I used to think that fighting for what is right meant having to become a pastor, or politician or someone of powerful influence. I had to become someone larger than life with an even bigger faith, someone stalwart with an implacable will and an impeccable sense of justice, a hero with a heart of epic proportions. What a nearly impossible standard to achieve! When I looked at many of the examples in scripture and world history it seemed that if I wanted to be a hero for God and His Kingdom, I would have to be like this over-inflated idealistic image too.
Not only that, but in order to fight against corruption and injustice it seemed I would have to do it from within the broken system that promotes the devil´s agenda, compromising the very godly principals I wished to champion. This would be a lot like a man in a sinking boat with a roll of duct tape trying to plug a bunch of leaks. No matter how well he did, it would not be enough to save the ship. A noble and valiant but an inevitably wasted effort and I personally don’t want to pour my life into yet another fruitless endeavor like this.
These blanket assumptions and this daunting imagery had all but rendered me impotent to do anything worthwhile for the Kingdom and this impotence seemed to further diminish my mustard seed of faith. In my desperation for understanding I cried out to God for wisdom and direction and as always, He faithfully answered my prayer and now, I want to encourage you with what I feel He has shown me.
Let me begin by saying that I am floored at how appallingly easy it seems to be to be able to challenge and trip up our faith through illusion, exaggeration, and full out lies. A little exaggeration here, a little missing information there, throw in a dash of stumbling stone and voila! A seed of hopelessness has been planted within us producing the fruits of fear and doubt which cast their dark shadows into the corners of our minds infecting our hearts with dismay. Humans are such easy prey when their trust isn’t in the Lord. No wonder Jesus referred to us as sheep in need of a Good Shepherd. Thank God though that Jesus is our champion and we can look to Him for help in the midst of these storms. Let’s look again at what it takes to actually be a superhero for God through the eyes of spiritual truth so we can see the flaws in the warped devilish thinking above.
Start where you are. Yes, being a pastor or politician does give you the reach of greater influence, but they are not the only platforms from where one can have an impact on the world. Everyone is influenced by someone else in one way or another and even the smallest of influences can have a great impact. Most of history’s notable people will look back on a single or a mere handful of experiences or moments that changed them and helped to bring them to their influential place in history. To quote the emperor in Disney’s “Mulan”, “A single grain of rice can tip the scales” which is a truth also spoken of by Jesus when he said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). In other words, in order to impact the world as a hero for truth and justice you have to start right now, where you are at, with what you have. Begin with your day to day interactions and current realms of influence. This is where all heroes start their journey.
Seek, trust, hope, love and repeat. Yes, to be a champion of God one needs to be implacable and stalwart, unwavering in faith in God, but let’s not forget that these characteristics are nothing more than a series of choices made over and over again. King David was a man who was called a friend of God by God Himself but David also was a man who succumbed to weakness and lust which brought him to commit murder and adultery. When we read stories about heroes and champions in history we do not see their moment by moment, day to day choices, we see the landmarks and turning points, the cruxes of their lives. It is easy to forget that like sand washing up from the ocean building the beach along the shore, these iconic moments in history are merely a culmination of these consistent choices. Seek God. Trust, hope and love Him, over and over again. When you fall, get back up, as David did and do it again. Seek, trust, hope and love. These are the core actions that are pivotal in developing an epic character belonging to a hero of God.
God always comes first. Yes, although we live in this broken world and are a part of this broken system of human governments, we are not from here and this is not our home. We don’t have to compromise the values of God to work and live here if our hope and faith are truly in the One who exists above and outside of these things. Are you afraid of being fired for your faith, or losing the love of family and friends or fearful of losing your physical freedom or maybe even your life over it? In Matthew 10:24-39, Jesus is forewarning his newly commissioned disciples of the hardships and difficult choices this commission will entail. In this passage He expresses the totality of commitment that is expected and indeed is necessary to be a true follower of Jesus. In verse 39, this commitment is summarized with these words, “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” While this is daunting to be sure, this single statement is the epitome of hope in God!
In other words, “Trust in the One who created you, who guides you, who provides for you. Your trust in Him will not be in vain and for the one gives their all for Him and values Him above all else their reward will be unimaginable, eternal and far outweigh what was lost.” To esteem God above all other things is the key to “running the race” (1 Cor. 9:25; Hebrews 12:1). Becoming a superhero or champion for God, when viewed through the warped lens of deception and fear does seem rather impossible, but through eyes which trust in God and His sufficient grace I hope you can see it is perfectly attainable and rather inevitable when you stubbornly and willfully set your heart fully to seeking and pleasing God. This is what it takes to be a hero for God.
Don’t give up! A word of caution at this point is necessary. As heroes, there is a dire danger of infecting our hearts with discouragement when the moment comes and we realize that we can’t “save” everyone. ER doctors know what I’m talking about. It is very important you understand that although we are called to sow and water the ground He has given us as faithful stewards of salvation, it is God who is in charge of the growth (1Cor. 3:7) and not every seed sown will fall on fertile soil. Very few will heed God’s influence through you and even fewer still will finish the race. While this is indeed heartbreaking, don’t let this discourage you from running it. Don’t let this stop you from encouraging them and fighting for them. Through you, many will see the undeniable grace and love of God shining brilliantly as you continue to seek and love God and to trust and hope in Him. It will be this steadfast light that will draw people to God through you.
Just remember, every moment is a choice, and all it takes to live heroically is simply make these choices over and over again. By doing this, right where you’re at, you will be influencing and impacting the world around you on God’s behalf. These small, seemingly insignificant choices when consistently repeated are what amount to being a hero and champion for God. Go forth and conquer hearts for God, championing His character through faith, hope and love. Be champions, superheroes of Christ!
“… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:37-38