When you think of the description dynamic duo, who or what comes to mind? Your answer will likely come from the context of when you were born but will typically refer to two individuals who team up in incredible ways, have a unique relational chemistry, and leave a lasting impression in our memories. One that will connect with many will be that of Batman and Robin who were dubbed as “the dynamic duo” at the outset of the creation of this crime fighting pair. The age of television brought us many in other roles as well including Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz, Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza, Laverne and Shirley, and Felix Unger and Oscar Madison (“The Odd Couple”).
Those of you connected to the sports scene would think of others such as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, Aaron Rogers and Davante Adams, or Tom Brady and Chris Godwin. The music world has dynamic duos as well such as Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Carpenters to name a very few.
Whatever the context may be we tend to think of any dynamic duo as being powerful in that context. But what happens if we breakdown the meaning of the words? Duo is easy because it means two or a pair. Dynamic used as a noun means “a force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process” or when it is describing as an adjective it means “characterized by constant change, activity.”
Powerful dynamic duos are not always positive characters as we see in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic series, The Lord of the Rings. And if we are facing a dark dynamic duo meant for our harm, an enemy, it is key to recognize the goal and the weapons to stand during an onslaught. That is never truer than in the spiritual realm when the enemy of our souls would want to defeat us in any way possible to rob Christ of the victory He won at the cross and through his resurrection.
We want to be wise to the ways we may be tempted and assaulted but despite our efforts, most of us falter and stumble along the way. Ever since the Garden of Eden the cunning and devious devices of Lucifer and his minions have been honing their crafty ways. Just like in the Garden, they don’t show up with horns and a tail as drawings depict them and as the world swirls and darkens, we must recognize the devices we too easily fall prey to.
The pandemic has impacted us in more ways than the physical disease and illness haunting us for the past two years. It has also resulted in us being more isolated from one another and less sure of a great many things we hear and read. Our times of connection and fellowship have been limited and some have used this time to deepen their faith while others have struggled just to maintain their faith.
Two powerful tools (dynamic duo weapons) have been and are prominent that we must be on the alert to recognize and stand against. One is a favorite of Lucifer’s – doubt. He used it back in the Garden with Adam and Eve with great effectiveness and it is still one of his favorites. We are most likely to succumb to it when we are listening to a vast array of voices where many are not speaking truth or speaking in half-truth. These sorts of voices tend to raise doubt about what we believe and without a firm foundation of truth and knowledge of what God says we can get duped. They also erode hope or misplace where it is found.
Church gatherings during the pandemic left many of us unable to assemble and we needed to try to glean our spiritual underpinnings from virtual sources. There is no doubt we can be grateful for this option and yet it has not been the same as the sense of the Holy Spirit moving in a live worship experience. For some of us it may have exposed how much we rely on someone else to tell us what the Bible says rather than our own reading and study of it. We want and need good shepherds to lead us and the fellowship of gathering together, but the responsibility to read and study is still ours as well and it is what helps us stand when we are separated from one another. Christ wants to help us stand and gives us resources to do so.
“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”James 1:6-8 (NLT)
Once we are caught up in doubt, Lucifer uses his second punch – division. No matter where you live, worship, or work, division has been increasing in alarming rates so that it can too often be impossible for most of us to have a conversation with someone whose views vary from our own even on small matters. Little wonder that one of the popular terms of the day is binary thinking. If you aren’t acquainted with the term, here is the definition:
“Denotes a system of thought that predominantly considers things in an “either, or”, “right, wrong”, “black, white” way, ignoring any subtleties or consideration of third or more alternatives.”Urban Dictionary
There are indeed absolutes and morality that makes a clear point of what is right or wrong, but the enemy has twisted things so that we now have elevated personal preferences and opinions to the same level as moral values largely accepted. The results have divided families, friends, neighbors, churches, organizations, and nations. Sadly, we have been sucked into it far more than we should. Sometimes it has been a lack of solid footing on the foundation of absolute truth or not believing there is such a thing. But make no mistake, this tool of the enemy has a knockout punch that can result in irreparable damage.
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”Matthew 12:25 (NIV)
If we are to deal with this dynamic duo in the onslaught we face each day, we must awaken to the truth and the foundation and promises it holds for us and remember whose we are and let our words and actions look more like Christ’s.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”Colossians 4:6 (NIV)