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Faith Imagined: Sifting Thor

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

May 15, 2011

Sifting Thor

Thor is arrogant, prideful and scorns authority. His adopted evil brother, Loki, causes mischief that exposes Thor's selfishness. Thor's immaturity forces his father, King Odin, to strip him of his power and leave him stranded on earth. King Odin wants to relinquish the kingship to Thor, but he knows that unless his son learns obedience and self-sacrifice, he will never be a good king.

The evil brother, Loki, reigns while the king recovers in "odinsleep." Loki lies, deceives, kills and creates chaos, while the exiled Thor comes to terms with his selfishness and learns how to serve and sacrifice for others. King Odin allows evil to dominate for a time, knowing that the evil will sift the impurities from his son. Once evil is subdued, Thor finally finds his footing on the righteous path to his destiny.

King Odin did not create the life of Loki, but he brought this evil son into his family. Why would he allow evil into his kingdom? Because the evil is what sifts the arrogance, pride and disobedience from Thor.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

"Peter said, 'Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.'”

"But Jesus said, 'Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.'”

- Luke 22.31-34 (NLT)

God allows evil to sift Peter. Peter is brave and strong, but hiding inside of him is his selfish will. He wants to expand the Kingdom of God, but he hasn't experienced a trial that exposes his deception. When his life is threatened, the deep rooted self-centered motives are revealed. Instead of dying for Christ, he goes into self-preservation mode by lying three times before the rooster crows.

Selfishness is the utlimate thorn is our side and the killer of God's power in our lives. By default we all struggle with the idol of self, but God allows the Enemy to reign for a time so our pride, arrogance and disobedience (all outcomes of selfishness) can be sifted. Death to self is the only way we can fully have the power of Christ, and it is the only way we will find freedom from the trappings of this world: worry, doubt, fear, lust, pride, etc. Once our sinful nature dies, we can walk victoriously in the abundance that Jesus promised us (John 10.10 NASB).

Even though evil is allowed to reign, God will have the final and complete victory. He has an amazing purpose for all His children, and He needs the sinful nature to be sifted from us. Life trials are not fun, but when we trust the hand of God, they can pull out our impurities and shape us into the image of Christ.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

- Romans 5.3-5 (NLT)

* Obviously, I only believe in the One True God found in the Trinity: God, the Creator; Jesus, the Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, the Counselor. However, I do use movies like Thor as culturally relevant analogies to illustrate spiritual truths.

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Blogger Tammi said...

Oh, Alisa,
This was so very good tonight! The sifting. . . the process of being allowed to see "Just what I'm made of." Flesh. And, oh my, what letters do I see in the word "flesh" ? ? S E L F. My flesh is so SELFish. Yes it is.
Thank you so much for this meaty spiritual meal to chew on and think about for some time to come!
Thanks also for your sweet comment on my blog recently. :) Glad you enjoyed the song and pictures too. To God be the glory! Without Him, I can do nothing. :)
Have a great week!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alisa, I really like this. What a great parallel you make. Pride, such a battle and what you say about God allowing it and then conquering it is beautiful.

11:32 PM  
Blogger The Unknowngnome said...

And another fine analogy it is! One should use the "culturally relevant" to reach those outside the choir.

12:40 AM  
Blogger cheryl said...

Very insightful.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

I love how secular movies can sometimes lead us to spiritual truths we never thought we would find in them!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Heart n Soul said...

Nice to come across your blog....found you over at Shandas. :) ... a thought provoking post.

9:23 AM  
Blogger lioneagle said...

Hi Alisa -

You expressed, "Life trials are not fun, but when we trust the hand of God, they can pull out our impurities and shape us into the image of Christ."

Hearty Amens!

We must go through to cross over...

Praise our Lord for His help. We so need it regularly!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Renee Ann said...

I love how you engage with the culture! I do this with family members and my students. There's no way they'll watch and read what I am, so I have to use what they're familiar with to share deeper truths. I always appreciate your analogies!

5:43 PM  
Blogger Jami said...

I love how you tied these two together. Great food for thought!

9:03 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

Alisa: A fine review. I like how you tied in Luke 22 regarding Peter to this story. Very thought provoking!

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

I love this analogy. It reminds me of how Jesus used parables to speak to people in a way that they would easily understand.

Loved this!


10:09 AM  
Blogger Patti Hanan said...

It is always an unexpected treasure when spiritual truth is found in a secular movie (or book). This is a great analogy of why evil is allowed. We are all being sifted like wheat to help us grow into spiritual maturity. Thank you for this insightful post.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Toyin O. said...

I have never seen this movie, but it sounds interesting, I will have to check it out. I am thankful that everything allowed in our lives is meant to purify us as gold.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Marsha Young@Spots and Wrinkles said...

We can rejoice when we run into trials and problems .... yes, we CAN, but DO we? :)

In my own case, sometimes the answer is "yes", but sometimes it is "not so much."

Good post. ...Marsha

7:33 PM  
Blogger lines n shades said...

there is a lot to understand and learn from here. glad to have found your wonderful blog :)

1:38 AM  
Blogger JT said...

Trials and tribulations are tests in our lives. God Bless You.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

"Life trials are not fun, but when we trust the hand of God, they can pull out our impurities and shape us into the image of Christ."

Love this Alisa, and I love the spiritual truths you found in this movie and they way you've shared it.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Crown of Beauty said...

I loved the movie Thor for its spiritual analogies. I understood it better after reading your post. Your insights into the motives of Odin for allowing the evil Loki to infiltrate his kingdom is something worth thinking about. You did a remarkable connection between the evil used by the wise Odin to sift the true from the false in his son Thor and the evil used by God to build character in His sons is remarkable. Indeed, even evil is a powerful tool in the hands of a wise God. Risky, but it all pays off beautifully in those who are being groomed to reign for eternity.

This is my first time here, I came over after reading your article entitled Eternal Summer in Sanctified Together. What you wrote was beautiful.

Just wanted you to know.


6:55 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Praying that God will give me strength for the sifting, patience for the refining, and confidence in His wise use of both in my life.

May He fill me with His character, and transform my thinking...


7:42 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

So many popular movies are great analogies of the Bible stories!

9:33 AM  

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