daily devotional

[Guest Host Rebecca Casey]

Today I want to talk about HERO’s. Let’s start with the definition of “HERO” – A Hero is someone who uses whatever they have for the benefit of others.

Heroes have all different abilities and powers and resources but what makes them heroes is not what they have but how they use what they have. We all have different abilities and resources and whatever you have God gave it to you so you could become a hero. If you use what you have no matter how big or small it may seem, if you use it to benefit others, then you are a hero. And you were born to be a hero.

Now I am sure there are many of us out there who just don’t feel like heroes. We want to be. We want to do things that matter, find meaning and purpose, do something of significance, change peoples lives but we just don’t feel like we are. I feel you. I’ve been there.

So how do we change that? What is stopping us or holding us back? ONE WORD – FEAR. Fear suppresses us, it holds us back. More than anything else I think fear keeps us from being the heroes we were born to be.

We are afraid of all kinds of things. Loss. Death. Failure. Loneliness. Rejection. Ridicule. What’s even worse is that FEAR not only keeps us from being the heroes we were born to be- it keeps us from living the lives we were meant to live. Fear keeps us living little, living safe. Staying inside our comfort zone. How many relationships have been ruined, careers spoiled, opportunities wasted, experiences avoided because we were afraid? We miss out on so much of what is good in life because we avoid it.

Now fear isn’t always a bad thing. You see a bear, you are afraid and you run. Good fear. When fear takes over, it becomes destructive and controls us and has us running from everything, not just bears. Example, your kids or your friends invite you to the lake or to swim and you aren’t in love with your body so you decline. Girl you don’t have to love your body but you need to love yourself and others enough to not let fear ruin you from a great time splashing with your kids or your friends. They will remember the fun mom who splashed and got wet with them, you will have photos and great memories of that water fight because you said yes. Or your friends will say, No, she never comes so I’m not asking again. GIRL – Say no to fear controlling your life. It is robbing you.

So lets talk about this within reference to the bible – this is a devotional after all – I’m getting there. Let’s talk about Jesus being God in the flesh, lets talk about his fear. In Mark chapter 8, the story of his life slows down a bit as Jesus begins to prepare his followers for what is about to happen next, his death. They think he is going to become a new king. He knows he is going to be betrayed, arrested and killed and he tries to tell them and prepare them. They don’t believe it. Chapter 14 , the moment has arrived, they have just finished Passover. Jesus takes his closest followers to Gesthemane.

Mark 14:32-34
They went to a place called Gesthemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

Jesus is overwhelmed. He knows what is coming. He feels human emotions, like we do. He is overwhelmed so he leaves his followers and goes off to pray.

Mark 14:35
Going a little further, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.

He falls to the ground and begs. Don’t make me do it. Let this hour pass.

Mark 14:37-38
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon, he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Have you ever tried to make a deal with God? I have. God if you do this, then I promise I’ll do X, Y and Z. God get me out of this and I’ll never do this again. We want to find another way than to face what is in front of us. Or we just want to avoid it and put our heads in the sand. Because our spirit is strong we want to be heroes. Our flesh is weak so we want to run away and avoid it and find another way. Even if it is not God’s way.

Mark 14:39-40
Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

Jesus prays, he falls on the ground and begs, he says “your will be done,” he prays again and he prays again.

Mark 14:41-42
Returning a third time he said to them, “are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer.”

When he comes back this third time his response is much different. He says, “Get up! Let’s go!” and in the real terms that is a military term like “Forward March” or it is a command to advance on the enemy like “Forward March”

Those are very different responses to the exact same situation – he prays, he begs, he prays, he prays, then he takes action! He stands up and faces it and walks right toward it. As he does that we are told everyone else runs away.

Mark 14:50
Then everyone deserted him and fled.

This is a great picture of how Jesus was so courageous. He wasn’t courageous because he didn’t feel fear. It’s actually the opposite. Jesus was courageous because he did feel fear. Courage by definition means to do something that scares you. In order to have courage, you must first experience fear.

What stands out most to me in this story is that Jesus is afraid to face his suffering and death and if he gives into his fear of it and finds another way then suffering and death win. His FEAR is promising him that if he avoids the suffering and death then everything will be okay. Fear is a liar. If we listen to fear and give in then gluttony wins, pride wins, hate wins,

You will always feel fear in your life. Everybody does. It’s natural and normal. It is also a survival mechanism. Stay away from the lion, don’t go near the edge. It is in you sometimes to protect you and those are the times you listen to it. But other times you need to not listen to it, because it is not trying to save your life, it is robbing you of your happiness. It takes way your peace and joy. It makes you feel overwhelmed and isolated. It is taking way your ability to dream and laugh and love and live. If you want to be the hero that God created you to be then you are going to have to start being courageous in the face of fear.

Jesus’ courage to face his fear and overcome it isn’t found in power or strength. It is found in submission. In the middle of those verses I read where he prays – he also says “Your will be done.”

You becoming the hero you were born to be and finding the courage to face your fears and not let them stop you begins with submission and surrender. When you can come to that place that you can say “Your will be done” and really mean it then I promise you that you will find a courage you never knew you had. You will become a brand new person. You will become a hero.