being their only hope, starts to weigh her down. As some of them bravely volunteer to fight the Jabberwocky in her place, she finds herself at a crossroad. What will she choose? And if she chooses to stay and fight, will she have what it takes to defeat the dragon?
Feeling quite torn, she runs away to have a good old cry. Melting down next to Absolem, the caterpillar who is about to chrysalise into the next phase of his lifecycle, Alice is told: “Nothing, is ever accomlished with tears.”
Alice: “Absolem? Why are you upside down?”
Absolem: “I have come to the end of this life.”
Alice: “You’re going to die?”
Alice: “Don’t go! I need your help, I don’t know what to do.”
Absolem: “I can’t help you if you don’t even know who you are, stupid girl!”
Alice: “I am not stupid! My name is Alice. I live in London. I have a mother named Helen and a sister named Margaret. My father was Charles Kingsley. He had a vision that stretched halfway around the world and nothing ever stopped him. I am his daughter. I am Alice Kingsley.”
Absolem: “Alice, at last! You were just as dumb witted the first time you were here, you called it Wonderland as I recall.”
Suddenly, Alice remembers. She remembers that she had been to Wonderland before. She wasn’t dreaming and she was indeed, the Alice that was prophesied about, in the scroll.
There is a prophetic picture and destiny that you have been designed for.
In order to establish his will and his kingdom upon the Earth, God needs Champions. But just like Alice, I have struggled to see myself as the one described in the Word:
Complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
More than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
A child of God, with the authority and power over all the works of the enemy (Luke 10:19).
For so many years, I didn’t even know that there was another picture than the portrait painted by my experiences and circumstances.
But the truth is, we have existed before the foundations of the Earth were formed. And we were known, by our Creator, in our truest form. Maybe the picture we have created through our experience of “reality”, is so much less than who we truly are: our Father’s sons and daughters. Made in His likeness. Mandated with advancing his kingdom.
Key #1 – Discover what God says about you! You can find out who He says you are in His Word.
Overwhelming odds require Mad Hatters!
As the Jabberwocky made his startling appearance, Alice turned to her friend, the Mad Hatter and said: “This is impossible!”
The Mad Hatter replied: “Only if you believe it is.”
Alice: “Sometimes, I believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Mad Hatter: (Nervously, looking at the Jabberwocky approaching) “That is an excellent practice. However… just at the moment… you really might want to focus on the Jabberwocky.”
When the odds are stacked against us, we need our friends to remind us of the Truth. It is only impossible if you believe it is! You have everything you need to take the enemy down.
We all have a Jabberwocky to slay. These days, Mad Hatters are few and far between. Friends who would dare to believe the truth of what God says about you, even when all the evidence seem to disprove it. I am thankful for every Mad Hatter in my life. After all, to a world who doesn’t believe in God or his supernatural ways, we all seem a bit bonkers.
Key #2 – Surround yourself with people who will believe what God says about you, and who will remind you of these truths, when the going gets tough.
You have what you need to fulfill your destiny.
As Alice runs toward her overwhelming opponent, she recounts six impossible things that she had witnessed in Wonderland.
What are the impossible things that God has done for you, and for the people in your life? Think of all the impossible things he did for his people in the pages of the Bible.
There are times when we need to stir up our faith in the presence of our enemy. We need to recount (out loud) God’s faithfulness in the face of impossibility.
Key #3 – Keep a record of every promise God has fulfilled in your life. The big ones, the little ones. Make a habit of counting them.
Get dressed for the battle.
Just before Absolem said goodbye to Alice, he gave her this last piece of advice: “Remember, the Vorpal Sword knows what it wants. You just have to hold on.”
The armour and weapons that Alice needed to slay the dragon was ready and waiting for her. She only needed to show up for the battle, get dressed and hold on to the sword.
Our armour has also been put aside for us, as Heaven waits for us to choose to fight for the kingdom (Ephesians 6:10-20). How awesome if all God’s Champions were awakened and dressed for battle.
Key #4 – Wear your armour effectively. Keep your mind renewed and your heart protected from the enemy’s lies.
Silence the enemy!
Our warfare is not against flesh and blood. There is a much bigger story behind the few short years we spend on this planet. And part of that reality means that you are not the real tartget, you only carry it! The enemy is out to destroy the Word. It has been his mission since the Word became flesh, and was placed in a manger.
I see this reflected in the way that the dragon responds to Alice as they face off for the battle ahead.
Jabberwocky: “Hello, my old foe, we meet again on the battlefield.”
Alice: “We have never met before!”
Jabberwocky: “Not you, insignificant bearer. My ancient enemy, the Vorpal one.”
Alice lunges at the dragon and cut off his tongue! I love that she mutes her enemy. That is the first step in overcoming him. Silencing his lies will disempower him.
Why is the dragon after the sword? Because it is the only weapon that can obliterate him. Our greatest weapon is the Word of God. As we release it, by decree and decleration, the enemy and his evil works are destroyed!
Key #5 – The power is in the Word. So, pick up your sword and just hold on!
Wonderland became less confusing and more awe inspiring as Alice remembered who she was, and chose to pick up her armour and step into her calling.
“Wonderland-What?” turned into “Wonderland-Wow!”
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
Revelation 22:7 NIV
“It’s not come what may. It’s come what we pray. It’s come what we say.” – Billye Brim
Today I see God extending an invitation: “Beloved Warrior, come and discover who you were always meant to be: Strong, Overcoming, Soaring. I have provided everything you need to discover and fulfill your destiny. Become a partaker of my divine nature, through my great and precious promises. I have designed and placed you here, for such a time as this!” ❤