Opening weekend of The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (Gavin Stone FB page) was last weekend. Our former church (Harvest Bible Chapel; see also Vertical Church Films) made the film to depict the Church as a place of 2nd chances, which is at the heart of the Gospel. I even participated in the making of the film (microscopic part, huge fun, big honor!).

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

I went to see the movie with a group of friends on its 2nd night, and really enjoyed the movie. Definitely check it out! It dreams big dreams for the Church of Jesus Christ in a broader culture of individualism, isolationism, and consumerism. And it tells its tale masterfully. Cast is great. Story is great. Very funny. And edifying. I love that it would challenge pastors and churches to take the gospel more seriously. Maybe some critics, even Christians, will call it “cheesy” or doesn’t focus enough on God’s law, but I fear that might be more a (sad) commentary on our limited view of the gospel and the church in our day than it is of the movie or the people who made it. Go see it for yourself! I’d love to know what you think.

At any rate, very few things disappointed me about the movie, but one of them was that the Colton Dixon song Limitless ultimately did not make it into the final cut of the movie. It was featured in the official trailer, which is when I first heard it, but not in the movie itself. Sad panda!

But that didn’t keep me from buying the song the day I saw the trailer, and it doesn’t stop me now from writing a little bit about this song and its theology.

First, here are the lyrics…

Too young, too old, too shy, too bold
Too average, to make a difference
The world’s too big and you’re too small
If you try to fly, you’re gonna fall
They’re shouting, but we won’t listen

No more “impossible;” so much for “too difficult,” we know
That our God is greater
Oh, wake up you dreamers, become make-believers
This is who we are

We are limitless, limitless, limitless, limitless
The power of love, alive in us
Is limitless, limitless, unstoppable, and nothing less
No, nothing can hold us down
We’re limitless

Take away the limitations, when we fix our eyes on You
Flood our hearts with expectations
Lord, there’s nothing You can’t do

Doubt sees a mountain, no way around it
Faith sees a victory, no doubt about it
Fear sees a ceiling, hope sees the stars
Love be the light inside of our hearts

We are limitless, limitless, limitless, limitless
The power of love, alive in us
Is limitless, limitless, unstoppable, and nothing less
No, nothing can hold us down
We’re limitless
‘Cause You’re limitless

This is one of those songs that you need a solid theological foundation to rightly interpret. If you hear it, and it ratchets up your self-esteem a few notches — Look at me, aren’t I wonderful! Look at all this power my amazing humanness gives me to bring the rest of the world under my direct control! — then I’m pretty sure both Colton (wrote the song) and Dallas (made the movie) would strongly disagree. I certainly would.

This song, like so many others (whether they know it or not), is about Jesus — the primary, no-close-second lead role of history. Specifically, when I crank this song up way too loud for my teenage son’s taste, I’m not thinking about how amazing I am, but how amazing He is … and that I get to be in His story at all.

Gavin Stone PrayingFor the God of the universe to step into time in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, live a sinless life, and suffer death and separation from the Father that we might be brought into fellowship with Him and adopted into His family and sit beside Him in His throne room … Well, cheesy or not, what’s “limitless” here is my astonishment. God is clearly entirely irrational. Guess that’s what love does.

But given that He has been moved to action by His amazing grace, rescued me from the Kingdom of darkness, and transferred me into the Kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13), I have to grapple with the fact that God has done so for a reason. He created me for a reason. He sends me out for a reason. He gives me His Spirit for a reason.

And the limitless God of limitless purposes and power has indwelled those who are united with Christ by His limitless Spirit … making the scope of our lives, yes that’s right, limitless. “The power of love, alive in us, is limitless — unstoppable and nothing less.” If you belong to Christ, then the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in you! (one of several messages of Rom 8:11).

As you might have guessed from the highlighting, my favorite lines in the song comprise the bridge, which brilliantly contrasts doubt, faith, fear and love.

Doubt sees a mountain, no way around it
Faith sees a victory, no doubt about it
Fear sees a ceiling, hope sees the stars
Love be the light inside of our hearts

The power of the Spirit should be increasingly moving the fixation of our minds and hearts and hands from doubt (What if I can’t?) to faith (We am more than conquerers! Romans 8:1), from fear (What if I fail?) to love (Father, all that matters is that I’m with you; you do the rest! John 15:16-17). And I assure you, by the authority of God’s Word, that the love of God which gives you live and indwells you by faith, is sufficient to accomplish the purposes for which God created you, me, this song, this movie, and the lives of every person involved in all of them. (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Gavin Stone LimitlessI know the movie isn’t grossing as much as Dallas and the team would like (go see it!), but my encouragement would be that God controls the market that returns on the investment of our talents. Our failure is only in choosing not to invest (Matthew 25:14-30). Be patient, pray, trust, and wait to see what the Lord does. God fights for us battles we can’t even understand, let alone fight for ourselves!

I also know many Christians who have essentially divested their lives of Christian music, as well as those who dismiss movies like Gavin Stone out of hand (along with many other excellent Christian films made in the last few years) on the assumption that they must inevitably be cheesy or trite or poorly acted or whatever. But I disagree, and so does God. I don’t really have an opinion so much on how “cheesy” (or whatever) it is — for my part, I actually quite enjoyed it — but isn’t that entirely personal preference anyway … driven almost exclusive by the culture we’re imbibing? Do those opinions say more about the movie and the music, or about us? Honestly, I wasn’t grading it, I was praising God for it and asking God to make me more like Him, as the movie depicts that transformation. Same for Colton’s song.

Bottom line, what I know is this… In this movie and in this song, the Word of God goes out, and it will not return to the eternal God having failed to accomplish everything that He intended for it to accomplish. And He is drawing His people into that adventure.

This is what Dallas demonstrates in the life of the character Gavin Stone. This is what Colton Dixon sings about. And this is what God dreams over your life.

The possibilities are limitless! I hope we don’t miss them.

Photo credit: main image, sideInikov; others, Vertical Church Films

About Jeff Block

Lover and follower of Jesus, the long awaited King. Husband and father. Writer and seminary student. On a long, difficult, joyful adventure, learning to swim with the current of God's sovereign love and walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the day.
This entry was posted in Psalms, Music and Worship, Real Life, Theology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Limitless

  1. Really limitless 👍


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