Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Failure to Communicate...

One of my top 3 favorite movies of all time is Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman.  If you haven't seen it, find it on Hulu or Netflix.  It is most definitely worth the time to watch.  The movie is about a man who gets arrested and thrown into jail for drunk and disorderly.  He is a calm, cool, and collected prisoner who bucks the system and refuses to be broken...regardless of everything the warden does to him.  Luke tells the warden he won't break him.  One of the most famous lines in the movie is said during a time when the warden has chosen to punish Luke for a prison infraction.  The warden looks down at Luke and says,

"What we have here is a failure to communicate."

You see, the warden wanted Luke to do things his way.  He didn't want Luke fighting the system and thinking outside of what the warden wanted.  The warden wanted Luke to conform to the ways of prison life instead of remaining free in his mind.  He wanted Luke to act - and think - as a prisoner. 

The warden in this movie is not unlike the enemy we fight everyday.  The enemy wants us to think, act, and believe we are prisoners to the way of life he wants us to live.  The enemy wants us to remain ineffective in our daily lives.  He wants us to remain bound to a way of life that is not what God has said we can have.  Romans says:

Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

We are not to be conformed to the world.  We are to transform our thinking, our behavior, our witness to what the word of God says so we can in order prove what is good and pleasing to God and is the perfect will of God.  The world of non-believers does not understand that true God-given freedom cannot be found within the confines of a worldly system of beliefs. 

It can be difficult sometimes to remember our communication with the world is on different levels.  The world communicates with a carnal mind expecting everyone to agree and all remain bound and in prison.  The spiritual mind communicates from a point of love and freedom that cannot be comprehended by a worldly belief system.  In fact, the two cannot cohabitate within the same mind. 

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
Rom 8:7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Rom 8:8 So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Those that remain in the carnal way of thinking without knowledge of a higher sense of purpose or laws according to the Word of God, will be unable to be subject to the Law of God.  They cannot be because they do not have the understanding, or the renewal of the spirits to keep the commandments of God.  Only those that live and walk in the Spirit of God obtain life and peace and live each day pleasing God as they adhere to the Laws and commandments of the King of Kings.

This is not an easy process.  Breaking out of our prisons puts us outside of our comfort zones and requires us to trust and believe on the Word of God and His character.  For me, I ran into a situation recently that put me in a position to put into practice everything God has been teaching me.  I failed.    I reverted back to old behavior.  Not intentionally, but as an off-the-cuff response to the situation.  My response is what I was comfortable with for that situation.  After the incident had concluded, I had to ask for forgiveness from God, from the other person involved, and then I had to forgive myself and not allow the enemy to plant condemnation into my mind for "failing."  I am so thankful for God's grace and mercy that allows us to repent and be forgiven.  I know that a similar situation will cross my path again and I can only pray that I will this time be ready to  be that light from a city on a hill. 

What are you struggling with today?  Do you remain in prison due to behaviors or thoughts in your life?  I pray the Lord reveals His truth in your heart today.  Only the truth can set you free and His truth brings with it grace and mercy for living life every day in Him. 

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