In 2001-2002 there was a series called 'Transformers: Robots in Disguise' with a little tune attached to it. In 2015, there is a new series coming out of the same name.
This session is a fun look at the 'Transformers' (relating to the TV series and the first movie from 2007) and we'll relate it to our lives as Christians!
Robots In Disguise - Theme Tune (original series)
Direct Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59QeKkjishs
Robots In Disguise - Clip
Direct Link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwsLeDPQCvA
OK so how does a movie and TV series about robots that can change shape relate to anything to do with being a Christian?!
Write down or think about these lyrics from the original theme tune:
"Transformers: more than meets the eye. Transformers: robots in disguise"
What do you think we can learn about our Christian lives from this?
Maybe shout out some ideas or write something down on a bit of paper.
Three Transforming Ideas
1. The Bible tells us that as Christians, we are being transformed from 'glory to glory'. We'll look at what this means!
2. The Bible also makes it clear that we have an enemy who often appears like an 'angel of light'. We'll take a look at this.
3. Finally, we'll think about the fact that as Christians, we can be tempted to hide who we really are!
Glory To Glory
2 Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Do you have people in your church who are really spiritual and have phrases they always say to you or maybe they shout out in worship? I've even seen some people do some crazy head shakes when being prayed for which looks a bit like it'll give them a neck injury! Anyway, in my one church was someone who always used to say "Glory!"
So what does the Bible say? It looks back to a time in the Old Testament when Moses went to meet with God to get the Ten Commandments. God is completely holy, good and pure and he has a light that is beyond the light of the sun. So when Moses spent time with God, this light 'rubbed off' on him. When he came down the mountain, Moses had to wear a veil because the people of Israel couldn't look at him! This is a lesson that whatever or whoever we spend time with can 'rub off' on us. So make sure you spend time with God and good people. Be someone who spends time with God so you 'rub off God' to others!
The Bible verse in 2 Corinthians 3.18 promises that God will transform us (change us) to be more like him. We are being changed day by day, even if we don't realise it. But we need to work with God and allow him to work in us. If you were on a sports team and decided to do your own thing, the team would suffer and so would you. In a similar way, God works with us as a team. We say yes to God helping us and he then helps us! So when we say we're going from 'glory to glory' it just means that we are becoming more and more God-like each day and this is a great thing!!
Good vs Evil
In The Transformers, we have a constant battle of good vs evil. In the Transformers movie from 2007, the poster to promote it has two faces. On one side are the the noble Autobots led by Optimus Prime (good). Their evil enemy is led by Megatron and his decepticons.
Hmmm... so the enemy are called 'decepticons'... Sounds very much like the word 'deception' which means when people trick people into doing or believing something. Hmmm.. Now that sounds like exactly what satan does.
We know from the Bible that satan is the 'father of lies' (Jesus told us this in John 8.44). One of the ways that the devil attacks us is by lying to us and whispering wrong thoughts. He makes people fall out by placing wrong ideas in their heads. Satan is also called 'the accuser of the church'. He makes us feel useless because we got something wrong. He accuses us and makes us feel guilty. He likes to drag up old problems and remind us of things where we messed up.
We also know that the devil is called Beelzebub - again by Jesus (Matthew 10.25). The word Beelzebub is "a title of satan which stresses he is the prince over demons ("demonic flies")." (From Strongs / Biblehub). This is intriguing because 'Lord Of The Flies' is the title of a famous book which shows how things quickly go wrong when a group of boys form gangs, commit violent acts and even kill and then destroy most of an island. Again, this sounds like the work of the devil.
When my friends moved into their new house, there were hundreds of horrible flies around everywhere!
Wherever you looked, there were flies. They landed on your food, the kettle. They were there ready to greet you in the toilet. They even made themselves comfortable on the sofa!
So they had to take action - buying fly paper, buying a fly swat and using spray to remove the flies. They also had to do things like shut the doors so flies couldn't get in.
And as Christians, we have to take action to get rid of all the 'flies' in our lives and the ones that satan sends against us! The good news is that Jesus has given us power to do this - see Luke 10.19 where Jesus said "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy..." (God gave me this verse when I first worked in schools and was faced with some hostile Year 11s - God changed things around and I became friendly with them!)
In all this, we have to say no to these wrong thoughts and tell the devil where to go (away!) and in the name of Jesus. If we are a Christian, we have power over the enemy in our own heads and at times, even in life general (e.g. we can pray and see God answer prayer, heal people, change lives and situations) and therefore defeat and push back the enemy.
In our own lives...
We must do what the Bible says and submit to God, resist the enemy and he will flee (leg it away from us). This is what James 4.7 tells us. We need God's help to live good lives. When we mess up, we say sorry Lord and we get back on the right path. We can also decide not to agree with the lies that Satan puts in our heads. If you start thinking something that's wrong or against what the Bible says (for example you feel angry with someone), you can say to yourself, 'No, I'm not going to be angry. I'm going to choose to forgive them and pray for them.' It's hard but it is possible with God's help and it'll make you feel a whole lot happier too!
Finally, we know that we have a fight with the enemy, who hates God and who wants to smash down everything that is good and all that God stands for. Until Jesus returns, we're in a battle - just as people are in a battle with groups like the Islamic State who want to destroy, kill, abuse people and steal. They don't realise it, but they are under the influence of the devil. Our weapons are spiritual ones - our faith, staying right with God, standing strong, praying, knowing the Bible and speaking it out over people and situations, we can give, serve, love others and tell people about Jesus. This is the way we can overcome 'Megatron' and the 'decepticons' !
Don't Hide Your Light
OK so the final thing is even more challenging. The Transformers are able to change. As Christians, we sometimes we don't realise how much Jesus has done for us when he died on the cross, paid for all our wrongs and changed us. In 2 Corinthians 5.17, the Bible tells us how when we become a Christian, the old life goes and the new life (from Jesus) comes into us. So in our 'spirit' (right inside us, the bit that makes us who we really are) is completely changed - like a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.
But we also have to 'work out our salvation' (Philippians 2.12). What does this mean? It means when we become a Christian we aren't perfect right away! So when I became a Christian, I still had things God had to work on - like my aggression which I had after being involved with violence. Over time, God has worked this out of me. But we also have to work with God as we said earlier. We say yes to God changing us and then he does the changing, often without us knowing it. He does this because he loves us too much to leave us in our mess!
It's like cleaning up a dirty kitchen - it doesn't magically clean itself. We have to clean the pots and pans, scrub the floor and the surfaces etc to make it clean.
It's the same with us. God does the cleaning up and he never judges us, never shouts at us, never makes us feel bad. But he helps us become more like him.
This video is a bad example in one way, but if you can stretch your imagination a bit (and away from the very valid message of the video which is that women are beautiful anyway and don't need to look fake to be beautiful!) then think about this... God does in the spiritual for good what this video sort of does - he makes things 'beautiful' as the Bible says.
(Please note, I am not saying this woman is not beautiful as she is - this video is simply an example to stretch a point a bit !!)
Direct Link to Dove Evolution Clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
If we really know who God has made us to be (children of God, we have God's power in us, we can pray and see people healed, we are valuable and unique, we are completely made right with God because of Jesus and are his witnesses, the bodily carriers of his life and light) then we shouldn't be afraid to hide ourselves away. We should be transformers of the world around us!
Matthew 5.13-16 - ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
It is time to be a transformer. Like Optimus Prime, we should take on the forces of evil and not be afraid. The Bible tells us in Romans 8.31 that if God is for us, who can be against us? Today, choose to be a Transformer!