("The Matrix," Warner Bros. Studios, 1999)
It is no secret that The Matrix has many symbolic references to the Christian faith (i.e. free will, Trinity, supernatural abilities, the need for a Messiah, etc.). The red pill/blue pill scene is just one of them. Like the gift of free will, people have the choice to see the glorious (and sometimes painful) truth of God's reality by choosing the red, blood of Christ, pill. Or, they can remain ignorant and in denial (which ultimately leads to destruction) and choose the blue pill. As a follower of Jesus, all I can say is, "Thank you God. Thank you for that precious 'red pill!'"
My life-changing choice to follow Jesus many years ago has allowed me, like Neo, to realize there is far more to my existence than what I could have ever known. I no longer live in ignorance nor choose to seek to. As a new creation, I have been given a full vantage point of God's law, God's grace, and God's glory upon me. It is a beautiful collision and one that continues to be unveiled to me.
Still, even with this amazing grace, what God really wants for me (and everyone) is to keeping counting on to three. Scripture argues there is a third 'pill' to choose from and this pill is far more precious than the first two. This pill is His Presence. Whether you are a follower of Christ or a pre-Christian, God truly wants to be in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, the law (step one) will reveal His perfect desires and expectations of you. His grace (step two) will reveal why you needed His son Jesus Christ as your Savior. But step three, the one we don't continually seek to press into, is actually where the party really happens. His Presence is where God's true beauty is revealed. It is His Presence that literally brings Heaven to earth. Being a friend of the Holy Spirit is the power source to all things heavenly and His Presence is the trump card that always wins any hand.
Whether it was Moses seeking the power and peace provided by God's Presence (Exodus 33:14), David seeking to bring the Ark (God's earthly Presence) back to bless Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15), or even Jesus promising to send the Holy Spirit in order us to be better off (John 16:7) , scripture is filled with how God wants to be one with us at all times. And even though we know this is His choice for us, we fail God and don't choose the same for Him. All too often we, as the Church, stop after choosing Christ's red pill. We fall short of destiny and just settle for salvation to be our finish line. This is a tragic mistake for any follower to do because God desires us to continually count to three and give us even more.
With no doubt or argument, choosing Jesus Christ as our Savior is HUGE to our walk with the Lord. It truly changes everything. But we must remember that salvation is the starting point not the finish line. We must press in always (through prayer, through constant worship, through doing as Jesus commands, through sanctification, through earnestly seeking the spiritual gifts, through sharing His spiritual fruit, etc.) for His Presence. His Presence is the one thing.
Continue to count to three Church. God's Presence will turn law into love; grace into treasure; and allow worshipping Him to be the only 'pill' we'll choose forever. In God's Presence... there is no substitute.