Don’t get me wrong. I love Yoda. You know – that little green Jedi who sounds like Kermit the Frog on steroids? I love that he’s two feet tall and can whoop up on bad guys 3 times his size. I especially like how after he opens up a can of Star Wars kick tail and jumps around like a Mexican jumping bean, he leans on his staff and limps off into the sunset.
Except there is one wayward thing about the Jedi Master that I must mention: his view of God. When he’s whipping out wise and whimsical sayings about life, he’s right on the mark. But when Yoda goes into all things spiritual: Coruscant we have a problem!
Yoda is a prime time preacher for a thing called The Force. An impersonal energy field that "surrounds us and binds us" (Yoda: The Empire Strikes Back). With The Force you can do all kinds of cool things like lift up X-Wings and do major flips, but if you need a personal God to connect with, I’m afraid you’re out of luck, karma, or whatever phrase you’d like to use.
Too bad that Yoda was never able to get a hold of a Bible. It would have simplified his life so much, because he could have discovered everything he needed to know about the nature of God from the very mouth of God.
Maybe he’s still out there somewhere. Maybe he’s even able to read Soul Fuel because he ran a google search on "Yoda" and it linked him to dare2share.org? Or not. Either way, I would like to offer you an open letter to our Jedi hero, because it’s definitely something that would help us in our understanding of the God who gave us earthly life, died to give us eternal life, and is coming back one day to bring us into the perfect life.
LOVED your work in the Star Wars series. Thanks for showing me that even short people with unfortunate skin can still do amazing things.
I am writing to you because I take issue with your view of God. I know you’ve been taught that there’s a Force with a good and bad side that pretty much rules the universe, but you need to know that you’ve been fed a load of poodoo.
The Bible- a book written by God Himself- explains that there is one God who exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. If you want to know how this works, read 1 + 1 + 1 = 1?. Now, nobody would argue that God the Father and God the Son are an impersonal force, but unfortunately, your convictions about "God" have made their way into the minds of the average Christian as far as the way they see God the Holy Spirit. One survey revealed that 61% of US residents agreed with the statement the Holy Spirit is "a symbol of God’s presence or power, but is not a living entity". This shows me that there are a whole lot of Christians who have a whole lot of misconceptions about the Holy Spirit, so let’s take a look at the Book.
The Holy Spirit is a real Person who came to live within Christians after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Here’s what Jesus promised:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans–I will come to you. (John 14:16-18)
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. If the Holy Spirit was merely an energy field, then He could not speak (Acts 13:2); He could not be grieved (Eph. 4:30); and He would not have a will (1 Cor. 12:11). Most importantly, He wouldn’t be called a He! The Holy Spirit can think (1Cor. 2:11 ), feel (Rom. 15:30 ), and act on His own will (1Cor. 12:11 ). In fact the Holy Spirit is a Person equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son. All the divine attributes credited to the Father and the Son (like being everywhere, being all-powerful, all knowing, etc.) are equally credited to the Holy Spirit. When a person becomes born again by believing and receiving Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13; John 3:3-21), God resides in that person through the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16 ).
The Force may reside in Star Wars characters so they can do funky things that involve cool special effects, but let me tell you what the Holy Spirit does for Christians.
First, He reveals God’s will and God’s truth to a Christian. He shows us what God wants us to do with our lives, and also brings to mind truths from the Bible that help us live the awesome life that God died to give us. Here’s what Jesus said:
But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative–and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you (John 14:26)
Second, the Holy Spirit lives inside those who have trusted Jesus so that His character shows up in the life of a believer. The Holy Spirit helps us have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Basically He is God living inside us, which allows Him to convict us when we go astray (John 16:8-11), shows us what the Bible teaches, (John 16:12-15), guides us on the right path (Romans 8:14), lets us know that everything is going to be OK (Romans 8:16), prays for us (Romans 8:26), and according to Romans 8:28, He makes sure that all things work together for our good.
OK, so a loving, giving, leading Person who we can talk to and rely upon vs. an impersonal energy field that could help us qualify for the cirque du soleil. I think I’ll take option #1.
The Holy Spirit also has a role in the lives of non-Christians. He lets people know that they are in a broken relationship with the God who made them, and that they need God’s forgiveness. He also lets them know all about who Jesus is – how He died in our place for the wrong things we have done, and how those who don’t accept His free gift of salvation will come under God’s eventual judgment of the world (John 16:8-11).
So Yoda, let me sum this up with a quote from one of our great Christian writers:
"Spell this out in capital letters: THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON. He is not enthusiasm. He is not courage. He is not energy. He is not the personification of all good qualities, like Jack Frost is the personification of cold weather. Actually, the Holy Spirit is not the personification of anything…… He has individuality. He is one being and not another. He has will and intelligence. He has hearing. He has knowledge and sympathy and ability to love and see and think. He can hear, speak, desire, grieve and rejoice. He is a Person."
A W Tozer,
May the Holy Spirit be with you my little green friend.