Saturday, March 24, 2012

Created to be a Hero

Who am I?  It is one of the great ancient questions of life.  Even though we are existing in this body and doing certain actions and believing certain beliefs, there is a part of us that wants to know who we are.  We know that we are not our jobs, we are not our hobbies, we are not are political party, and we are not even our relationships.  Most of those things are just masks and disguises we use because we are so uncertain about our true identity.  Any identity is better than no identity so we settle for these counterfeits.

Here is a thought: What if it were possible to gain a glimpse of who we truly are? What would that be worth?  What would you be willing to pay?  Rather than existing in life trying to fulfill on the responsibilities of the different roles we play we can start to live the life God created us to experience.  What an awesome thing that would be!

In order for that to happen we have bypass the mental barriers we have erected in our minds and allow Truth to speak to our hearts.  We can be told in a thousand different times that we are new creations, God’s children, God’s holy nation, and saints but unless these truths make it past our mind and into our hearts they are just words and our lives remain unchanged.

One of the ways the Holy Spirit bypasses the defenses of our mind and attacks our hearts is through the use of stories.  In 2 Samuel 12 we see a good example of this.  In the previous chapter we read about King David’s terrible sin of adultery and treachery.  He stole the wife of one of his most devoted men and then had him, Uriah, murdered.  David took advantage of Uriah’s trust and sent him to battle carrying the orders that sealed his demise.

For more than a year David continued life as normal, believing that he had gotten way with it.  There was no repentance when David went to offer sacrifices or worship in the tabernacle. David’s mind told him that everything was okay.

But we know things weren’t okay, and God sent Nathan the Prophet to confront David.  Nathan told David a story about a rich man with lots of sheep his neighbor a poor man with one pet ewe lamb.  One day the rich man has a visitor, but rather than using one of his own sheep for supper the rich man steals his neighbor’s ewe lamb and uses it for supper.  What was David’s response?

David was furious.  “As surely as the LORD lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” 
Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man…” 
Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:5-7, 13; NLT).

What a year of Torah reading and sacrifices failed to accomplish a single simple story accomplished.  Truth was able to get around the defenses erected in David’s mind and come in through the back door of his heart.  That is the power of story.

As we seek to discover who we are and the life God created us to live not only do we have to look to God’s Word, but we also have to look at other ways Truth is communicated in our lives. One of those way is through stories, and the stories we enjoy reveal much about the life God has called us to live.  The heroes and heroines we come to love through those stories help us to understand the role God has called us to play in this life.

Each one of us has been called to be a hero.  True some us are called to be Batman, others Batgirl, some Commissioner Gordon, and still others Alfred.  Not one us was created to be Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy, or Penguin, a villain who seeks to bring pain into people’s lives.  We are called to be heroes, to rescue people, and to give them hope in the midst of their pain.  In his short letter Jude wrote:
But you dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. Live is such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. They are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins” (Jude 20-23; NLT).

The heroes we connect with in the stories that we love help us understand the way God sees us, the potential that our lives posses, and the calling that is on our lives.  John Eldredge in Waking the Dead wrote:
There are stories that you’ve loved; there are characters that you’ve resonated with down deep inside, maybe even dreamed that you could be.  Do you know why?  Deep is calling into deep.  They spoke to you—they speak even now—because they contain some hint or glimpse of your true self” (p. 83).

There is a hidden greatness within you.  You are more than your hobbies, jobs, political views, and relationships.  You are a Hero created by God.  Your glory isn’t discovered in trying not to sin as you go to church every Sunday.  Taking a risk and stepping out into an incredible adventure is how you discover your glory as you begin to rescue people from the Evil One.  You were created to be a hero.

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