Bonnie Tyler belted it out the best with her unforgettable song lyrics “I need a hero!” Well, don’t we all? Life is requiring super-human capacity to navigate these days, demanding more than flesh and blood can bear.
Not surprising then, that Pop Culture has exploded into the Marvel Universe. This generation’s ideas about valor, virtue, gallantry and even authority are being shaped by the imaginary constructs of comic books. Hollywood keeps churning out their version of new demi-gods to be worshipped. When you’re frantic for a champion, you create your own. Mere mortals have twisted ideas about what exceptional strength and greatness look like. In this world of stereotypes, whoever is the strongest makes the rules and violently enforces them. Welcome to the religion of Greek mythology, retooled for a contemporary generation.
This is the result of several generations unchurched, impious and completely oblivious about the spiritual potential they carry. There’s a woeful ignorance, both about the love and goodness of God and the salvation purchased for them. It’s amazing how important and formative what you learn in Sunday School really is! Without this foundational knowledge of piety and righteousness, the human soul flounders desperately, searching for something to replace the power of what is truly divine. But it isn’t only the Lord they are missing knowledge of. It’s the revelation of how precious one human life is, even without superhero distinctions.
Truth to tell, we’re not to blame for our tendency towards the heroic. When you are formed for interaction with the supernatural, you naturally lean towards exceptionality. Additionally, the human soul was formed with a “God-hole” which automatically reaches for its Savior. Finally, Satan is the ultimate villain, so even if we really are paranoid, he’s still out to get us. Tyrants abound. We’re not imagining the number of battles to be fought.
It’s true that no matter how old a person gets, there is some part of us that never outgrows the need for protection. Remember those happy days when things got rough on the school playground, and someone with an itch tried to embroil you in a fight? It wasn’t long before a bloodthirsty rabble gathered, looking for action. What can compare to the moment your older, bigger sibling suddenly waded into the fray to fish you out, scattering the mob? He’ll be your champion forever.
I’ll never forget the day I stumbled across Jeremiah 20:11
But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. Jeremiah 20:11
How great is that? Jesus is our big brother who will always wade into the fray, no matter how fierce! In the Hebrew, one could translate “The Lord is with me as a Dread Champion”. I often speak this out loud when I find myself again in those ‘playground' situations where I feel overwhelmed. Suddenly, the awareness of His presence calms me.
In ancient days, in order to avoid mass carnage, armies would send their two top warriors into the neutral ground between drawn lines. Interestingly, this was called the champlain, from which we get both the words campaign and champion. These two elect warriors fought to the death; the winner taking the victory for his entire country. The story of David and Goliath gives us a front row view into this bout between these choice athletes.
Many times, Scripture conveys the idea “The Battle belongs to the Lord”. The Lord is our ultimate hero, but He wants us to be champions in our own territory. He wants us to achieve victory at ground level. When we carry out campaigns of spiritual warfare in His name, He gives us ‘super-powers’: a rhema word, prophetic insight, anointed boldness and flinty conviction. The Captain of the Host does go before us into the fray, just like He led Joshua into the promised land, but we’ve got to have the courage to obey and follow. If we do, not only will we get the victory, even Creation itself is transformed!
The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. Romans 8:18 JB Phillips
I think of ‘super-heroes’ of faith I know and the outstanding enterprises they have conducted in the boldness of the anointing. With the power of the Internet behind us, we should be able to greatly surpass their finest efforts as they cheer us on from Heaven. Let's be the generations that "out-runs chariots" and blows past all previous markers for signs, wonders and glorious manifestations. Nothing shall be impossible for us, the champions of faith.
…The people that do know their God will be strong, and do exploits. Daniel 11:32
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