For years I’ve prayed that God would raise up godly people – in our government, our media, our entertainment, and our educational institutions. That he would give them his wisdom and his power, and that when they have the courage to rise up and make him known, he would give them his protection. Sometimes I read the headlines or see the evening news and wonder if he’s heard me. Last night, in his great mercy, he let me see just a glimpse of his answer.

While I was praying, God raised up writers and directors and producers and actors that were willing to leave the Hollywood “box” and make a movie that didn’t depend on special effects or crude humor; it didn’t use bad language or insert gratuitous sex scenes. It was the simple story of a few people in one college town who were trying to figure out their faith in God. It was captivating in its depth and honesty.

If you haven’t seen the movie God’s not Dead, see it. If you have, encourage others to see it and take the challenge to share what you know about God. You don’t have to have deep philosophical understanding or theological analysis; most of the time, people don’t need that. Most need to start with the conviction that there is a God, that he unconditionally loves them, and that their “here and now” and their eternity depend on whether or not they believe it. Your testimony is no more or less than what you already know.

One of the first lines of the movie that grabbed my attention was spoken by a young college freshman being encouraged to renounce his belief in God. He spoke of his faith saying, “It’s not easy, but it is simple.” And we get that wrong. We insist on easy, and we make it complicated. We take a loving God and try to fit him into a theology box that is predictable and controllable. We want minimal effort on our part to produce maximum blessing from God. We are less interested in the truth than we are in getting our way.

For years I prayed and had no idea what God and the makers of this movie were up to. God calls us to pray for his will to be done, but he doesn’t necessarily show us the process. God certainly didn’t owe me proof that he was listening, but that “proof” let me see the tender mercy of the one who is leading me into deeper relationship with him while he is making himself known in the world. I will continue to pray that God raises up those who will use their voice in this generation to speak truth, to point people toward God.

Those prayers, that process, are not easy. They will invoke the repudiation of a hostile media or a cynical public. They will anger Satan who doesn’t want us to see or know the truth about a loving God. But that prayer is simple. God’s way, God’s will, God’s timing – not mine. Characters in the movie encountered obstacles and fear that led them to deeper understanding of the character of God. May our prayers give us the vision to see God beyond our obstacles and fear, and may our faith lead us to deeper understanding of the character of God. And may we share what we learn as God answers our prayers.

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