18 October 2011

Shadow Boxing

I recently watched the movie "Real Steel" with my friend Devon. It looked pretty cool in the previews so we decided last minute to watch it one Friday night. Plus, we didn't have anything better to do so we hit up the theater.

Well, as we were walking out of the theater Devon pretty much summed it up by saying that it was a "...perfect movie for a 13 year old." If I was 13, I would have thought the movie was awesome! But, seeing how I haven't quite gotten past 15 mentally, I still thought it was pretty good. That is, if you can ignore all the adult-bashing the movie portrays.

You see, every movie that comes out has more preaching in it than an entire Billy Graham crusade. Honestly, the world's most well-known pulpit is the movie/TV screen. And, the world calls us Christians a bunch of preaching fanatics?? Do you realize how many movies liberal Hollywood has been dishing out lately? Thankfully, I have this cool added feature in my life called the Holy Spirit to help me see through all the trash.

The Holy Spirit has this amazing way of taking what the world intends for bad and showing me something completely different. He's the best filter in the world, really. Kind of like filtered water; diseased water goes in, and good-for-me water comes out.

Let me get to the point. The movie is all about robot boxing. Instead of humans hitting each other and hurting themselves, we're now at the point in the future that robots have taken our place in the boxing ring.  Cool thing about it though, the robots are bigger and hit harder than any human can. Later in the movie this old robot is found in a junk yard by this little kid. The little kid is apparently a genius at computers so, with a little help from his dead-beat dad and his dad's girlfriend, the boy's able to get the robot back in good running order. However, the characters in the movie discover a really rare feature about this old beaten-up robot that's certainly uncommon for the era it was built. Usually these fighting robots are remote controlled by a human using either voice commands or dynamic remote controls that look like high-tech video game consoles. Well, this old throw-away robot has an extra feature. It can also shadow another person's movements. Whoever the robot is focused in on, he'll basically copy every movement verbatim.

Without giving too much of the movie away, this boy's robot, called Atom, is able to beat every challenger that comes in it's path. Finally, the boy has a chance at the championship bout. All the while, Atom is being controlled by the dead-beat dad that used to be a strong underdog boxer that never quite made it. The dad uses a voice command headset to tell the robot every move to make while it's fighting in the ring. Well into the championship match, Atom gets so badly beaten that the machine is barely keeping it together. The only problem now is that the voice command remote is broken and no longer works. The boy and his dad frantically do what they can. They finally use the only resort they have left - they turn the robot's shadow feature on.

The dad looks Atom dead in the eyes and tells him to look nowhere else but directly at him for the rest of the fight. He tells Atom this several times to ensure that the robot never looks anywhere else. At this point the robot is already copying his every move. Finally, the last round starts and the dad, who never seemed to make it in real-world boxing, starts destroying his impossible to beat robot opponent. With every punch, block and jab, the robot is carefully gazing at the dad for his next instruction.

Here's the point I want to make. The robot didn't start winning the fight until he started shadowing the dad's every movement. You see, we may be in the ring fighting for our lives, but when we keep our eyes focused on Christ, and making the same exact movements he makes, we'll end up crushing our opponent. Our Father is actually the one doing the fighting. He's the one that calls the shots. We may be in the ring, but the point is to quit looking at the circumstances in front of you and keep your gaze on him (Heb 12:1-3). I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true. We go into this world thinking we have to come up with some magnificent way to "win the fight" all on our own. Yet, it's never been so easy. God never intended us to do it on our own. That's why he blessed us with the Holy Spirit (Eph 6:10-20). When we keep our eyes on him, we always win.

So, Dathan, how in the world do I copy what God does when I can't even see him? The point is, when you believe and put your trust in Jesus, he starts putting ideas in your head that aren't even yours. There's been so many times recently that I've done or said things that were CERTAINLY not me. I was like, "Where in the world did that come from?!" The things that I said were nothing I could have come up with on my own. I'm not smart enough or know enough about the Bible to say some of the things I've said. I didn't even know what I said. Then, after I thought about it, I had to ask myself, "Dude, how did you just know that???" I end up doing things that are nothing like me (Thank God)! Look, the Word of God is planted in you (Jam 1:21). When something is planted in you it grows and blooms into something magnificent that's out of your control. All you did was feed it Living Water and a little Son.

So, when we see God throw a right hook, we do it too. When we see him duck and cover, we do the same. When he gives you the idea to reach out and give someone a hug, do it. When we see him bless a person's finances, we have the means to do the same. Nothing he asks of us is hard to do, he's just looking for someone to do it.

One last thing. You know, God has to be crazy nuts. The love he has for us makes no sense (Psa 103:11-12). The more I get to know him and how he thinks, moves and breathes, the more I'm blown away. You mean to tell me, God, that all I have to do is get in the ring, humble myself by following your moves, and in the end I win the good fight (2 Tim 4:7)?!

One thing I've learned about him lately is when I give him the glory for the great things he's done, I get to share in his glory too (Rom 8:15-17). We never do anything to deserve it, but he doesn't care about that. When we actually follow him, guess who's hand the referee throws up after the fight?

I love how he works!!

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