Tonight our church featured for family night the movie, God Is Not Dead. I highly recommend it to everyone whether you are a believer or not. I also think this is an excellent movie for middle and high school students but the entire family will benefit from the themes that are woven throughout. I’d like to share a few of those that were most obvious to me.
God can fix anything. Everyone in the movie had some issue or challenge and the one deal changer in all of them was legitimate, abiding relationship with God. The moment we allow God in He begins the process of setting in order anything that is out of order. It’s almost as if He is waiting to be let in. We wrongly assume the relationship is wrong or the situation is wrong when in actuality it is simply devoid of God’s presence and power. Doing things God’s way results in great joy, peace and blessings.
God must be first. Several characters in the movie had to choose between family or friends and God. Admittedly, it is painful when those we care most for have differing opinions than we do regarding faith. What is evident is when we aim to please God he will ensure that the voids that are created are filled with something or someone far healthier for us. We must worship with those closest to us but we must not worship those closest to us.
Don’t make decisions out of fear. Fear is paralyzing. When the motivation of our decision-making is fear of being alone, fear of people not being pleased, fear of failure or fear of being ashamed then we are already greatly hinder God’s work in us. God’s love for us provides us with a faith not a fear in that love. We then have faith that we will not be alone, faith we will not be ashamed and faith we will not fail.
Forgiveness is powerful. It releases both the offended and the offender. Often we are unaware of the deep-seated oppression and bondage the offender is sitting with. We cannot heal a negative action with another negative action nor can we deny the depth of hurt attached to what others do to us. The very act of forgiveness attaches a sense of worth which alone can motivate us to change in ways punishing people will never accomplish.
We must share our faith more. There are so many individuals and people groups that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We must be willing to witness regarding Jesus not in a condemning or judgmental way but out of our own biblically based experience. There is power in personal experience and conviction.
God’s favor is real. What we often see as messy and hurtful are really disguises for the blessings of God. If we believe in God’s goodness (God is good all the time and all the time God is good) then we know he will never give us less than what is good. There are moments when our prayer for healing is answered in sickness or even death. Moments when prayers of comfort result in moments of heartache only for us to discover that was actually the place of his favor and blessings.
Have you seen the movie? What did you learn? I welcome your feedback.