THE WOMAN IN THE RED DRESS
By Ariel Klay
Word count: 1209
Summary: Klay reveals distraction as a powerful tool of the Devil
“Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25 NASB).
The woman in the red dress training program Morpheus uses on Neo in The Matrix is designed to teach about the power of distraction. The devil knows that you are unstoppable if you are focused on God and His Word, so the devil will do all he can to disrupt that focus. Recall Morpheus’ explanation to Neo that “most of these people [in the Matrix] are not ready to be unplugged and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.” [Morpheus stops abruptly] “Were you listening to me, Neo, or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?” Neo stops and says, “I was…” and Morpheus interrupts him, saying, “Look again.” And there is an Agent where the woman in red was standing before, holding a gun to Neo’s head. Morpheus explains that Agents can take over a plugged-in mind at any time, which makes an imprisoned mind the enemy, that anyone who is still connected to the system is the enemy. This attitude explains why Morpheus and other members of the resistance have no problem killing people still plugged into the Matrix.
Now before I go on further, let me make it clear that Christians are not to have this callous attitude. The Bible is very clear about how we are to regard those who consider us their enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NASB). Our true battlefield is a spiritual one, in our prayer closet, which is why Paul wrote, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:11-12 NASB). Please notice how Paul says that our fight is against spiritual forces, not physical ones. The devil is in charge of this world, this matrix, and our fight is with him, not the flesh and blood human beings he may try to use to oppose us. It is true that the person the devil is using may think they are hopelessly dependent on this world system and react out of fear to us. However, that is all the more reason for us to pray for them and not just so they will stop bugging us, but because we feel compassion for them and want them to experience freedom from darkness, which is precisely our mission on this earth, to be a witness of Jesus’ love and compassion to everyone.
Keep in mind, however, that Paul made it clear that we are in a battle. After all, a person doesn’t need armor in a time of peace. Moreover, the devil is not going to go down without a fight. He does not want us to be going after the people he’s holding captive. After all, when he loses them, he loses vessels he can work through to do his evil deeds. So he is going to oppose us and he will use every weapon at his disposal to do so and as I said at the start, one of his deadliest is the weapon of distraction. Jesus spoke of this weapon when he explained the parable of the sower, describing what happened to the seed that was choked by thorns. He explained that the seed was the word of God that was sown on four types of people. In describing the third type, He said, “the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22 NASB). In saying that the word was unfruitful, Jesus meant that the plant was unproductive. By that, I think Jesus meant that person was ineffective. I don’t believe that person fell away, because that is what happened to the second type of person Jesus described who fell away because of persecution (Matthew 13:21). It is likely that the third kind of person Jesus described went to Heaven, but did not take many others with him or her because the word in his or her heart was not able to fully mature.
So what kept the word from becoming fruitful? Jesus said it was the “worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth.” Now this is not the only time Jesus ties worry with money. In fact, just seven chapters before He taught the parable of the sower, Jesus told His disciples, “do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25 NASB). He assures His followers that, “your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:32-33 NASB). Since we know He will eventually say that worry about money will choke the word, it is little wonder that Jesus preaches so emphatically against giving in to anxiety. Now Jesus is not saying that God is opposed to us having food and clothing, but what He does not want is us to be worried about them because He knows that worry is the very weapon the devil seeks to use to keep our eyes off God and His Word. And why is the enemy so desperate to keep our eyes off God? Jesus said if we seek God (which includes seeking His Word), faithfulness will open the door for God to provide for us. You see the deceitfulness, or lie, of wealth is this–greed calls out to us saying, “Look for things to take care of you. Get as much stuff as you can so that you will always be secure.” In other words, make money your god. The sad thing is, money and things can never be a good god. It can’t give a person health, happiness, or peace of mind. It will always leave you empty, thus Jesus speaks of the deceitfulness of riches. So what happens when you keep your mind focused on God and His Word and off worry and anxiety? Two things happen; first, you will start to bear fruit in the kingdom because you will be doing what He asks you to do, sharing the love of Jesus; second, God will be free to pour provision into your life, making you a witness of God’s love and faithfulness. And the only thing potentially standing between us and God’s supernatural provision is distraction! So learn a lesson from Neo and keep your eyes off the woman in the red dress!
Ariel Klay’s love affair with science fiction began around the time she was water baptized a Christian at the age of thirteen. She holds a B.A. in English from Sonoma State University and writes a blog called “Confessions of a Jesus Geek”, in which she uses science fiction and fantasy to illustrate how to live victoriously in Christ (find it at facebook.com/confessionsofajesusgeek/ ). She is also the captain/president of The Starship Asimov: an Independent Science Fiction Fan Club (find it at facebook.com/StarshipAsimov/ ), which is based in Ukiah in Northern California, where she makes her home.