This blog is an excerpt from my talk at the Ohio District Ladies Day Service.
The word Hero conjures up a variety of mental images. If I did an opinion poll today, there would be a vast array of opinions as to what a hero is. To some of you, the word hero brings about the thoughts of a specific person or event, to others it is a set of characteristics and a specific type of person, and to others, sadly, some would say that heroes don’t exist in this life. As the mother of 2 small boys, I am well acquainted with society’s concept of a hero. Masked crusaders, caped avengers, and web spinning good guys are constantly on a collision course at my house. At any given moment, I can be spun into a web, wrestled to safety from a bad guy, and whisked away from danger to a castle. Any object can be transformed from ordinary to extraordinary on these hero expeditions. A simple towel becomes a cape filled with mysterious, world changing super powers.
As women we are bombarded with another set of images from society on what it means for us to be a hero. We must be SuperMOM, SuperWife, and on a SuperCareerTrack. We have to have spotless homes, stylish, clean, polite children, Food Network worthy meals on the table, and we must do all of this with fit/trim/sexy bodies that will make us feel strong and make our husbands happy and proud. The quest to be a hero is daunting in 21st century America. A sports figure will be called hero in the news while living a self-indulgent and self-centered life and be paid 98 million dollars for their skills on a basketball court, while a volunteer firefighter quietly risks their life for the lives of others, dodging fire, flames, and unforeseen adversity, and does so with no financial renumeration.
As I sat down to think about what makes a Godly hero, I had scriptural examples flood into my mind.
• Jael proved to be a strong, determined woman who God used to defeat the enemy of Israel. The Bible praises her calling her most blessed for killing the enemy king
• Jocebed, Moses mother, nursed him and trained him in the knowledge and fear of the Lord and instilled enough in him by the age of 5 that when she had to give him up to Pharaoh’s daughter, she had already placed enough faith in her son that he was willing to suffer the afflictions of the righteous than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season
• Mary, the mother of Jesus, was willing to take on the shame and ridicule of an unwed pregnancy, knowing and pondering in her heart that she was birthing the messiah. She endured persecution for His namesake before He ever even was revealed as human flesh.
The bible is filled with examples of heroes of the faith, women worthy of honor, women whose children rise and call her blessed. Chances are in your life, you won’t be a Jael. God will not ask you to drive a literal spike through the head of an adversary. We, as New Testament believers wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spirits and principalities and powers in this world.
When thinking of modern day heroes of the faith and people that I look to as Godly examples, I immediately had a scripture come to mind. It isn’t a scripture that one would commonly go to in order to define heroism, but it is the set of scriptures from which we should derive the mission statement of our lives. If we want to be used of God and contend earnestly for the faith that was delivered to the saints, we need to pattern our lives after
Matthew 28:19-20. (NIV)
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This set of verses lays out for us the great commission. If we aren’t living the great commission, we really can’t even be called children of God much less heroes of the Faith.
A Hero is full of the GO: Therefore Go
A Hero of faith is willing to step out and do whatever God asks them to do. This doesn’t always mean you have to go to another country, another state, another city, or even another neighborhood. This means that you are just willing to have some of that Get up and Go. Ain’t no one gonna break your stride, aint’ no one gonna slow you down! Gotta keep on moving!!! Sometimes with the responsibilities and realities of life, it is difficult to always be “on your go”. A hero of the faith is always willing though and is there to listen to the voice of God and if that voice says to go to Giant Eagle instead of Kroger’s, it goes. Being a soul winner is not a one-time event. It usually doesn’t even really effectively happen at big crusades. Soul Winning is just always being ready to give an account for the power and the joy in you and your willingness to spread the seed of the gospel. Johnny Appleseed became an American Hero through his kind and generous ways by putting apple trees all throughout the mid-west and the United States. He simply did this by spreading seed everywhere that he went. He planted nurseries and put fences around them to keep the animals out. A hero of the Faith is simply a spiritual Johnny Appleseed. The tree and the fruit that comes forth isn’t your responsibility, but it is God’s. Just don’t be afraid to constantly be about your Fathers business and spreading hope and truth into your community. Be a GO saint. One day I felt an immense drawing to visit an area mall that I don’t normally go to and have my kids play in that play place. I really didn’t feel like doing it. I often feel that my life is as a full time entertainment and event planner with my 2 children as my CEO’s. I obeyed that urging though and happened on a single mother of a 4 year old daughter that started pouring herself out to me right there. I had never met this woman, but she was hungry for change in her life. At only 24 years old she has already been in AA for 5 years and has a laundry list of addictions and situations that she is working to overcome. I have since become acquainted with her and she stays in touch and desires to be part of the Bridge Church. I was blown away by God that day. After walking with him for 30 years you would think I wouldn’t be surprised by His ways but I am. I want that get up and Go for the kingdom.
