I was driving with my son the other day. We were listening to some praise music, and this particular song was talking about God’s purpose for our lives. He asked me, “What do you think God wants me to do with my life? Do you think He wants me to be a superhero?” I smiled. Then I said, “It is possible!”
We all wanted to be a superhero at one point in our lives. What is it about them that we like? They help people. They recognize their gifts and strengths. They know what they need to do – they have direction and purpose. They perform amazing feats. And they get recognition as being “special.” Don’t we all want that? It is really only for childhood dreams? Were we created for simple, mundane, aimless lives? Or were we created to be superheroes?
Hebrews chapter 11 is generally considered to be the “hero” chapter in the Bible. It lists several pillars of the faith (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab to name a few). These are the men and women who obeyed God and with His direction and hand on their lives were instrumental in impacting the world.
Is that the end? Did the superheroes die with the Bible? No. There have been many that have lived after. Even in the last 120 years there have been dozens that we recognize as superheroes (George Muller, Charles Spurgeon, Amy Carmichael, CS Lewis, Mother Teresa and Billy Graham to name a few). But maybe they are the “special” ones and we are not. What makes these people special? They were men and women who recognized what God gifted them to do and the purpose for which they were created. They obeyed God when He gave them direction. And they were able to impact millions of people because they tapped into the power of God. Did God send them a note in the mail and tell them exactly what He had made them for and how it would all turn out? No. He simply spoke and they listened. When He placed a passion in their heart for a group of people or ministry, they used the giftings that they were already given and followed His direction. They made themselves available to be used by God – and God showed up with power.
There is no reason why we cannot also be used in this way. But how many of us recognize the work that we are to do, and start down that road, but give up because we don’t see results? Most superheroes never see the whole impact of their actions. Even those listed in Hebrews 11 did not see the full reward. Verse 13 says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” And again in verse 39: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.” The writer goes on to start chapter 12, and making reference to this list of heroes from chapter 11 he says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith” (12:1-2a).
We have been charged with the same opportunities and responsibilities as those that have come before. We have been gifted for the task. We have a specific “race” that is only for us. There is no other person that can do what God has marked out for you and I. He is speaking every hour of every day trying to give us direction and wants to pour out His power through us to impact the world. So why are we not all heroes? Because we don’t believe He will use us. Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” It is time to get over ourselves and stop wasting time. How many millions are missing out because we are floating though life without purpose, direction and power? It is time to take God seriously, to start listening and obeying. God will do the rest.
Can I be a superhero? Can my son? Of course! (I just hope it doesn’t involve tights and a cape!)