We weren't created to be enslaved by fear. We were created to be heroes, standing firm on the promises of God.
Heroes captivate me.
That moment when they accept a quest that may prove greater than their abilities. A quest that might cost them everything. It’s the nobility of the heart, the selflessness of the act, the willingness to weigh their lives in the balance and sacrifice themselves for the good of the many.
Frodo agrees to carry the ring to Mordor and cast it into the fires of Mount Doom. Luke Skywalker leaves his ordinary life on Tatooine to train as a Jedi and embark on a journey to deliver plans to the Rebel Alliance.
The courage to engage the task with an almost blind faith, to do what’s right no matter the outcome--this is the hallmark of the epic hero. The epic hero has no guarantee of success, no promise that anything will be gained by their sacrifice.
Blind faith. No promises. No guarantees. This is where the epic heroes and the heroes of faith diverge--because heroes of the faith stand on God's unchanging promise that He will indeed work all things together for their good. (Romans 8:28).
I believe that God is also captivated by the hero in us. The lone prophet surrounded by those who would mislead God’s people and perpetuate the darkness, he faces down the evil with a staff and a prayer. The boy-man stepping out from among the cowering Israelite army to confront the giant with a sling and a stone. The sinful woman who, after encountering Jesus, shares the truth with an entire town where people know exactly who she is and what she’s done.
God is pleased with heroes. Because faithful heroes are those who recognize the present darkness—the bills are overdue and no money’s coming in, she’ll lose her boyfriend if she doesn’t yield to his pressure to have sex, the lie would be so small and it might save her job, she did everything right and the cancer still came back—
Faithful heroes recognize the present darkness and choose to trust God’s promises.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
In faith, God’s heroes face the facts and say, “But God …”
· I don’t see how we’re going to pay this debt, but God adorns flowers and feeds birds, and he says I’m more valuable than they are. (Matthew 6:25-34)
· My boyfriend will leave if I don’t give into his demands, but God has commanded me to flee from sexual sins (1Corinthians 6:18) and, even though I don’t know if God will give me a new boyfriend, He promises to give me the desires of my heart as I delight myself in him. (Psalm 37:4)
· No one would ever find out I lied at work about finishing the project on time if I work hard tonight and get it done, but God sees everything, and He says not to lie to each other. (Colossians 3:9)
· Chemo didn’t work, the doctors have given me six months to live, but God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), and He promises an eternal future for those who’ve confessed Jesus as Lord. (Romans 10:9)
Heroic faith faces the desperate screams of the darkness, and shouts back, “My faith is grounded in truth! I stand securely on the promises of God! God’s will is guaranteed to prevail!”
Middle Earth and Jedis ignite the passions in many of us, but the hero that captivates God is the person who believes that He is good and who charges onward into the fray thoroughly armed with His good promises.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged… For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV).
Which of your present circumstances need to be faced with heroic determination? What promises from God’s word is He inviting you to stand on today?
God has created each of us to live heroically. We all have a God-given, glorious purpose, and we find that purpose when we live wholly loved and embrace who we are in Christ.
At Wholly Loved (c), we long to help you find and rest deeply in your identity in Christ. Join us for one of our upcoming conferences where you’ll learn how to live wholly loved, how to find a purpose that will never change, and how God longs to use you, in all your uniqueness, to bring glory to Him and have a life-changing impact on others.
On February 11th, we'll be at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Papillion, NE. You can register HERE. (Event is free, and come early for breakfast, also free.)
On February 25th, we'll be at Living Water Church in Plattsmouth, NE. (Registration details coming.)