Heroes need not apply

The world sells us heroism. We have the Avengers and Spider Man and all sorts of other Saturday morning characters that overcome evil through heroic acts. Every young boy wants to grow up and be a super-man and defend the weak. Is this what God wants from us? What about David – giant killer and victorious in battle – he was a hero wasn’t he? Not exactly as we might imagine.

When Saul threw spears at David what did David do? Did he return fire? No. In our lives how often are we unnecessarily returning fire at the spears launched against us? Do we defend ourselves or let God be our strength? At one point David had a chance to kill Saul, end the threat against his life and claim the throne. But David did not want any of that. He only wanted to obey and accept God’s will. Saul was a central part in the process of molding David’s heart to God’s will. Saul seethed with jealousy against David, and he lusted for David’s death. This is what God wanted to happen. Can we accept such a situation? Are we willing to be broken in such a manner? Like David? Or like Jesus? Nobody wants it this way. Except God.

I don’t want to imply that God sends us suffering and trials to torment us, but whatever the explanation we must accept our life situation and allow it to form us for His service. Whatever the trial, it must be used to glorify the Father. Here we find true Christian heroism.

If we could kill the Saul’s in our lives, yet it was against God’s will, would we stay our hand? The abuse, the illness, the loss, the pain, the tormenter… who wouldn’t be rid of these things? David didn’t end the persecution and claim the glory. He refused to harm one hair on the head of his aggressor. This is the hero we must emulate in David.

When it is time to lay the giant low we must launch into battle without fear; when it is time to be merciful we must hold back. Yet we so often do the reverse – cringe in fear when we should be bold and lash out when mercy calls.

The persecution of the Christians comes in many perverse forms these days. We are ridiculed and ostracized. We are considered obsolete and archaic. We are ignored. We are condemned as atrocities are committed from within the church making our walk all the more difficult. So we bemoan our plight. Should we wish to be rid of this? Or do we accept it all as God’s will in order to give more glory to the Father? I speak of the most difficult things to accept here. How does one continue to praise and glorify Jesus when many have been wounded in His name? Here we encounter the miracle of faith. Someone who has been abused by a priest or pastor continuing to praise God… this is heroic and only a deeper wisdom and vision can understand as the rest of the world hurls spears at us.

And in our own misery and transgression do we also find heroics? David, as king, gave in to the temptation of fleshy desire and took Bathsheba. Then he had her husband murdered. Is this a hero? David was king. He could have done as he pleased. He could have written God out of his heart. Yet out of his misery and shame came the model of perfect repentance in Psalm 51…

“Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my iniquities. A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from before your face, nor take from me your holy spirit. Restore to me the gladness of your salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit. I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from violent bloodshed, God, my saving God, and my tongue will sing joyfully of your justice. Lord, you will open my lips; and my mouth will proclaim your praise. For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.

A heart, broken in repentance, coming back to God. This is heroic. Because it reveals perfect justice and the true champion of our faith: Jesus Christ. Be a Christian hero, accept His will and carry a repentant heart. Let His mercy lay the giants low.

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Much of this post was inspired by Gene Edwards’ A Tale of three Kings: A Study in Brokenness. So if anything sounds like his, please give Mr. Edwards the credit.

23 comments on “Heroes need not apply

  1. Naphtali says:

    This is just too good Vince.

  2. Cristal says:

    Perfect timing, Vince. I needed this so I could share with a friend who has an enemy relentlessly persecuting her. Thank you!

  3. Lucio says:

    What a gift you have my dear Vincent, I wish I could write as well as you do. I’m so glad you are able to put in simple (yet beautifully written) words the sometimes uncomfortable will God has for each and everyone of us. Of course, growth is always painful. I recall memories from my own infancy. I mean, I’m a tall guy (1.90 mts) (NOT boasting! haha), to get there I remember experiencing these horrible knee-cap pains. Goes to show that pain is a normal part of the process. God bless you and your ministry as a writer, I believe He has great things in store for you and your family!

    • Vince Chough says:

      Lucio… thank you brother for your kind words. I try to let the Spirit guide my words. An idea pops into my head and heart and it just comes out. Other times I try to force it and it shows. When I am docile and obedient He does His best work through me. Many blessings!

    • Pat says:

      Amen! I totally agree.

  4. Great post, my friend. Good advice…some that I need to take right now. “A heart, broken in repentance, coming back to God.” — Yes. He wants us to use the times when things are seemingly not good to become stronger by clinging to Him and following Him more closely. I am trusting in that in my life right now. Hope you are doing well.

    • Vince Chough says:

      Thank you Brian. I know exactly what you mean as I am in a similar place right now. Writing this post helped me understand and accept. I’m thankful that it helped you.

  5. jamie says:

    I could not help but think, it takes more wisdom than strength to be a hero. That was something David had in spades. He knew when to fight and when not too. He knew when to be right and when to admit he was wrong. Great example for all of us to follow.

    • Vince Chough says:

      Thank you Jamie… I love to study about David. He was so human yet still so devoted to the Lord. His victories and failures have taught me so much about myself.

      • jamie says:

        I agree Vince. I often recall David and his life in my own struggles or when I need guidance in something. David is wonderful to help us to relate to God too.

  6. yoiyumtewa says:

    Vince, thanks so much for what you do, and your words…You have a gift! Much of what needs done needs wisdom in general, but most specifically (for me, anyway) patience and the wisdom to know what I am to be patient about, and when I need to push on through and know that God is giving strength to get things done.

    • Vince Chough says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I try to be His instrument, and when it comes out good I give the glory to Him. The Lord has done so much for me and my family. I must love and praise Him.

  7. Pat says:

    Hi Vince
    This is so good I tell ya 3 post now talking about bowing down to God’s will that we don’t like to.Mercy-pain,heartaches,disappointments and the list goes on. For Jesus did say in this word you will have many different kinds of trials and tribulations,but cheer up,I’ve paved a way for you. Jesus has overcome it all,and as we trust in him he will carry us safely through each heart wrenching thing.
    Love you brother and keep up the good work. 😀

  8. granbee says:

    A repentant heart is truly the mark of a Christian hero,Vince! What a wonderful post you have given us to educate us further in this principle of Christian living! Thank you, dear brother in the Lord.

  9. Tammy says:

    Thank you – beautiful post and great references to popular culture, present day Christianity. A small thing, but the other day I was waiting for traffic to try to get across the road and I started to become anxious and angry. But in a moment I thought “What Would Jesus Do” – of course my entire outlook and wellness changed instantly. I relaxed and of course I got across the road(safely, too!) but I also reflected about letting go, letting God. Because when we are impatient and hostile, we are saying that we know what is best for us. But we don’t.

    • Vince Chough says:

      Ooooooo… those “what would He do” moments. So critical to our growth. It is true, our angry and anxious flesh drives us nuts. Like you said in another comment… BE AWARE! Bless you sister!

  10. Jason says:

    Vince,
    Exactly what I needed to hear this morning and I can’t wait to share it with the young adults in our young adult group tonight and I think my 13 year old son will get something out of it too…You are a blessing!
    Thanks, Jason

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