FAIRYTALES: Things Are Not Always What They Seem
Continuing with our #FAIRYTALES blog series (which thus far could be referred to as a Disney Princess series lol), our next story is Moana. Moana is the newest Disney Princess on the scene and not only is she cute as a button, brilliant, and strong-willed in the best possible way, but I’m extremely partial to her because as far as the skin colour and hair are concerned, she looks like me (even though I’m not in the least bit Polynesian)! *smile*
SEE RELATED: FAIRYTALES: The Snow White Syndrome
Like me, many of you have probably watched Moana in the theater, on DVD, or on Netflix; you know her story. But for the benefit of those who have not seen it, I’ll recap it here for you.
The Story of Moana
Moana is the daughter of her local Polynesian tribe’s chieftain, making her akin to a princess. She is groomed for greatness and adored by her people. Yet as a young child, before she can even understand what’s happening, the Ocean chooses her for greatness as well.
Moana grows up. Her tribe is happy and free, but the darkness of the lava god, Te Ka, is spreading and as a result, their crops are failing and their fish fleeing the reef. Yet Moana has always been drawn to the Ocean and her grandmother has always known this as well as why. Moana did not come to understand her desire until she was a teenager and, with the help of her beloved grandmother, discovers that her ancestors were voyagers.
And not only does Moana learn the true history of her people, but she also learns that her election by the Ocean includes her finding the demi-god, Maui, bidding him to board her boat, and so they can restore the heart of the benevolent goddess, Te Fiti
Learning this great truth, she takes a boat and with her little, stowaway chicken, Hei Hei (pronounced “hay-hay”), and ventures into the great beyond. There she does indeed find the reluctant Maui hiding out on a deserted island, commands him to board her boat, and they’re off!
Through many trials and tribulations, they find their way to the dark isle and confront Te Ka and all of her lava-throwing terror. It does not go well, and they are cast away from the island, far back into the sea.
In anger and fear, Maui abandons Moana, and the princess is forced to face reality. But, right on time, the spirit of her recently deceased grandmother comes to her, encourages her, and she finds the strength to confront Te Ka and restore the heart of Te Fiti on her own.
This is when Moana truly finds out what she’s made of - and also, that she wasn’t quite alone as she thought she was. Maui repentantly comes back to assist her, throwing caution to the wind, and together, they fight the flaming Te Ka.
Maui creates distraction for Moana as she maneuvers closer and closer to the flaming god. He even launches into the traditional Polynesian Haka War Dance to provoke Te Ka, but that is when the moment of magic takes place: Moana finds the place where Te Fiti is said to be lying in repose, only to discover that she isn’t there! She cannot restore the heart of Te Fiti because there is no home for it...or is there?
She looks across the expanse to Te Ka and sees the home of the heart in the most unlikely place: in Te Ka’s empty bosom. And that’s when she understands that Te Ka and Te Fiti are one.
I have crossed the horizon to find you;
I know your name.
They have stolen the heart from inside you,
But this does not define you.
This is not who you are;
You know who you are
(Who you truly are.)
Moana understands that, robbed of her heart, Te Fiti has turned into Te Ka, and the restoration of her heart restores the goddess to her true nature, one that gives life instead of taking it. And in reward, Te Fiti restores the magical Hook of Maui that had been damaged in their confrontation and also repairs the boat of the young princess. Moana returns to her island which has been restored to fruitfulness, and takes her place as the [future] leader of her people and master Way-Maker.
Reconciliation & Restoration
Now, while I was watching this movie the other day while straightening my hair, it struck me: Moana was able to discern the true source of her problem, her people’s problem.
All her life she had been told one tale, one narrative, about Maui as well as Te Fiti/Te Ka. She went into “battle” believing that narrative. And yet that was not the case at all. Te Fiti and Te Ka are one. Te Ka was not some monster that deserved destruction. She deserved compassion and understanding, and that is, ultimately, what restored her to her true self.
Now, obviously, we are not pagans; we worship the one true God, Jehovah. We know that demi-gods are actually Nephilim, fallen ones, the fruit of fallen angels and ravished women as alluded to in Genesis 6:1-4. We know that dead ancestors do not turn into stingrays (or any other animals), and they do not return to visit us. That is the work of familiar spirits. And we are not here trying to restore hearts to evil spirits that lost them when they left their former estates in Heaven (Jude 6). However, we are trying to minister to people, sinners and saints alike. That is the business of Believers.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:17-19)
It can be so easy for us to try and create formulas when diagnosing people’s needs in deliverance. This can often lead to being judgemental. Not the judgment that all maturing Believers are to exercise (I Cor. 2:15), not wisdom (James 1:5), but rather malicious, gossipy, false conclusions that lead to bearing false witness against our neighbors.
