Seriously, haven’t you ever secretly wanted to strap a boatload of balloons onto a chair and head out into the big blue sky? Maybe it’s just me, but I think cruising over my neighborhood rooftops in a helium powered chairplane would make my day.
Leave it to Pixar to take this common fantasy to an entirely different level. Instead of a chair, how about we fasten helium balloons to a house and float waaaaay past our neighborhood to South America to find the adventure and triumph we thought we’d never see.
You’ve probably guessed that this is the basic plot of "Up" - one of the best reviewed and finest made films to hit the theaters in a long time.
Not counting Hannah Montana: The Movie, of course…*ahem*.
What is it that makes us want to fly away and experience a radical change from our oftentimes ho hum, black and white monotone existence?
Is it that we don’t have enough entertainment options? Let’s see, iPods – internet - Facebook/MySpace - 6000 satellite channels – Wii – Mii - and 200 texts an hour…and we’re still bored?
Yup. Because you are hardwired for something else. Because the God who created you downloaded a program in you at birth that can only run properly when you rise “up” out of your day-to-day doldrums and find adventure in fulfilling the greatest mission ever assigned:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
These are some of the last words Jesus spoke before He returned to heaven. But they are much more than words…they are balloons that you can secure to your soul - and when you do, they will lift you away to places you never thought you could reach.
How? Well let’s look at each ‘balloon’ a little closer - and picture Jesus saying these words to you right here and right now:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.”
Jesus Christ came back from the dead and conquered the one thing we will never be able to defeat - which is physical and spiritual death. Because of His triumph, we have the gift of eternal life - and that gives Him the right to plan out our course and journey - which is:
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.
This is called ‘The Great Commission” - because it is the responsibility of every Christian to ‘pay it forward’ by sharing the amazing news that sins can be forgiven, hope can be restored, and eternal life is available by simply trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. This is the core of the Christian’s ‘job description’ and the primary reason we were left down here and not immediately taken to heaven when we trusted Christ.
Can you see how being faithful to these words can shoot your life out of Boredomville into the skies of endless possibilities? Think about it…each day is a new opportunity to share God’s love and Christ’s message of salvation. Each person you meet is a participant in the great cosmic battle for souls destined for heaven or hell. Each word you speak and action you take is helping or hindering the Kingdom of God on planet earth.
Of course you could ignore this incredible offer of exploration and adventure and continue to believe that you’ll find excitement in life in a website or a possession, just like Carl could have settled and moved into the retirement home and just imagined what might have been.
Or…you can take a cue from Carl and tie on the Spirit filled words of the Great Commission and launch into uncharted spiritual territory. You have Jesus’ unlimited power, unconditional promise of eternal life, and unconstrained presence until the end of time. With a setting like that…you have nowhere to go but-
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The first step in obeying the Great Commission is waking up each day praying for an opportunity to share God’s love and Christ’s message of salvation in the good news of the gospel. The next step, then, is keeping your eyes and heart wide open for chances to start a spiritual conversation. In a nutshell, make a commitment every day to pray for your unsaved friends and family, pursue conversations about Jesus Christ, and persuade them to trust in Him alone for salvation.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16).
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.