What comes to mind when you think of a superhero? Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Aquaman? When we think of superheros we tend to think of someone young, strong, athletic, and daring. Typically they can do amazing feats – either through gadgets, strength, or super powers. Marvel movies are huge right now, we like to see good triumph over evil and plenty of action!
Ordinary superheroes tend to be a lot different than the superheroes we read about in comics or see on the big screen. I have a favorite superhero. She wasn’t young or strong. No fancy costume or gadgets. Her superpower? The strength of the Holy Spirit.
Do you have a desert island book? A book that you would bring with you if you were stranded on a deserted island (besides the Bible of course!)? Mine is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. And she is also my favorite superhero.
The Hiding Place takes place during World War II. Corrie and her sister are older, unmarried women living with their elderly father in the Netherlands. They have a deep faith in God which compels them to do extraordinary things. Hide Jews in their home, network with others in the resistance, arrange for illegal papers and ration cards. Their work eventually leads them to captivity in a concentration camp. Even while in the concentration camp – they find reasons to rejoice in the Lord during the most horrible conditions possible.
When I read the Bible sometimes the people seem larger than life, their faith is huge, their accomplishments amazing. Sometimes it can be hard to relate. How is it possible that Paul in the new testament could have endured beatings, imprisonments, and shipwrecks? Joseph in the old testament was sold into slavery by his brothers and falsely accused. How would I respond?
In reality, these people are really no different than you or I. As believers we all have the Holy Spirit available to us, and the same Bible to guide us.
In some ways we might be able to relate to the disciples a bit more. They made lots of mistakes, said things they shouldn’t have said and regularly displayed their doubt and confusion. However, they dramatically change in the book of Acts, why?
Acts 1:8- “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit is who makes the difference. The source of our power. It is the Holy Spirit that turns ordinary, weak people and fills us with strength and courage.
In Ephesians 5:18 God commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit:
18 “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,”
When you and I are filled with the Spirit and yielding to Him – we also can become ordinary Superheroes.