We concluded last segment that heroism is not just being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing. Most of our culture dictates that these are the key components, a kind of accidental hero, but a true hero is one that expends the energies, willingly withholds personal pleasures and comforts, and prepares himself for that “right place, right time, and right thing!” It’s not just a flash in the pan, a moment for greatness, but a mindset, an intentionality to be more, not to settle for ordinary. The ‘average’ person is quite content to be just status quo, your basic ‘average,’ and the pressures to be such start quite early unfortunately. As parents we want our kids to fit in, be accepted, and avoid obvious criticism from their peers, and unconsciously we press them into a mold that says, “Don’t strive to be greater!” From our beginnings we are programmed to NOT become heroes!As we continue to study the Gadites, (refer to previous blog) the main ingredient they seemed to display was personal discipline, demonstrated in their crossing the flooded Jordan. Look at the description of these men. “Mighty men of valor” is a phrase used about 30 times in the Old Testament to describe a “man’s-man” type of warrior. Though the phrase is also used to describe some of Israel’s enemies, it is used enough to give you the mental picture of a chiseled, elite military leader that has laser focus and acuity. The fact that these guys were all “leaders of hundreds, leaders of thousands,” reveals that they had leadership mentalities even if they lacked natural leadership qualities. The famous Shakespeare quotation, “Some men are born for greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them,” helps to describe the readiness of these men of valor. It says they had “faces like the faces of lions.” If you watch a lion pursuing its prey the eyes never leave the target. These characteristics of focus, determination, leadership, and tenacity are the necessary ingredients for personal discipline.
We must have a new breed of spiritual heroes. Our young men gravitate to sports superstars, fictional characters, and Hollywood idols for their heroes. Oh, dear friends, we must create an atmosphere and training ground for developing and modeling spiritual heroes especially in the day when the enemy is mounting such a furious attack on all that is moral, wholesome, and right. We must put away the selfish fulfillments that give only fleeting, immediate pleasure and set our sights on the unbelievable, impossible, uncharted goals of righteousness with bravery. We must take back the ground that we gave to the enemy that now controls our political institutions, educational halls, and even in some of our churches. If you have lost the vision, given up, or just got too tired of the pain and have backed down or backed out, I implore you to take a deep breath, muster up all the courage you can, and make a focused plan of attack. Start by getting on your knees and thanking God that He made you to be a man, a leader, an example, a hero. Ask Him to supernaturally fill you with a drive you’ve never had, to give you a fresh vision of what He desires to do in your church, community, and beyond. Start NOW. See yourself as a spiritual hero for such a time as this. Let’s cross our flooded Jordan!