Adventures In Missing The Point – Part I

Like most men, I enjoy movies.  Well, I should say I enjoy most movies.  Occasionally, I will see a movie that is so bad, so ridiculous, so horrible that I wish theaters had a money back policy.  I’m sure you know the kind of movie I am talking about.  The one where you walk out pretty sure you are dumber than when you went in.  For me, the most classic example of a movie like that is G.I. Joe.  I went with a bunch of guys from my church and they still talk about my moaning and groaning during the movie.  If you have never seen the movie, you are indeed blessed.  Here is the trailer for the movie.

I can’t even begin telling you all of the things wrong with this movie.  It would take way too much time and might break the internet.  As Dennis Quaid says in the trailer, “We have never faced a threat like this.”  He’s not talking about Cobra, he’s talking about the movie!

Talking about the movie after the fact, I was blasting away at the massive holes in the plot, ridiculing the absurdities of it and just plain mocking it when a friend of mine said, “You’re missing the point if you thought it would be good!  What did you expect, it was a movie based on a cartoon based on a toy.”  Touche!

Missing the point.  Something we seem to be born with an innate ability to do.  Over the next couple of weeks, I want to talk to you about a couple of guys who really missed the point.  The problem was the point they missed was a much more important one than the thoughts behind a movie.  In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son.  Here is a young man who decides he wants his freedom and he wants it now.  He has the boldness to go to his father and ask for his inheritance immediately.  Amazingly, the father gives it to him and, as soon as it is received, off he goes to enjoy his new found wealth.

We are all very familiar with the story but lately my thought has had a different focus than I usually do.  This son had tremendous freedom.  He enjoyed freedom in his relationship with his father, as is obvious by the outrageous request he made of him.  He also didn’t hesitate to take his money and run without a second thought as to how his actions would affect the family he was leaving behind.  He was so obsessed with enjoying his freedom that he ended up squandering it.

The sad thing is I see many followers of Christ today who have the same mindset.  They have come out of the bondage of legalism and tradition to find the amazing freedom we have in Christ.  They have discovered the truth in Galatians 5:1, where it says, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  It is an incredible verse full of wonderful truth.  Please don’t think that I am saying for one second that they are too free.  The Bible makes it very clear that God wants us to be absolutely free.

The problem I see is they never come to the place where they realize the purpose of their freedom.  God did not offer us absolute freedom in Christ so we could wander through life doing whatever we want.  God set us free so that, in our freedom, we could choose to live with Him and for Him.  Galatians 5 doesn’t end with verse 1 (I’m sure you knew that).  Verse 13 shows us how God desires us to use the freedom we have been given, not as permission to live for ourselves, but as an opportunity to live like Christ did.  It says, “You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Jesus taught that eternal life is not what happens when we someday get to heaven but that it is knowing God (John 17:3).  This means it is available for us now, in this life.  He set us free so nothing would hinder us in our discovery of this eternal life of knowing God and walking with Him.  If our freedom serves any lesser purpose than getting to know God, we are missing a point too important to overlook. Enjoy your freedom and let it serve the greatest purpose it can – a real, growing relationship with God.

2 Comments on “Adventures In Missing The Point – Part I”

  1. Kelly J October 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    that’s real good Doug. Thanks.

    • dougphaneuf October 4, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      Thanks Kelly. Appreciate the encouragement

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