Category Archives: God

5 Things Men can Learn from Sleeping Beauty

I loved Disney movies growing up (who didn’t?), but I think I’m having even more fun as a 27 year old watching the classics, looking at everything through a deeper, more mature lens. One of the Disney movies that I recently saw with my sister-in-law was Sleeping Beauty, a movie that definitely was not one of my favorites as a child. I didn’t watch it as much as the other ones, like Little Mermaid or Aladdin, but I remember liking the fairies and thinking they were cute. Seeing it again 12 years later, I had no idea that I would see things so differently. First, I always thought of it as a story about Sleeping Beauty, or Aurora, since A) that’s the title of the movie, and B) most Disney movies are about the princess. But this movie is actually all about Prince Phillip and what he must do to find true love. I believe there are some pretty obvious religious undertones and that Phillip could easily represent us in the struggles of the Christian walk, battling the devil with the help of three fairies (or the trinity), but I decided to look at it through a slightly different angle. Here are 5 ways men can learn how to find true love through Phillip’s character.

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It’s (NOT) all about me

Why is it that we live in such a “Me” centered culture? We even have a magazine out in stores called “Self.” Maybe they thought naming it “Me” would be a little silly, but that’s what it really is all about, isn’t it? Catering to everything you want, need, like, or would entertain you? Whether you consciously know it or not, we live our daily lives ALWAYS thinking about ourselves. “What am I going to do today, what I am going to eat, what is wrong with me, why do I suck, why do I rock so much, what did that person think of what I said, do they think I am smart or dumb, do they think that I am a success or failure…” You get the picture. It’s all about me mentality.

Too often I think we get distracted by us, our image, our thoughts and actions. It’s such a small thing when you think about it, but think about how much damage it may be causing. The enemy is using ourselves against us. And I think that’s the scariest kind of attack he can make on us, because we don’t even realize it when it’s happening. Did you ever go through a whole day just too consumed on what was going on in your life that you didn’t once think about someone who has asked you for prayer? Or were you ever so consumed in your own thoughts that you completely ignored a stranger who walked by that might have been looking at you with pleading eyes? We really are our own biggest enemy. I’m to blame for this just as anyone else. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to know who you are, accept it and have good self-esteem. Nor do I think any kind of psychology or therapy is wrong. I think it’s a very helpful way to express your emotions, trauma, what have you. I do think it becomes wrong when we spend too much time reflecting on ourselves. That’s exactly what the enemy wants. The key to understanding the depths of who we are is not found in us. You want to understand yourself and your purpose in life? Look to Him. If you truly understand the glory of God and his heart, you know who you are in this world and where you stand with him. When we begin to turn to ourselves and not focus on who He is, we are missing the picture. The best example of this can be found in the book of Exodus with my homie Moses.

The reason I call him my homie is because I relate most to him out of any character in the Bible. And not the badass Moses who leads the people through the Red Sea and throws the Ten Commandments on them telling them how absolutely retarded they are for worshiping pagan gods. No. Not that Moses. Flash back to Moses and the burning bush. At this time, Moses had been chilling with the Midianites, his wife Zipporah and his son and was living a comfortable life, taking care of sheep and what not. He had escaped from Egypt and all that drama and was content taking care of his flock. One day, as he was working, he noticed a fire on the mountain of Horeb (that was actually called the mountain of God).

So Moses sees this bush that looks like it’s on fire but it’s not. And Moses was like, Man, that’s weird. I must look closer.

Then he hears God’s voice say, “Moses! Moses.”
Moses says, (probably scared out of his mind), “Here I am..”

moses_burning_bushGod then tells him to take off his sandals and explains that He is the God of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham, then naturally Moses hides his face on the ground, afraid to look at him. Then God goes on to tell him that he has seen the oppression of His people and that he wishes to deliver them. Then says, “I will send you to Pharoah, that you may bring my people and the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

This is Moses’ response: “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah, and that I should bring the children out of Egypt?”

There it is. His very first concern in delivering God’s will is himself. It’s all about Moses.
(I would have said the same exact thing).

Then God says, “I will be with you.”

Moses says, “But who should I tell them sent me?” (Again, worried about himself).

God says, “Tell them I AM has sent you. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Then God continues to tell him the whole plan, how Pharoah probably won’t let them go, how He will perform many wonders, and the last thing “and you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

Then Moses AGAIN says, in his very Moses-centered way, “But what if they don’t believe me?”

God tells him to take out his staff, toss it in the ground, where He turns the rod into a snake. He also has him take out his hand from his bosom, where it is leprous, then puts it back in his bosom, takes it out and it has been fully healed. So after showing Moses how he will be showing Pharoah signs like these, Moses again says, (my favorite one), “But I am slow of speech and slow in tongue.”

If it were modern times, and it was me in front of the bush, I would be like “Seriously God? Have you heard me speak? I don’t know if you are aware of this but I tend to rant, or say the wrong thing, or say a vocab word the wrong way. And actually, it’s your fault I am this way, since you made me and all. So yeah, I think you got the wrong girl. I can think of a million better people for the job. Do you want me to get Francis Chan on the phone? He might be available…” *takes out iphone to look up his email address.*

And what’s God’s reaction to this? “Who made man’s mouth? Is it not I? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

And is this enough? No. Both Moses and I would say, “Can’t you please just send someone else?”

Then God get’s angry and is like, “Look, don’t you have a brother who speaks well? He will go with you and I will be with you both.”

And finally Moses accepts this and goes to tell his brother to get ready to go to Egypt.

So what is the problem with all this? The problem of me. I don’t trust God, He can’t possibly deliver all these miracles, and I am not the person for this. He must be crazy. I don’t trust that He really will be with me.

But if you turn a couple of chapters to chapter 33, we see that Moses finally gets it. After seeing all of God’s works, Moses knows and trusts God. Before this chapter, the people turn from God and worship a golden calf, and God commands them to leave Sinai, without His presence.

Moses, terrified of the thought of not having God with them, says “If I have found grace in your sight, show me now your way, that I may know You and find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is your people.”

Then God says, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then Moses, desperate at the thought of being separated from His presence, says “If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here!”

God says, “I will do this thing that you have spoken, for you have found grace in my sight, and I know you by name.” (This is also amazing, that the God of the universe would care enough to want to know us by name, and show us grace.)

And, this is the best part, Moses pleads, “Please, please, show me your glory.”

He finally gets it. It was never about him, or his speech impediment or his own ill-conceived notions of how incapable he was as a human being to fulfill God’s plan. From the get-go, his answer should have been, “Please, just show me your glory,” because he knew it was never about him in the first place.

Is there really any point in arguing with God? But God, I am weak. God I suck. God, I’m dumb. No. It’s show me your glory. This sentence should be the very thing that defines our lives. This is the question of life. This should be the greatest desire of our hearts.

badass_mosesLet’s not live our lives constantly thinking that it’s all about us. We think, “It’s about my story. It’s about what God is doing in my life.” We tend to think that in America, that it’s all about us, our nation. But God’s love is global. You are not the only person He died for. Yes, He loves you and we can rejoice that He loves us. But let’s not forget about the other people out there who don’t know this yet.

I want to be that badass Moses. The Moses who finally gets it. I don’t want the first thing I think of when God gives me a task is, “But I’m too dumb, there are so much better people out there!…” yada yada yada. I want to get to that point when I realize that it was never about me. That God is the kind of God who chooses losers to get his ish done. Losers like me who mess up everyday. To realize that the only thing I can really say is, “Show me your glory.”