I love superhero movies! Recently at our church, I preached a message titled, “The Gospel According to the Green Lantern” and we had a great time in the Word as we drew Biblical parallels and object lessons from the movie. Although I haven’t had time to write a full article on the subject, it has been highly recommended that I post some of my sermon notes from that particular message.
READER WARNING: This post is a sermon outline, which is why you may not find the standard quality we normally attempt to provide but we hope you’ll enjoy it nevertheless.
In the movies we often see our own longing for something beyond ourselves. Especially with the recent explosion of super hero titans on the big screen we can see that our culture is enamored with the idea of an average Joe obtaining unforseen power to overcome impossibilities. The Green Lantern is no exception.
The Green Lantern first appeared in comic books in 1940. It’s a story about a man named Hal Jordan who is a second generation fighter pilot whose dad died of a plane crash when he was just a boy. In an effort to sum up the movie without spoiling it for you, Hal, was given a ring by a dying alien. The ring’s power is only limited by the imagination and finds it’s strength in the “will” power of the wearer.
Hal puts on the ring and begins to recite the Green Lantern Oath;
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!
Centuries ago a group of “Immortals” found a way to harness the most powerful energy in the universe; the power of WILL. In an effort to protect the universe, they created these rings that would give its wearers the ability to use this power. The ring was limited in the charge of power it could carry. When it would run down the wearer (Green Lantern) had to go back to the source to recharge the ring.
Parallaxed by Fear
We learn early on that one of the Immortals found another force almost as powerful as WILL that he tried to control and use for good. It was the force of fear. This Immortal’s name was Parallax. Once he had given himself over to the power of fear it changed him forever and if he was able to inspire fear in anyone, he could suck the life out of them. Fear fed his power!
There’s a few lessons we can learn from this fictional tale;
- The power ring was the source of strength, NOT Hal Jordan. Faith in God’s Word is the source of our Power and Strength NOT our own righteousness or ability.
- The power ring had to be taken back to the Lantern to recharge. We need to be recharged everyday and every week. God has provided a way for us to recharge our battery – Prayer & Church.
- The only power Parallax had, was fear and if he couldn’t make you fear him, he couldn’t harm you. The same is true with the enemy of our souls; he can only gain entrance into our lives through fear.
The problem with Hal Jordan is that he’s not fearless. The past loss of his father had placed a fear of failure, responsibility, and loss in him but when his friend tells him, “the ring didn’t see you as fearless but having the ability to overcome fear” it changes everything. Choosing to face his fears unleashes the full power of WILL on our hero’s behalf.
Fear is Faith in Reverse
FEAR is the opposite of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…”. Faith is the substance of things desired and FEAR is the substance of things not desired.
There’s this amazing final battle scene, after an army of Green Lanterns has been defeated, where Hal Jordan finds the courage and strength of WILL to fight Parallax all on his own and Parallax is about to overcome him! This evil-looking, smoky, octopus, type creature, the size of a city block is bombarding our hero and Hal is just barely keeping him off with the power of the ring.
Parallax is whispering in his ear trying to inspire fear and when Hal doesn’t know what else to do, he starts to recite the Oath… “Bright as day, black as night…” and as he speaks, his words begin to drown out the words of the enemy until he’s able to over come his fear…
Jesus has a similar situation when he was confronted by the enemy in the wilderness and His response was, “It is Written… It is Written… It is Written!”
I contend that our number one way to fight fear is to speak God’s word with boldness!
God has not given us a ring of power but a Word of promise and He says to us, “Fear NOT and Believe Only”!
I encourage you to watch “The Green Lantern” with this new perspective. Who knows what you might learn about yourself and how to overcome fear!