Yesterday at church, the lesson was on living heroically. Who is a hero? What does a hero do? It is crazy because I have heard this before at my previous church in Atlanta, but it was discussed more as how one should live so that people see Jesus through the legacy left behind when we are gone.
I haven’t put much thought into being a hero; I would never want to put myself or any other person up there to be looked at like that… because what If something happens and someone gets disappointed? But I really learned that I was looking at what a hero is the wrong way.
Heroes aren’t necessarily people we think of to be heroes or who we look up to, like celebrities or athletes. The pastor gave several things to define this topic. Heroes make a difference. Heroes are not selfish, but selfless. Heroes look to serve others.
When you live a life like this, you affect the people and community around you in a positive way and it just grows and spreads! There is no way to live this type of lifestyle without the power of Christ and a relationship with him because it is about dying to ourselves everyday and living for him- serving others to draw people near to him and to bring glory to him.
I have really struggled with being used by God because I think I don’t deserve to do great things for him. Sometimes I have wondered if there is even a point. Every single time that I have been led to do something by God, he has given me everything I needed to get through it and do my best for him. Sometimes he has even shown me why he has had me do certain things. He strengthens the foundation I have in him and my trust in him each time I follow him in obedience!
No matter what you have been through or done, when you surrender your life to God and tell him you’re done with doing things your way, he picks you up and carries you through, forgiving you with the grace that only the biggest God could give, and wipes everything clean. He uses our bad, the worst of the worst to bring others to him! To bring good to those who trust him. To bring himself glory! People relate to brokenness, honesty, struggles, way better than anyone can relate to “perfection” or a mask.
When we become his, we are loved beyond the greatest earthly love we can imagine, we are free from the desires of the world that enslave us, held in the palm of our Father’s hand, redeemed, restored, led into right living, heirs to heavenly riches, the list goes on and on. We are equipped to live this life of serving and loving others and for sharing Jesus with everyone we meet!
Everyone has a story and no one is worse than anyone else. God even showed all this in his word! He used people who made awful decisions, seemed completely unqualified, murderers, cheaters, liars, thieves, and more! It’s more important for us to be open to being used by God and being available, than to worry about our past. He knows us inside and out and STILL loves us.
This list in the picture isn’t anywhere near close to the people who you wouldn’t automatically think deserve to be used by God. But at the bottom of the picture is my life verse and that describes exactly why God uses us in our struggles and uses our past and uses our bad- HIS power is made perfect in our weakness. He is enough and he uses us to show that to others!
The pastor mentioned several excuses people use when they don’t feel like they want to live a heroic lifestyle: “I don’t have the place”, “I don’t have the power”, I don’t have the skills or techniques”, “I don’t have the words.” Well in Exodus 3-4 there is a perfect example of this happening. Moses gives reason after reason why he can’t go do a crazy big thing for God, so God gives reason after reason why he can with him! “God’s presence can overcome ALL of my imperfections!” “God’s power is the ONLY power you need!” “God is more concerned with your availability than your ability!” “Your weaknesses set the best stage for God’s strength.”
When you see a homeless person, do you buy him or her food or keep going. When you see a kid going through what you went through, do you pour into the individual or wait for someone else to help. When a friend needs to talk, are you too busy?
I’m not saying I live a completely selfless life at all… so many times I get overwhelmed and think I can’t possibly reach out to others and spread myself around to any more people. But this was such a convicting reminder that it’s not me that needs to, it’s Christ through me that enables me to live for him.
When our identity is in Christ and not in our past or in our things, we know how much we are worth. We know how much others are worth. And I think that, along with guidance and strength from the Holy Spirit, is what enables us to be sacrificial when needed and to really live a heroic life, to leave a legacy that points everyone we come in contact with to Christ.