Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone (Page 2) eBook online read

like the wizarding world, is the exact opposite. It takes great faith and a choice to believe, to embrace the realm where miraculous things happen, where God is a loving father, where Jesus died to set us free, and where we have a piece of his Spirit living in us, guiding us, protecting us, and loving us.

  In Matthew 13:15 (NIV), Jesus says, “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

  Like the Dursleys we have a choice: embrace the spiritual world, the world of God, with all our hearts, souls, and minds; or ignore its existence and thereby deny ourselves of the benefits of having a strong, loving father.

  Question: Do you know any Dursleys? Are you, perhaps, inclining toward the Dursley attitude? How do we get through to those (or ourselves) who see but choose to close their (or our) eyes to Christ’s message?

  Challenge: Don’t try to push Christ down the throats of the Dursleys of this world. Instead, be Christ’s message to people everyday. Show them love like Christ loved, and trust God to move in their hearts and stir them toward him.

  If you are a Dursley, or are thinking about moving back-in with the Dursleys, I challenge you to take a bold, life-saving step: Strike out toward Hogwarts, seek the kingdom of heaven, seek God. Don’t go back to a life a misery when a life of plenty is in front of you.

  Love yourself enough to love God more.

  Verse: “The people are blockheads! They stick their fingers in their ears so they won’t have to listen; They screw their eyes shut so they won’t have to look, so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face and let me heal them.” – Matthew 13:25 (MSG)

  Prayer: Father, help me to love as you loved me. Help me to be Christ to those who cannot, or are not, willing to see him. Help me to be brave and step out in faith to seek you and learn more about who you really are. Help me be a Potter and not a Dursley, a believer and not a doubter. Help me to live life with my eyes wide open to your truth and my ears tuned to your voice. And as I go, I pray others will see the joy you bring to my life, and want you in their own. I pray all this in the name of your precious and holy Son, who gave me life when I was dead, who reached me when I was unreachable, Jesus Christ, Immanuel. Amen.

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  Scars

  Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.

  “Is that where—?” whispered Professor McGonagall.

  “Yes,” said Dumbledore. “He’ll have that scar forever.”

  “Couldn’t you do something about it, Dumbledore?”

  “Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Scars can come in handy…”

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 14)

  Harry is the boy with the lightning bolt scar on his head. Members of the wizarding world see it and immediately know who he is and what he has done: vanquished the Dark Lord by surviving the killing curse. His scar brings him both notoriety and scorn. It stands out as a symbol of who he is: The Boy Who Lived.

  In the same way, Jesus’ scars on his hands and feet served as proof that he was the Man Who Died And Rose Again. In John 20, Thomas said that he would not believe the Lord had risen until he saw the scars of the nails in his hands and the cut in his side. So, Jesus went to him and let him place his fingers on the scars of his hands and side, and then Thomas declared his belief.

  Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” (John 20:29, GNT)

  Faith is believing without seeing. It is a choice to step outside of man-made logic and trust in God.

  Question: Do you know any doubting Thomases? Do you have any stubborn friends, family, acquaintances who, no matter how many times you speak the Gospel to them, just won’t believe what they cannot see?

  Are you a doubting Thomas? Do you have trouble believing God will come through for you the way he came through for those in Biblical times? Do you need to touch the scars in his hands and side?

  Challenge: Instead of preaching the Gospel to the Thomases of the world, preach your personal testimony. Share your story, your scars, so that the Thomases may touch a modern-day miracle of God.

  If you are the doubting Thomas, ask to see other believers’ scars, ask them their story. Put Jesus’ miraculous message in front of you daily so that you can see and believe. Read books on other believers’ stories. Go to IAmSecond.com and listen to the stories of various athletes, celebrities, business owners, and average Joes. Whatever it takes, fight off the doubting Thomas and embrace the believing Thomas.

  Feed your belief to starve your unbelief.

  Verse: “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” – John 20:29 (MSG)

  Prayer: Lord, I believe, but please help me with my unbelief. I don’t want to be a doubting Thomas. I want to believe without seeing. I want to just know you are there. Help me to fight off the doubts and worries so that I can grow stronger in my belief in you. And as I do, use my story to help others overcome their unbelief and see you. I love you, Lord. Amen.

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  Muggle or Wizard?

  “Harry—yer a wizard.”

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 50)

  Hagrid arrived, having broken down the door of a tiny seaside shack on a rocky island, with news that Harry was a wizard. A wizard! This after Harry had been delivered hundreds of letters by owl, which his uncle had kept him from reading.

  At this point in the parable, I have to ask myself: To what lengths will God go to deliver me to my destiny, to my purpose in life? I believe, just as Dumbledore sent hundreds of letters and a half-giant to track Harry down, so too will God track each-and-every one of us down to deliver us to our purpose.

  The question is: Will we follow him when he reveals to us where he wants us to go?

  First, let’s take a look at Harry’s options, for God always gives us the freedom not to choose him.

  “A Muggle…it’s what we call nonmagic folk like them. An’ it’s your bad luck you grew up in a family o’ the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on.”

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 52)

  Harry’s options were to either refuse to believe the half-giant claiming he was a wizard come to take him off to some mysterious school or to take an enormous leap of faith and go with Hagrid. Harry could've chosen to stay with the Dursleys and grow up as a muggle. I’m sure Petunia and Vernon would have been thrilled if Harry stayed. Then the Dursleys would have succeeded in making him just as “normal” as they were.

  Now, this may seem like an easy choice to you and me, but how many times are we in a situation that we don’t necessarily like, but it is all we know? A job we don’t care for, but it pays the bills? A romantic but not yet married relationship in which we’re less than happy, but at least we are not alone? A city we don’t really care for, but it is all we have ever known? And then we get the opportunity to take a flying leap of faith and pursue our dream, but it requires risk, uncertainty, the possibility that we will fail, and so we stick to the Dursleys, to what has become a comfortable misery.

  “…His name’s been down ever since he was born…”

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 57)

  Just as Harry had a special purpose, a special gift that gave him the option of going to Hogwarts, so too God gives each of us a special gift to fulfill a special purpose at a special time. It is our choice whether, when presented with the opportunity to fly, we take the initial leap.

  Maybe you are holding this book and saying, “But I’m not good at anything. I don’t have any special talents or spiritual gifts.” Let me tell you, I was in the
same place a few years ago. I was so miserable over the fact that I felt I had no purpose that I prayed, tears streaming down my face, for God to tell me what he had for me to do. I promised him that no matter what it was, I would do it and I would never give up. The next day I received the spiritual calling to write. I dove in and went to work, and I haven’t quit since.

  Has my writing been rejected? More times that I can count. Was I told I would never make it? Sure. Were there moments when I wondered myself? Definitely. But, I had made a promise to God and I stuck with it, and I’m still sticking with it today.

  Question: Do you have a dream? Do you have a burning desire in your heart? What is that topic, or subject, or thing that gets you all riled up inside? Could this passion be a gift from God?

  Are you pursuing it? Are you doing anything with your passion? Have you taken the leap? Are you going with Hagrid to Hogwarts or staying with the Dursleys, doomed to wear Dudley’s hand-me-downs for years to come?

  Challenge: Now, I’m not saying quit your day job if you are not in the position to take that sort of financial leap, but I am saying to do what God has put in you to do. Just start. Even if all you can give your passion is ten minutes a day, start there. I started writing while working a day job and attending school. My husband started his
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