This is Faith in Play #42: Lucifer, for May 2021.
A few months back I looked at a controversial television series and expressed some thoughts on guidance. This month I am looking at an even more controversial television series, Lucifer, and finding another lesson.
Yes, the theology is wonky in so many ways, and the characters are all fundamentally immoral in their attitudes and actions. However, the show often causes me to think, challenging me with interesting ideas. This is one of them.
To bring you up to speed, the titular character is indeed the Lord of Hell to whom all demons owe allegiance, whose job it is to torture those whose guilt brings them there. He’s tired of it. He feels like his Father, God, is running his life, and he wants to be free of that, to run his own life. Sound familiar? So he goes to Los Angeles and opens a nightclub.
He meets Chloe, a police detective going through a divorce but a woman of integrity, and he finds her fascinating. He also finds that she makes him vulnerable—quite literally. Normally nothing can harm him, but when she’s near he becomes mortal in his vulnerability. She doesn’t know he’s the devil incarnate—indeed, initially the only ones who know are the angel sent to persuade him to return to his job in hell, and the demon who came along with him as something of a sidekick. However, over the course of many episodes it is clear that Lucifer and Chloe are falling in love with each other.
Then, several seasons in, the bomb drops. Chloe was a miraculously born child, whom God created specifically to be the perfect mate for Lucifer. Lucifer learns this, and he is furious: once more God is manipulating his life.
I am one of those who believes that God created one woman who was perfect for me, for whom I was the perfect man, and brought us together. I would wager that at least some of the regular readers of this column hold a similar belief. That doesn’t mean everything always runs smoothly—part of that perfect mate is that she, or he, is going to be one of God’s tools in knocking off your rough edges, in forming you into the person He intended you to be. I am grateful that God has done this for us.
See the difference?
God made me; God made Lucifer. God made my wife, and He made Chloe. I perceive that in making me God knew exactly what He was making, and so in making my wife He created someone who would fit perfectly. That He manipulated our lives to bring us together is one of the good things He did for us. Yet for Lucifer, the fact that he has fallen for the girl whom God made to be perfect for him, and she for him, is God controlling his life, and he does not want that. This might be the perfect girl made especially for him, but he would rather be miserable in hell than let God dictate that which makes him happy somewhere else.
Back in Bible college people often talked about the prayer that said to God, “I’ll go anywhere you want, except to be a missionary to Africa.” We talked about how foolish that was, because if God’s perfect plan for your life included being a missionary to Africa, there was no place else where you would be happier. We all want to be happy, but we all have this notion that we know what will make us happy, and we want that and not something else. God knows what will make us not only happy but the best selves we can be, and He promises to perform that work in us.
The question for us is whether we will let God guide our lives, or insist on having it our own way.