"There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter…Which luckily I am."- The Mad Hatter
I don't know about you, but if I were in an uncomfortable situation with a room full of people, and I saw a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch booking towards a maze, I'd be outta there in a heartbeat.
That's what Alice Kingsley does for the second time in ten years - and this time the stakes are much, much higher.
Welcome to Director Tim Burton's vision of Alice in Wonderland…complete with a goth-esque Alice, Johnny Depp playing the Mad Hatter, and what Disney film would be complete without a smoking caterpillar?
A fun ride to be sure, but traveling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland is not for the faint of heart. And perhaps you do need to be at least a bit mad to survive…
Which luckily for me, I am as well.
I didn't see a white rabbit and follow him down a hole, but when I was 15, I heard a message and an invitation that sounds just about as crazy as Alice in Wonderland. The speaker talked about an invisible spiritual kingdom that co-exists with the physical world we live in. There are good and evil forces locked in battle, and the stakes are the highest in the universe, because the war is for eternal souls.
So I checked it out in God's Word to see if he was correct, and this is what I found:
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins (Colossians 1:13-14).
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 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 6:10-12).
Are you seeing the picture here? When I trusted Jesus Christ for salvation, I entered into a spiritual wonderland that has been the greatest adventure I ever could have imagined. I've seen and experienced things that simply cannot be described with human language…and yes, there are those who might call me mad. But who cares? I'm in league with someone else who was labeled similarly:
"I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic…'I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.'"
Suddenly, Festus shouted, "Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!" (Acts 26:17-18;24)
This is a scene from The Apostle Paul's life when he was on trial for being a Christian. When he told them about the spiritual rabbit hole that Jesus called him down, they wrote him off as the original Mad Hatter.
And I guess we all seem a little mad. We appear mad because we believe that God loved the world so much that he sent Jesus to save us. We look crazy because we believe life was designed for us to love/serve God and to "rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment" (Jude 1:23). But really, this is the realest reality of all.
Can I be a white rabbit for a second? I'd like to invite you to the wonderland of Christianity. Following Christ is not a boring religious exercise designed to keep us from having fun - that's what Satan would like you to believe. Rather this is what God promises:
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).
This pledge is not referring to heaven - although that will be amazing as well. This is a guarantee to those who love Jesus, that their lives will be as radically different and more exciting and breathtaking as Wonderland compared to England. It's a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger.
So…what's in your Wonderland?
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Ask your friends what they think about Christians and Christianity in general. Talk to them about how following Christ is a radically different way to see life, and pray for an opportunity to share the gospel.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).