(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
Superpowers come in many shapes and sizes. There are the heroes who wield thunder, fire, water and otherwordly weapons. There are also the heroes cast into their role; overcomers who learn to conquer their fears and lay themselves down to protect others. Many heroes keep their identity secret. Day to day, they work or study inconspicuously amongst others, while also keeping watch for any signs of danger.
We watch them on the movie screens, celebrate their victories and look forward to being part of their next adventure. Some of these heroes are fictional characters with imagined superpowers, but what of the superpowers we can see everyday?
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Gifted with power
Everyone has a superpower. We might not fly or shoot fire from our hands, but we have all been fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ, given different spiritual gifts as the Holy Spirit distributes.
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 11)
We might not all do the same ministry, speak to the same people, or testify of God in the same manner, but we have all been equipped with power through the Holy Spirit with individual spiritual gifts that help us do what God has called us to do on this earth.
Yes, we have a calling. Yes, we have a purpose. Yes, we have identity as children of God, as partakers in His glory, as co-heirs with Christ, and as victorious warriors in His army. He chooses us to speak His truth and His love to those around us. He chooses us to use the blessings and grace He gives us to lift up the hurting and broken-hearted. He chooses us to stand for righteousness in the face of injustice, and to hold up His banner of love in a world that shoots arrows of hate, loneliness and pain.
He demonstrated His love when He died at the cross for us, and demonstrated His victory when He rose from the grave. He calls us to lay down our lives in complete surrender to Him so that He can work through us to breathe life into this world.
Our ultimate superpower is faith in Christ – the One through whom all things are possible.
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The church: a team of superpowered people
It was a mid-week gathering and the speaker was just about to start. I looked at the people around me; everyone worshipping, everyone ready to listen to the word of God. Here in this small room, I saw many gifts at work, and was reminded of how God’s blessings can be experienced in so many different ways.
There stood an encourager, actively lifting others up and giving them opportunities to step out in faith and develop their God-given talents. There sat a gentle servant, always looking to help in any way possible, faithfully and joyfully serving without any need for self-recognition. There with lifted hands was a shepherd, diligent to protect others from harm, and eager to feed them with the goodness of God’s word. There with heaven-turned face, was a prayer warrior unafraid to cry out to the Lord on behalf of others.
There they worshipped; administrators, teachers, musicians, people who simply stood with others as a friend. All these wielding different gifts, yet all also with the same beautiful and powerful love of Christ within them.
Paul says this to the Ephesian elders in Acts:
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts chapter 20, verse 28)
People talk about being inward versus being outward looking. The church, built from ordinary people, also carries a divine power as these Spirit-filled individuals allow God to reveal opportunities to bless in the everyday. Together, the church is a team, directed by Christ, reaching out arms that heal, protect and love.
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“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy chapter 1, verses 6-7)
The possibilities are endless when we choose to trust God. He gives us the ability not only to conquer our own fears and challenges, but also to help others conquer theirs. The power we have been given in Christ does not glorify ourselves, but glorifies God as it reveals His perfect love and His power over even the grave. What can stand against our God?
As for us, we have a responsibility that comes with knowing the power of God in our lives. The gift of grace God gave us was never meant to be selfishly hoarded, but to be shared with as many people as would receive it. The spiritual gifts given to us were never meant to lay dormant, but to be fanned into flamed so that we might experience freedom and victory in life with Christ and share this with others.
This ultimate superpower, faith, is itself a gift from God and its effect is far-reaching. We can all know power in the Name of Jesus, so let us cry out to Him and give Him glory.