The jailbreak was quick and unexpected, at least from the perspective of Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2. Justin Hammer claimed to be a fan of Vanko’s work and facilitated the escape in order to put Vanko’s knowledge and ability to work. (Click here for a clip of the scene.)

 

Throughout the movie, Hammer believes he can direct and control the outcome of Vanko’s work. However, Hammer neither realizes nor understands that Vanko has his own agenda. This agenda motivates his every thought. Vanko will use any and every opportunity to achieve his agenda, even as the somewhat naive Hammer tires to use Vanko’s work for his own profit.

 

 

Harnessing Evil

 

According to the Bible, evil was originally unleashed in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve rejected God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Throughout the Bible and into modern history, Satan continues to peddle evil in the world. Evil is a part of our lives and only faith in Jesus will provide us with protection against the eternal effects of evil.

 

There are those who refuse to recognize Jesus and His saving grace. Instead, they choose to partner with evil. Today, people often play the part of Justin Hammer when they think they can use evil for their own purposes. At the same time, they fail to realize that evil always has its own purposes and cannot be controlled. Evil’s purpose is always to destroy. Any partnership with it never leads to anything good.

 

This partnership with evil occurs all around us and is something we must constantly guard against. The difficulty is that temptations, the first nudges of evil, often begin innocuously. Affairs can begin with a seemingly innocent conversation. For some pornography addiction has begun as the result of one accidentally visited website. Instead of recognizing the potential threat and turning away, some people continue along the path. They falsely believe their behavior isn’t hurting anyone else and is therefore OK. Affairs and pornography have both had devastating effects on families. For many, the end result can include broken homes, living in poverty, abuse, and even human trafficking.

 

We cannot insulate ourselves from all evil. But we can take steps to ensure we do not intentionally partner with evil. Here are 2 things to consider

 

 

Secrets

 

Satan loves to get a foothold in the thoughts and actions we don’t want anyone else to know about. These often are the secrets we will go to great lengths to protect. Satan often uses secrets to convince us that his lies are true. These secrets can be things that happened to us such as abuse by a trusted friend, parent, or grandparent. They can be things we chose to do, for instance cheating on an exam or plagiarizing in order to complete a written assignment. They can even result from things we don’t do, such as not following through on a promise we made.

 

Whatever leads to secrets being formed, they begin to lose their power when we choose not to protect them. This does not mean every person we know has to know our secrets. It does mean sharing with one or a few trusted people. One of the most revealing truths that often comes from being open about our secrets is that we find out we are not the only ones to have experienced the same issue.

 

Those who have been abused, chosen to have an abortion, or suffer from an illness often find relief and encouragement in discovering people who have had similar experiences and reactions. They find comfort in different perspectives and knowing they are not alone.

 

 

Trust Jesus

 

Hebrews 4.15 states, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” While Jesus never sinned, He did experience His share of temptations. We can find comfort in knowing there is nothing we have or ever will experience that Jesus did not also experience. As a result, we can trust Him with how we feel and more importantly the struggles we endure as we fight against evil and its temptations.

 

God has promised, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10.13) The more we rely on Jesus, the more God will give us a way out of the temptations. We must be aware, however, that the reverse is also true. The more we reject Jesus and the aid and strength He longs to give, the more we will find ourselves engulfed by evil and temptation.

 

Iron Man 2 is, of course, a fictional story. But it does serve to highlight the truth that trying to harness and control evil is futile. By the end of the movie, Justin Hammer’s motives were exposed and his attempt to get what he was after failed. Likewise, our attempts will similarly ultimately be exposed.

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