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The Fascination with Heroes

From Ulysses to Superman, mankind has been obsessed with heroism. With so much evil, it’s not hard to figure why we’ve created masked men to make life safer by fighting the atrocities in our news. Because we’re so fascinated by heroes, there’s limelight ready for them.

[Tweet “From Ulysses to Superman, mankind has been obsessed with heroism.”]

Make no mistake: people who’ve risked their lives or given of themselves to help others should be thanked. God is pleased by acts of selfless and charitable believers. However, too many have come to associate heroics with salvation in a way that God never intended. More precisely, our hero worship often gives birth to the mentality that we’ll conquer all obstacles blocking our way to success…success being perfect health, business-elevation and money.

[Tweet “Too many have come to associate heroics with salvation in a way that God never intended.”]

Symptoms of Self-Heroism

Christians who feel that they aren’t advancing in life are searching for encouragement and sadly, because Scriptures don’t promise riches or easy lives, some of our elect fall prey to wolves preaching the false gospel of prosperity. They start internalizing these messages and when they don’t see the expected fruit, they become angry with God; or when they become successful they further promote their false doctrine and claim it’s, “the favor of God.” In other words, those not excelling in life must not have the same amount of favor. This is a symptom of looking at self as the hero.

Now, some will say, “I gave God glory for my success.” Let me just say, Christ didn’t suffer just so we can give God glory for possessions and vacations. We have no problem shouting glory to God for those things but have little encouragement for those not living similar lifestyles. Christ didn’t die for us to be financially debt-free. Many Christians have died sick and/or in debt. Does that mean we won’t see them in heaven because they didn’t really have faith? If you think so, you might want to question which person you think is going to hell, because you obviously don’t believe in the same Jesus that’s in the Bible.

[Tweet “Christ didn’t suffer just so we can give God glory for possessions and vacations.”]

Don’t get it Twisted

Understand, God can do ALL things, but that doesn’t mean once you accept Jesus, the Father will do all the same things for EVERY believer down here. If that were true, believers would be rich and healthy everywhere; yet we can see there are Christians suffering worldwide.

We’re not more successful at our jobs because we have more of God’s favor than our fellow Christians who’re suffering. Ephesians 6:9 makes it clear that despite our earthly status, God has no favorites among His chosen. God’s favor is the work of Christ. Every believer gains God’s favor when they trust Jesus as Lord. That’s what it means to have favor: God’s chosen us from among the lost, but not one over each other in Christ. We shouldn’t boast of favor outside of this context.

[Tweet “We’re not more successful at our jobs b/c we have more of God’s favor than fellow Christians who suffer.”]

The Social Decline

Social media has turned us into a bunch of bragging brats. I can’t recall one Scripture where an Apostle thanked God for new mansions and chariots. Not that we shouldn’t be grateful for what God allows us to have, but material things aren’t the everlasting blessings that everyone will share in. We should speak more of eternal blessings that ALL believers will experience in Christ: like peace of mind, joy and patience to name some fruits of the Spirit.  When people look for those fruits as proof that they’re right with God, they’ll be encouraged instead of looking for wealth and health and being discouraged in their faith if they don’t receive it, or deceived in their spirit if they do. When we continually boast of possessions, the spot light is taken off of the fact that God’s grace is sufficient even if we NEVER get all we desire down here. This furthers our hero complex.

[Tweet “I can’t recall one Scripture where an Apostle thanked God for new mansions and chariots.”]

Who IS the true Hero?

Those of us with the complex began to look at Scripture and see ourselves. We look at Gideon and think we’re the warrior. We look at Samson and think we’re mighty. We look at David and think we’re champions…that we’re supposed to overcome every bad thing in life.

In Isaiah 55:8, God tells us that His ways and thoughts are not like ours. Sometimes the good God wants for us may seem bad. He has called many to suffer for His glory as He did Paul (2 Cor. 12:7-9), and some won’t overcome until they die. Although suffering feels bad, it WON’T be in vain because God said so and Jesus, the Word, reassures (Phillip. 2:16-18). Christ is the hero, not us!

[Tweet “Sometimes the good God wants for us may seem bad.”]

Every biblical victory is about Christ! The mighty works God did through Moses and the judges and kings all point to Jesus and His destiny as Christ. We aren’t Gideon; we’re the people oppressed by the Midianites. We aren’t David; we’re Israel cowering at the mere sight of Goliath. We aren’t strong like Samson; we’re powerless against our enemy; it’s Jesus who’s conquered sin and all power is in Him.

[Tweet “Every biblical victory is about Christ!”]

To view ourselves as hero means we start thinking we have power like Jesus. The problem with that is: Jesus is God! We do not have God’s power! We do have ability to overcome sin, but that strength comes from God-given faith in Jesus. We don’t have power to speak whatever we want into existence or declare higher levels of favor over us. Jesus wanted to live, but He didn’t speak His escape from the cross into existence. He trusted the Father.

[Tweet “Jesus wanted to live, but He didn’t speak His escape from the cross into existence. He trusted the Father.”]

Soli Deo Gloria

Focus on the glory God wants Jesus to get through your life. As believers we aren’t the hero, and we won’t win every race or overcome every trial. We won’t receive everything we desire just because we have grace. But when we start seeing grace as being sufficient, we’ll experience fruits of the Spirit despite our circumstances. We’ll be able to help more people when we stop judging in thinking about favor as a level system. We’ll be able to love like we’re supposed to when we see God’s favor properly, as the unifying factor within the kingdom.

[Tweet “When we start seeing grace as being sufficient, we’ll experience fruit despite our circumstances.”]

How can we say that our view of the Word is correct if Jesus is not the glorious hero of every victory -even the victories that we won’t ever see as such this side of heaven?

 

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