This is a special Fourth of July for me for a few different reasons this year. It’s special because I got to surprise my family with a visit to Houston, AND because after having spent the past year and a half in India, I have a new appreciation for my country that I didn’t have before.
You may remember that few years ago there was a Dodge car commercial released for the World Cup games between the US and the UK back in 2010.
You should watch it real fast before reading on:
Now you’ll think I’m totally out of my mind when I say this, but the first time I watched this commercial, I cried.
Yes, I totally teared up during a 60 second car commercial.
I know it seems so weird. What’s the big deal about a TV ad with George Washington kicking *ss in his Dodge Challenger, right? But I felt a surge of admiration and affection towards the Americans shown in the commercial because I felt that Americans in the ad represented us in Christ.
The commercial showed what it’s like when we charge the gates of Hell — fierce, determined and waving the banner of our Love and Nation: “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.” (Eph 6:12).
Just like the redcoats in the commercial, the enemy trembles at the sight of lowly men, empowered by Christ, fearlessly storming the battlefield.
One by one, the British soldiers drop their weapons, the line breaks and they run. The moment the Challenger (who I believe symbolizes Christ or us IN Christ, depending on how you spin it) shows up on the scene, it’s not even a fight. Why? Because it is Christ who ALWAYS leads us in triumphal procession. There is no battle. The mere presence of Jesus makes it a victory.
In the same way spiritually, Jesus hasn’t left us to our own devices to fight an unfair fight. He’s equipped us with every imaginable advantage and spiritual weapon He has. He has already won the battle, you just need to show up and participate in His victory!
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.” (Rm 8:37)
Since that commercial I’ve watched a few other battles scenes that have stirred my heart in the same way. For instance, the entire story of Lord of The Rings can be paralleled to our own epic odyssey with Christ, but who remembers this particular scene from the movie during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields?
In a deep way, I admire and connect with these battle scenes. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch Band of Brothers or certain scenes from Braveheart, I’ve gotta reach for a box of tissues. Not because I enjoy seeing brother war against brother — I don’t. I cry because I always see these two things at the same time:
1. I clearly see the representation of the Sons (and Daughters) of God being revealed in the fight to restore justice to the opressed.
2. I clearly see Jesus’ sadness that that desire to restore justice had to be taken out on a fellow creature made in the image of God, rather than demonic powers and principalities. (I personally think that’s why Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek: it’s so we don’t get distracted with quarreling among each other while forgetting the real war going on in the spiritual realm).
I believe the “American Dream” is still alive in other parts of the world where you’d least expect it — even though it’s been somewhat lost in the country of it’s namesake. I believe that because I think it was originally God’s dream for His people and His heavenly Kingdom.
So that’s how I like to think of the American revolution: it’s really just a shadow of how God wants his Church to look and function against oppression and injustice. We are more than conquerors.
Happy 4th everyone!