For instance, it is easy for someone to look at a man who struggles with homosexuality and say, “They have a perverse spirit!” or “They have a spirit of homosexuality!” And think that is that man’s sole issue, not realising that, perhaps, he was never affirmed by his father or that, maybe, he was molested by a man [or woman] as a child, perhaps before he could even remember or articulate what happened to him. The homosexuality/perversion may indeed be the strongman, but you’re ignorant of the gateway spirit that is keeping the strongman in place.
John Paul Jackson’s Encounter with a Warlock
(Story starts about 14:00:00)
I recall a story the late John Paul Jackson told once. In it, he shared of a man he’d met while out witnessing. The man turned out the be a witch. And not just any witch, but a high-ranking, ruling witch in that region. As John Paul or “grandaddy” as my friend calls him, witnessed to the younger man, the younger man had a hard time looking at John Paul. He said that spirits were telling him to curse John Paul, but that he thought John Paul was such a nice man that he didn’t want to curse him. Over the course of this exchange, the young man shared his story with John Paul.
The young man had experienced a powerful vision years before. He’d gone to his pastor - yes, he was a former Believer! - and shared the vision with him. And to his shock, the pastor said, “God doesn’t speak like that anymore. That was the devil.” And disappointed, yet determined, the young man said, “There was more power in that vision than I’ve ever seen before in my life! If that was the devil, then I’m going to find him.” And he did. The devil met him, and he was hurled down the path of the Occult.
Upon hearing the vision, John Paul - the greatest teacher of biblical dream interpretation I’ve ever heard of - exclaimed, “That was a calling dream! That vision was telling you that you’re called to ministry!” To which the young man replied, “I know. But it’s too late.”
It would seem that all was not lost.
John Paul and his co-labourers had a lasting effect on the witch, and he began to hang out with them, spend time with them. So much so that he spent Halloween - a massive holy day among pagans and Occultists - with them, at church. He even asked someone to call his mom and tell her that he was at church instead of performing some grotesque pagan orgy!
Not long after, the young man was found dead, allegedly overdosed on drugs. The police believe that the coven discovered that he’d gotten too close to the Christians, and drugged him themself, killing him intentionally. John Paul believed that before the young man was killed, he had indeed dedicated his life to Christ. But what a life, what a ministry, he could have had if he had gone down another path!
Now, it would be so easy for us to encounter a witch or warlock and automatically assume that their heart was simply full of rebellion and that’s why they turned to witchcraft. Yet it would take the Holy Spirit to enable us to discern the wound that prepared the heart for the said rebellion.
GET JOHN PAUL’S FULL TEACHING HERE!
When I teach on the Spirit of Jezebel, I teach that I believe many a Deborah that was misunderstood or abused became a Jezebel. The right conditions create the perfect storm. We cannot judge people by their fruit alone. We must understand how that fruit came to be to begin with. Where are the seeds from? What soil did they grow in? What were the soil’s conditions? What was the condition of the roots?
We all have a story and many of those stories are not pretty, regardless of how we turned out. Sin is indeed sin, yet God desires to save us from that sin, from our past, from the demonic ties that bind, so we can walk in the freedom and fullness He has for us.
Jesus and Mary of Magdalene
You don’t like the Moana example? Find John Paul’s story to incredulous? There’s always the Word of God.
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance. (Luke 8:1-3)
Mary Magdalene, often speculated to be the woman caught in the act of adultery, had seven demons cast out of her. Now I don’t know if she was a prostitute or an adulterer. I don’t know if she had an STI or an STD (sexually transmitted demon) in addition to other infirmities. I don’t know if she was a wild woman or just plain crazy. But what I DO know is that Christ had compassion on her, looked past what she was to what she could be, and delivered her out of her bondage. Her reward was to walk with Immanuel, and according to Mark 16:1-11, be the first to see Him post-crucifixion and spread the news to the Disciples. The singer, Anthony Brown, put it this way:
You thought I was worth saving
So You came and changed my life
You thought I was worth keepin’
So You cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
So You sacrificed Your life so I could be free, so I could be whole, so I could tell everyone I know!
Now if that was what Jesus did for Mary, isn’t that what we should do for others also since we are to follow His example?
Now obviously, Moana is not a Christian story, but I hope you will enjoy and apply the Christian truth with can draw from it.