Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1
When you think of a hero, what comes first to mind? “Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,” lights in the sky outlining a bat, or an invisible helicopter?
Perhaps your vision of a hero is much more down to earth including baseball players of old, WWI and WWII veterans, or the firefighters of 911? Images of super-human, paranormal abilities, superfluous courage, and skill beyond imagination come to all of our minds when we think of what defines a hero.
Recently, a friend of mine said that I was her hero. Taken aback, my response was somewhat negative. How could I be her hero? How could I be anyone’s hero?
Using deduction, I immediately formulated a strong case against myself. I began to recall and mentally document my failures, flaws, and facts that were not so flattering. My life appeared to be in a perpetual state of falling, never being able to come up. We all know that we all sin and fall infinitely short from the glory of God; at that moment I became cognizant of my constant lack.
It was only after a few weeks of pondering the things of the Lord, that I realized the truth behind my friend’s statement. It was as if I had fallen down to the depths of the Grand Canyon and had to somehow climb my way back up. Grasping upon the branches of God’s Word and Truth, I tried to pull myself up.
Looking down, all I could see was the inevitable fall off of the cliff leading only to the Deep Chasm of Doubt and Failure. It would be so easy to just let go, but I knew I needed to get back up to the reality of who God is. I did this through prayer, worship, staying in the word, and friends like her and others, who relentlessly exhorted and encouraged me.
Did I have any respect for my friend’s opinion, or for God’s? The more I believed in her, the more I respected her statement. The more I trusted in the promises of God, the more I believed the statement. Did I believe I am a hero because, in the natural, it is true? No, I dare not esteem myself that highly. My belief was founded in the word of God; this is God’s calling upon us.
Gideon was called a mighty man of the Lord, a hero in the New Living Translation (Judges 6:12). Surely this is a man that we would scarcely refer to as our hero, let alone anyone else’s. Found hiding in the wine press, Gideon was considered a hero by the Lord. God saw in Gideon the things which He Himself planted in there: gifts, callings, valor, vision, courage, strength. Those attributes were to be used under the direction and guidance of the Lord, to bring deliverance to His people. Gideon is a hero.
The Lord, Himself, is our hero. In Zephaniah 3:17, using God’s Word Translation, it says, “The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.”
He is a hero who saves us. Isaiah 19:20 calls the Lord a Savior and a Champion, a deliverer for the people. Psalms 68:5 says that He is the Father of orphans and a champion of widows. Surely He Himself had the courage necessary to put aside His deity to become a man and die for all of the sins of the world: past, present, future.
Not only did he have to taste death, but He was separated from God the Father for the first time in eternity: the wrath of God was upon Him and it was dark for three hours. His resurrection proved that He was the only human who was truly invincible-awaiting every opportunity to save us. He doesn’t need a phone booth, gadgets, or a side kick. He is totally and completely capable of saving us.
We are heroes. Romans 8:37 tells the church that “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” We are more than conquerors, we are more than champions, we are more than heroes because He is living inside of us and is the Hero.
Paul the apostle writes to the church in Corinth, imitate me, as I imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), follow me as I follow Jesus. We have the supreme calling and command to show the world who Christ really is.
You have a minimum of twelve people with whom you have direct influence. That should radically effect your outlook on life. So to whom are you a hero? Who looks up to you? Who sees Jesus when they look at your life?
Maybe it’s your kids, grandchildren, co-workers, spouse, friends, extended family, neighbors, but it’s someone. Because of this experience with the Lord and adventure into His Word, I’ve decided to be what I am: a hero.
This is an excerpt from Bagel by the Sea.