It seemed that Stallone was really connected to this character for some reason; as if the role that he was playing was more than a character to him. After years of being a Rocky nut, I learned that Stallone was a very religious man; and that the movie DID have a much deeper message than that of a boxing fan turned actor. The importance of faith, integrity, and goodness were obvious to anyone who watches these movies. But there is something much more imbedded at the center of the theme. Paraphrasing Stallone, the movie started with him sparing in an old church with a painting of Jesus Christ on the wall. This set a very meaningful parallel for the premise of all the Rocky movies. Stallone pointed out that Jesus was born for a specific purpose, was turned out by His own people, and yet sacrificed everything for them. The character Rocky, just as each of us, was born to fill a specific purpose. Each of us has a plethora of obstacles that we must overcome, and a lifetime of temptations that we must fight daily to accomplish that purpose. It is only through hope in our Father God that we can see this purpose fulfilled.
To me, it was so ironic that the thing that plagued Stallone was a host of people that argued that he was not good enough to play the role of Rocky himself. A huge part of the argument was in the speech impediment that he had; sounds so much like Moses huh?! Feeling like we are not-and have not been GOOD enough to fulfill God’s work is a trick that the enemy uses to keep us trapped in our “me box’s”. When confronted with MY “me box”, the same image (Numbers 13-14) comes to mind; of the twelve spies that God told Moses to send to scout out the land of Canaan (the PROMISED LAND). The men came back with a report of the riches that the land indeed held, but also of the impenetrable fortifications and strength of the enemy. As one of the spies named Caleb (with Joshua’s support) quieted the people and ordered in confidence that they could take the land, the remaining ten spies put down any such notion; in that moment they had lost touch with the many miracles that God had made happen to deliver them over the last 40 years. The ten doubtful spies fell to the same trick that the enemy fills our minds with daily; doubt. It is so easy, throughout the many seasons of our lives, to forget about the times that God has delivered us through the storms! The spies had long forgotten about the weapon that should have been the driving force behind what motivated them. Joshua and Caleb had not forgotten the Red Sea, waters turned to blood, Marah’s sweetened waters, water flowing from the rock in the Desert of Zin, the burning bush, and the Ten Commandments. Not to mention the life story of Moses himself in which God took a child born into slavery, strategically/purposefully delivered him into royalty (to SET HIM UP to receive his PURPOSE), then breaking his heart for the people that would inspire him to leave a life of luxury; the slaves of Egypt (his people).
What gave Caleb and Joshua their DRIVE were the past victories that God had performed to get them to where they were; this is the greatest weapon that any of us have in our tool bag today. What has He delivered YOU through? When we finally realize that God is CAPABLE, ABLE, and WILLING to fight on our behalves we learn to use our past victories in Him as motivation and hope. Then, and only then can we live with REAL purpose! At that moment that we stop running from a past that He has already defeated for us. God will take us up off the “mat” of life and help US to deliver the K.O. punch to the enemy of our PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE!
From One Who Struggles…