Last night was the opening night of the new movie Courageous, (from the creators of Fireproof and Facing the Giants) and I went to see it with a group of friends. In a world where most of what we view as entertainment is pointless at best, harmful at worst, it was so incredibly refreshing to sit in a movie theater and hear truth. The movie was very well done, the acting was wonderful, and it included a powerful presentation of the gospel. It addressed an issue that desperately needs attention. I don't usually cry in movies, but I was teary eyed literally within the first two minutes. I highly recommend it. However, I would like to share my thoughts on something I felt was lacking.
In the movie, a group of men sign a resolution after certain circumstances propel them into action. In this resolution, they state their intent to be the kind of fathers God would have them be. They have seen a problem, a truth, and rather than staying where they are and nodding their heads in agreement, they seek to live it. A very right response, but there is a very important something the movie barely addressed:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing."
John 15:5 (Jesus is speaking, emphasis mine)
We can't just say that we want to be a better father, mother, sister, friend, leader, son, etc, look at God's blueprint in the Bible, and then make it happen. However great our conviction, however firm our resolve, our own efforts are not enough. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that change isn't possible. If God has called us to be something then He will enable us, but that is the key! He is the One who changes us, and it is only through His grace and His Spirit working in us that we could ever live the set-apart, world altering lives He has called us to live.
That being said, let me reiterate that I highly recommend the movie. (Although be aware that it does have some fairly intense gang related violence.) I would just like to encourage you to remember as you watch that it is only through our Lord that such change is possible!