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Message

At the Movies - Part 4, Miss Congeniality
Miles McPherson - July 22, 2018

Message Recap

In this summer series, we examine spiritual truths brought to life by great movies. Due to copyright laws, we are not able to show clips from the films in this series online so for this week, Pastor Mike shared what we could learn from Miss Congeniality.

Miss Congeniality is about Gracie, a rough around the edges New York cop. She gets assigned to a case where a terrorist is making bomb threats connected to a beauty pageant. She is sent undercover as one of the beauty pageant contestants. She’s going to have to solve this crime. 

We put limits on the plan in our life because we don’t believe we can do what God is telling us we can do. 

Since she’s so tough, she’s having a tough time being feminine and getting out of her comfort zone, but she ends up meeting some great people. 

We put limits on the plan in our life because we don’t believe we can do what God is telling us we can do. 

How can we take the limits off God in our own lives? Mike has been married for 9 years to his wife Brianna and they have 3 kids. There are times when they believed that God would do what he said he would do, and there were times where they lacked faith. They needed to move, but they were having a tough time finding a home and they felt like they were losing faith. After a rough and crazy day, his wife threw the kids in the car, drove to the house, and all the other applicants ended up not showing up and the agent showing the house ended up being a friend of a friend. They asked themselves, “God, why do we limit you?”

When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table.” So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 1 Kings 18:17-33

Elijah is a bold man of God and Ahab is a man of Israel. Elijah goes to Ahab and says you are the reason Israel is having trouble. So he gathers all the evil prophets on the mountain to have a standoff. He asked the children of Israel if they are going to follow God or Baal. He put God to the test on the top of a mountain and of course, the God of Israel shows up. It’s amazing to see what God does when Elijah doesn’t put limits on him. 

Just like Elijah, Gracie had amazing talents, but when she was out of her comfort zone she put limits on what she could accomplish. 

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid[a]and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there. 1 Kings 19:1-3

Elijah just had a victory on the mountain, but then the king’s wife says she is going to kill him and he runs with fear. He was fearful and this was the same person who took on the prophets of Baal and even took on the king. He put limits on God and didn’t believe God would save him in this situation. 

Even in our lack of faith, God comes through. 

Here are some ways we can remove the limits we put on God in our lives. 

1. If God has done it before, He can do it again. 

When God brought Israel across the Jordan, they placed stones there so that generations would remember what God did for them. 

What is something God has done in your own life? Maybe he’s helped you find a spouse or a job? Maybe he’s gotten you through something tough. Take the practice of opening up a journal, find a journal you can write all the things God has done in your life. When you reflect on what he’s already done, you will have hope for what he can do in the future. 

2. Get comfortable being in uncomfortable situations.

Gracie was in an uncomfortable situation. She kept trying to quit, but this is where her greatest victory came and she learned a lot about herself. God doesn’t make us comfortable. We grow from the uncomfortable situations we are in. 

In the Bible, Joseph gets beat up by his brothers, sold into slavery, and ends up working his way up the ladder, but ends up in jail after a false accusation. But eventually, Joseph’s character was formed so much that he saved Israel. His faithfulness saved Israel even when he was in uncomfortable situations. 

Press into those situations. Pray about how God wants to shape you. 

3. Know who God is.

It takes a lot of practice and effort to know someone. Think about your best friend or your kid. You don’t get to know them just by grabbing coffee once. You spend a lot of time with them. Get to know God personally. Read his word. Pray. Listen to his voice. 

We can’t truly limit God. We can’t put limits on a limitless God. We can only limit our understanding of him or limit the potential of what he can do in our life. 

The more we know God, the fewer limits we will place on him. 

At the Movies

This 4-part series reveals how God guides us through our journey and truly is the author of our lives. In Part 4, Pastor Mike examines Biblical accounts of Elijah and Joseph to encourage us to take the limits off God’s plans for our lives.

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