Today’s entertainment world is as distracted with superheroes as it once was with westerns. A constant stream of movies and shows has featured people with special abilities not known in human experience. That fantasy distraction can mislead us, so I want to speak a practical word about the super powers God has given you.
The fantastical abilities presented on the big screen, complete with the latest computer generated imagery making impossible things look real, can give the impression that super powers would make us successful and happy.
Yet people don’t possess those imagined abilities. And at the same time, for you to become successful, powerful and happy, you would be foolish to daydream about having those kinds of abilities.
The truth is, and it’s a truth that might get lost in the blaze of fantastical heroes, you do have amazing powers, if only you will use them. The Bible points to a number of things you can do and powers you can develop, that will bring you far greater success than you currently enjoy.
Let’s catalogue some of the basic powers you have at hand. First you have life, and you have a mind and the range of capacities that come with being human. Some of those capacities might be impaired in your case, such as loss of sight or hearing, but if you are catching my message right now you have some of those basic faculties still working for you. Those who harness and use their life and basic faculties move ahead of others.
You also have time. You most likely have years and decades of life ahead of you. And each year holds hundreds of days that hold the same amount of time for each of us. Those who harness and use their time wisely move ahead of others.
You also have mentors, teachers, role models, friends, family and various associates, not to mention the local community in which you live and your broader community or country. Those who harness and use their opportunities to learn and be guided, and who connect well with the networks around them move ahead of others.
You have natural wisdom in your world, made up from your own experience and the experience of people around you, recorded in biographies and books, shared among friends, and passed on to benefit others. That wisdom usually takes some energy and discipline to apply in our lives, putting aside our desire to take things easy, and pushing through the process of disciplining our lives. Those who harness and use the wisdom available to them move ahead of others.
Then there’s the wonderful grace of God available to all who will humble themselves and put faith in Christ, becoming a child of God, and then living in faith by the Word of God. Not only does God’s word bring us superior wisdom to the wisdom of this world, but the grace of God actively directs us, and rescues us, while bringing blessing into our lives. Of course, that means we also die to a life of indulgence in this world and find far greater riches and delights by loving and enjoying a life with God. Those who harness and use the blessing of God, by faith and humility, move ahead of others.
Each of these, and this is not an exclusive list, are the Simple Super-Powers. These are the ones that actually exist. These are the ones you need to think about and pursue.
A child whose head is filled with fantasy ideas about getting imagined abilities could day-dream about it all day. Their friends who study, do chores well, spend time with mentors and coaches, practice specific skills until they master them, and build strong relationships with God, family, friends and the community will leave the day-dreamer far behind. Dreaming of the fantastical robs people of the real super-powers in their hand.
The same is true for all areas where people day-dream, such as wishing for a better marriage, dreaming of a better career, wanting to be better at their favoured skill, and so on. The dreamer could achieve so much more by using their Simple Super-Powers, than by wishing for some stroke of luck to change their world.
Let’s hear how God instructs regarding using the Simple Super-Powers we have at hand. The key prompting is to be diligent with what we have and not to waste our time and life.
“The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.” Proverbs 12:24
“He who deals with a slack hand becomes poor: but the hand of the diligent makes wealth.” Proverbs 10:4
“The soul of the sluggard desires things, yet has nothing: but the soul of the diligent will be made fat.” Proverbs 13:4
Another Bible prompt is to accept discipline and training. Anyone who seeks to excel in sport or other skills knows you have to be pushed beyond your limits and accept that discipline, in order to achieve.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1
“He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.” Proverbs 15:32
Another prompt is to be self-motivated. That is to take personal responsibility for our progress and provision, rather than being like a child who expects others to think about those things for us. The example given is the ant.
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without commander, overseer or ruler it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8
A child relies on parents and carers to take care of a host of things and ensure the child’s welfare. However, on stepping into adulthood we need to take personal responsibility for our choices and directions. So the Bible speaks often about us making a personal choice, and it talks of abandoning our childish thinking.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1Corinthians 13:11
One of your great Super-Powers is your will. God gave you personal power to determine who you are and what you will do. You will be judged for eternity based on how you use that power. So take stock of where you are, what you are doing, where you are headed, and especially what you are doing to develop and put to use the Simple Super-Powers God has given you.
It’s time to be grown up about your life and who you are and where you stand with God. It is time to put away childish daydreams and get on with the life God has given you, making full use of all your wonderful Simple Super-Powers.