Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Facing the Giants" Review

Eight months ago, I wrote about the movie "Facing the Giants." No theaters northeast of Philadelphia were showing it, so I never got to see it. But my family recently bought the DVD.

Initial reaction
Best. Movie. Ever.

It was inspiring, it was heartbreaking, it was funny. A lot of movies can be those, but because of the overt reliance on God portrayed in the movie, it overwhelmingly surpasses any other secular or "undercover Christian" film. ("The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" excepted, since I haven't yet seen it. I'm sure it's great too.)

This movie was the most realistic to my experiences, because God was a part of the character's daily lives. "Family-friendly" secular movies, though good, do not have this aspect, and they are utterly devoid of importance compared to "Facing the Giants."

Faithful representation of truth
One thing I especially appreciated was that biblical truths were realistically portrayed. Usually you must die to your dearest desires before the Lord will bless you.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit." (John 12:24)
Another truth was that you can't just ask God to bless the football team and expect amazing changes if your heart is not devoted completely to Him. God won't just give you what you want because you're saved. You must be completely, honestly, given to the Lord in all areas of your life.

Things I got out of it
Another thing that made this movie different from all others is that it is truly inspirational. It challenged me: am I going to give God my best? Will I be a leader even when I'm weak?

I was impressed also with the idea that we are to entrust all outcomes of situations to God, sacrificing what we want, but still give Him our best efforts.

Then praise Him no matter what, because He led us.

This is pictured in a quote from the character of Mr. Bridges: "I heard of a story of two farmers praying to God for rain to come. Both prayed but only one prepared the land. Who do you think trusted God more to send the rain?"

Favorite quotes
All these quotes reveal what truths impacted me. There are so many ways they can be applied to daily life!

Coach Taylor to his wife, Brooke:
"If the Lord never gives us children, will you still love Him?"

"So you think God does care about football?"
Coach Taylor: "I think He cares about your faith; He cares about where your heart is. If you live your faith out on the football field, then yes, God cares about football because He cares about you."

Coach Taylor: "But it's not just out on the football field: we've got to honor Him in our relationships, in our respect for authority, in the classroom—and when you're home alone surfing the Internet."

Coach Taylor: "[In order for God to do great things with this team,] we need to give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him; and if we lose we praise Him. Either way. We honor Him with our actions and our attitudes."

Coach Taylor: "Your attitude is the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart's not right."

Coach Taylor: "I've resolved to give God everything I've got and leave the results up to Him."

Brooke Taylor to God: "I will still love you, Lord!"

Coach Taylor to Brock: "This is when it matters most. I know you're tired. It's easy to lead when you're strong, but now is when you lead! Right now!"

Coach Taylor to David: "Your job is to do the best you can and leave the results up to God."

Oh what joy is possible when we seek to honor and glorify God with everything we have—from the secret places of our hearts to every attitude and action!

Recommended Reading

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

The Complete Green Letters by Miles Stanford
Are you tired of typical Christianity and want to push on into a deeper relationship with the Lord? An excellent encouragement to every Christian, The Green Letters explains deep truths of faith, position and condition, justification and assurance, reconciliation and acceptance, and how they apply to our daily lives.

Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot
This biography of Jim Elliot, who was martyred while spreading the gospel to a savage tribe, is an inspiration to anyone who is sick of the average Christian life. Jim dedicated his life to the Lord, and the Lord led him where He wanted him to go, regardless of the opinions of men. Jim's life is a good example for all who want to walk godly.

Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
This is the record of Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian's work with the Indian tribes of Ecuador, and their joint effort to reach the savage Aucas with the gospel. Though they died young, the Lord was leading them, and rewarded their dedication to Him by bringing them home.

Preparing Sons (to Provide for a Single-Income Family) by Steven Maxwell
Based on the content, I think this would be better titled Preparing Sons for Life. Mr. Maxwell makes some excellent observations about what things to train in your sons at various stages in their lives, so that they will grow up to honor the Lord. Challenging, with a godly, biblical perspective, this is a book every father should read, as well as any wise young man who is willing to work these things out in his own life. Read my complete review

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis