Posted on: Monday, November 6th, 2006 by Marsha West
Facing the Giants is a powerful movie. The message is clear: Win or lose, trust God. The story takes place at a Christian high school in Georgia. The plot is predictabledesperate coach turns football team around. The theme is the proverbial “David and Goliath,” only this Goliath is a champion football team. The undefeated Giants are bigger, faster and they're tougher than an over cooked steak. Gnawing on a lollipop stick, the Giant's robust head coach oozes arrogance and overconfidence. Losing to the undermanned Shiloh Eagles never entered this coaches mind. The Eagle's failing coach, Grant Taylor, has never had a winning season. Now Taylor is going through a life crisis, battling fear and failure. He's struggling with what God's will is for him, his wife, and his losing team. The pivotal moment in the film comes when Coach Taylor sells his new philosophy and game plan to the players. During his lecture he asks several of them their reason for playing the game. They respond, “To win.” In other words, they want to get all the glory and draw attention to themselves. Coach thunders, “We're not here to get glory, make money, and die!” That's news to the boys. All along they thought games were played to win. So, if they're not here to get all the glory, then why are they here? What's life all about, anyway? Coach Taylor is prepared with the answers. He tells the team that Christians should be living life for the greater glory of God. Not for themselves. What does the greater glory of God mean? In a sermon given by Pastor Gary Vanderet, he says it means God-dependence. “Sports can be very exciting, but they are not a basis on which to live life. The desire to compete and succeed is not enough. Games are replete with statistics and, like the law written on stone, statistics testify to performance. Someone always scores more points; some team always wins more games. You can't build a life on a foundation as demanding as this.”Coach Taylor makes this point to his players. He persuades them that the principal of God-dependence, where someone's skills, talents and training are used to honor God, God will be at work. “Then you experience an excitement and a glory that is greater than the one you feel when you want to show off what you can do. Thus it will not be you but God who will accomplish things.” During the remainder of the season the Eagles learn how Christ's power can help them face their fears and overcome difficult odds. They learn God-dependence.Facing the Giants will affect you. It will make you want to get your priorities in order. Moreover, it will make you want to live for God.Election Day is Tuesday. According to the latest polls Republicans will hold on to the Senate by the skin of their teeth and lose the House. If the Dems win the House and gain seats in the Senate, expect to see liberals high fiving each other all over town. Most Republicans will be in a sour mood. I predict that the conservatives who think the GOP deserve to lose both the Senate and the House will have a few regrets when the anti-war secular-progressives start wielding their power like a hammer. I've addressed the election in other commentaries, so I'll move on.It may surprise some of you that there are people of faith in both parties. My point in bringing this up is that anyone who claims to love God, no matter what his or her political persuasion, should act like it! Thus this Tuesday's winners must resist the urge to gloat. Losers must contain their anger. The Reagan conservative says, “The truth shall make you free, but first it shall make you angry.” The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin”(Ephesians 4:26).Christians who involve themselves in mean-spirited discourse are indulging in sin. Don't take the bait! “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). There's no justification for Christians to get involved in hateful rhetoric. Leave that to the godless. Serious Christians must pray for their enemies. This is not a suggestion, by the way; it's a command. Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). In her article, We Need His Kind, Peggy Noonan tells a poignant story about Senator Rick Santorum, a conservative Republican running for reelection. He's 10 points down in the polls and “is about to get his head handed to him.” Nevertheless, Senator and Mrs. Santorum pray for his opponent daily. In a phone interview Ms Noonan asked the Senator if it's true. “Sure, he said, surprised at my surprise. We pray for the Caseys every night. We know it's as hard for them as it is for us.'" The Santorums take seriously Christ's command to, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” They should be an example to all Christians. There's no doubt Republicans are facing their own giants this election, and for good reason. Win or lose, Christians have got to trust Christ! We must start living life for the greater glory of God! Christ's power will help us overcome our fears. It's called faith. And faith is what Christianity is all about.Notes:A Greater Glory: 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 Sermon by Pastor Gary Vanderet of Peninsula Bible Church, Cupertino, CA http://www.pbcc.org/sermons/vanderet/1222.htmlCopyright by Marsha West, 2006. All rights reserved.
Articles by Marsha West
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