Acts 1:8 But ye SHALL receive power after that the holy ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and all Judea and in Samaria and in the uttermost parts of the earth.
You don’t have to GO too far to make a full impact. Be on your Go in your Jerusalem and it will spread.
A Hero is full of the MAKE: make disciples of all nations
A true hero of faith is into building people up and making them all that God desires for them to be. We live in a broken world where people hear negative things every second of everyday. The last thing they want to do is meet a Christian or attend a church that makes them feel depressed! The Joy of the Lord is our Strength. A hero of the faith is into helping people, healing people, growing people, and discipling people. A hero of the faith is willing to share their knowledge of the things of God with somebody. A hero doesn’t desire to come across as the expert but is willing to share and grow others up to their level. The true Heroes of the Faith model themselves after Jesus. He poured of himself and mentored 12 disciples and those closest to him so they could work in harmony in one mind and one accord towards accomplishing the greater will of Christ.
A Hero is all about Baptism: A Hero leads people to the water: Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (And we know that name is Jesus)
A true hero of the faith is strong in doctrine. While Going and Making, they will not compromise.
Ephesians 4:14-15 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that, which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
To be a hero and grow the body of Christ, you do not have to compromise your message. Jesus said unless a man be born of water and of Spirit he shall not see the kingdom of God. When asked on the day of Pentecost what to do and how to respond to the message that was being preached, Peter brought us the foundational truth of the early church and of our movement
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I’m thankful for heroes that believe the message of the cross. I’m thankful for heroes that preached the gospel even when it hurt, even when it brought persecution to them, even when it cost them something, even when it cost them everything, even in countries where it is illegal!!!
The gospel message is HIS death, burial, and resurrection. Oh that I may KNOW Him!!! When we know him in the power of his resurrection and in the fellowship of his suffering, we are on our way to stardom!! If there was a Hollywood walk of fame where the heroes of the faith put their star, those who were not afraid to preach Christ and Him crucified, would be front and center on that walk.
A true Hero of the Faith is a Teacher: Teaching them everything that I commanded you
A Hero of the Faith is on their Go, Making and speaking into others, leading people to baptism and the knowledge of truth, and in the process does it with the heart of a teacher. A teacher is someone who leads, guides, and instructs. Jesus was the great teacher. A teacher does not spread knowledge through harshness and rebuke, but in love instructs. The heart of a teacher is not a heart of judgementalism and phariseeism but someone who speaks the truth in love. A teacher knows that the greatest commandment and the greatest law is love! Because of love, a hero of the faith takes people under their wings and mentors and guides them. The biggest job of a parent is to teach your children all things. We instruct them in life, academics, love, and spirituality. A Hero of the Faith is a Spiritual Parent. A Hero of the faith knows that they need to be in the word of God for growth so they have something to share with others.
NIV 1 Peter 2: 1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The best part of being a hero of the faith is that we all have the tools in our arsenal to be a HERO. It doesn’t require superhuman strength or supernatural powers, it only requires that we are submissive to the plan and will of God and that we striving to walk in the great commission. Being a hero for God is filled with all kinds of promises that we can stand on. Matthew 28:19-20 didn’t end with imploring us to GO, MAKE, BAPTIZE, and TEACH, but it ended with a promise that we can stand on.
(The Message) I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age (NIV)
(KJV) and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
So all you Hero’s out there, be encouraged!! God has equipped and empowered you for his service. With his supernatural powers and our natural giftings and abilities, nothing can stop the move of God that is destined to happen. He has already overcome the world!