Note: I love zombie apocalypse stories because they are a great metaphor for life crises. This blog series on the topic has four parts: 1) waking up in the crisis; 2) defining “alive”; 3) abandoning self-sufficiency; and 4) spiritual weapons and sustenance. All scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.
To conclude our journey through the zombie apocalypse, we’ll discuss the two most important keys to survival: What about weapons for self-defense? And what about sustenance (food and water)?
So, what about weapons?
There is no better reassurance than having a gun hanging off one shoulder—the bigger, the better. However, a gun is loud (zombies can hear, you know!), bullets could be hard to find, and a lot could happen in the moment it takes to reload. In fact, in a 2013 television episode of Mythbusters, Jamie and Adam took on the question of weapons in the zombie apocalypse. They compared a melee weapon (an electronic axe that registered fatal hits) to a projectile weapon (a gun which did the same) and found that the former kept a person alive longer, because the latter took too much time to reload. So if they say so, it must be true.
Similarly, in our daily spiritual battle against evil, the Bible recommends a melee weapon—the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17) against Satan’s projectile-type “fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16). This sword (the word of God) is silent, precise, and strategic. It requires getting up close and personal, rather than rushing in with guns blazing and possibly attracting more enemy attention. And, although this sword must be kept clean and sharp through regular maintenance (that is, scripture reading and study), it never requires a reload.
Finally, what about sustenance?
Food is a huge question—so big that I won’t even try to touch it here. But water—water is everything. Even with the best living space, the greatest community, the strongest defenses, and the most inexhaustible food supply, no one survives without water. And the lack of it can drive people mad with thirst.
Without water, the Hebrews in the wilderness cried out to return to slavery in Egypt, arguing that being slaves with water was better than being free people without it (Numbers 20:5).
Without water, Hagar abandoned her own son, Ishmael, in the desert because she could not bear to watch him die of thirst (Genesis 21:13-16).
Without water, Elijah became so depressed that he didn’t want to live (I Kings 19). He was also suffering from lack of food, rest, and encouragement; but water is such a basic physical need that I’m convinced the lack of it was a factor in his depression.
In the same way, water is the top priority in the zombie apocalypse. And again, there is a spiritual solution: Christ, the living water.
During the insanity and desperation of my own personal apocalypse, I was pulled every which way from thirst. I was in a spiritual desert. I wasn’t living; I was merely surviving, just trying to get by. But somehow Jesus quenched my thirst. I never asked him to do so; I never even thought to ask. But in mercy and love he got me through each day, giving me just enough hope to keep going. I see that now, but I couldn’t see it then. It is difficult to see his goodness in the midst of the apocalypse. Somehow, you just have to know that it is. That he is.
As Jesus told the woman at the well: “[W]hoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
We Christ-followers must continually drink of Christ himself, the living water.
So, from this post and my last one, let’s recap the conventional wisdom on how to survive the zombie apocalypse: Leave the “city” of self-sufficiency and learn to live “in the country,” depending on God every day. Join a small, close-knit community for support. Keep the sword of the Spirit sharp, clean, and ready to strike at the enemy. And above all, stay close to the source of living water, which is Christ Jesus.
I’m living proof that, if you do all of these things, when you awaken in your own personal zombie apocalypse you will get through it.