Question: What gets 10 million advertising dollars and keeps 10,000 stores open all night?
Why, Halo 3 – of course! Unless you're a teen icon in rehab, or you really have been away from the planet for a while, you may have noticed the Halo 3 mania that has invaded our planet like the Flood. 7-11, Burger King, Mountain Dew, heck even NASCAR driver Felix Sabate has an ad on his No. 40 racing car.
The world has Halo 3 fever…and the only cure is not more cowbell, but console time baby!
Master Chief John 117 is back – bruised and battered, but ready to give humanity hope that the Covenant can be defeated and survival is possible. (side note- John 1:17 in the Bible is a reference to Jesus Christ … coincidence? I think not!)
How is survival possible? Well … skill, strategy, and teamwork come in handy, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, it's all about the weapons. All the quick moves and Elite cleverness in the world don't do a lot of damage unless they are accompanied by our friends The Sniper Rifle and Mr. Flamethrower.
No seriously, I really am an adult. But something about Halo 3 throws even the most mature folks back into the childhood days of toy soldiers and backyard war games. Only this game isn't about little plastic guys and running around a field. We're talking about jaw dropping graphics coupled with 50,000 audio clips, a 60 piece orchestra and a 24-voice choir all nestled sweetly in 5.1 surround sound.
Somewhere in the midst of sipping my Mountain Dew with a Halo 3 ad while watching a Halo 3 commercial on TV and seeing a Halo 3 logo on a Burger King wrapper, a "things that make you go hmmmm" question entered my mind.
What makes this series so popular? Why do an average of 300,000 way-too-much-free-time people log online every day to play this game?
Sure, it's the mother of all console games with great features, but I think there might be something deeper. Call it a "save the planet" kind of feeling that runs inside our hardware.
Of course, Halo 3 is just a game. We don't really have an invading alien force on our planet with the goal of eliminating human vermin, right?
Well, maybe not in a physical sense. But trust me, there's a Halo 3 battle going on in the spiritual world that is just as real as the four-hour checkout line at Wal Mart when you bought the game.
But don't take my word for it; take God's Word for it:
Jesus replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18)
Jesus is referring to a time in the past when Satan was kicked out of heaven like a bolt of lightning, and thus began the war on humanity:
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
According to the Bible, after Satan was dishonorably discharged from his duties in heaven, he took a mighty army of fallen angels with him and declared war on the objects of God's grace and love: human beings – and especially those who are in the Lord's army as Christians.
Make no mistake, the dark forces of the spiritual world have marked you for destruction, and no amount of quick moves, strategy, or teamwork will win this fight.
But the great news is that God gave us a powerful weapon! It's called the "whole armor of God" – and here's what it includes:
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:14-18)
Like Halo 3, you need to take your time and learn how to use your weapons and defend yourself, but what it basically boils down to is study and memorize Bible passages, living life like Jesus did in terms of integrity, holiness, righteousness and faith in God for everything, and, of course, stay in a constant state of prayer. If you do these things, you'll be victorious. If you don't, well, you're basically dead spiritual meat.
So enjoy jumping into the world of Halo 3, but don't forget about the real battle being waged in your house, your school, your work, and even in your mind on a daily basis. Put on your armor and let's finish the fight!
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.