EMPOWERED TO SHINE

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Written by Carl Patterson

In our home, super heroes are a pretty big deal. There isn’t a day that goes by when one of my kids isn’t trying to run as fast as the Flash, dressing up like Batman to take the night sky, or fighting off any foe that they could possibly imagine. For them, it’s more than just dress up, it’s the idea of being SUPER: the thought of having the ability to do more than they could possibly do before. I’d like to say they are the only ones, but I can’t help but wonder myself, “what would it be like to have a super-power?” With the amount of superhero movies that exist today, it’s hard not to let it cross your mind; the strength to lift a car, the speed to run as fast as lightening, or the ability to manipulate time. The idea of having superhero-like power is intriguing.

We want to be extraordinary and so we are drawn to the extraordinary.

Why is it that this sort of thing captivates us? I sometimes think it’s because somewhere in each of us is the longing to live a life filled with purpose. I mean, who doesn’t want a life that takes nominal human existence to the next level? That’s why I think those movies do so well. We want to be extraordinary and so we are drawn to the extraordinary. The unfortunate reality, however, is that too many of us escape to these movies instead of actually pursuing the extraordinary. We settle for cheap two-hour substitutes rather than a life equipped with power.  I don’t think this is what God had in mind when He sent Jesus to overcome death. I don’t think this is what was meant when the Holy Spirit was poured out to the believers on Pentecost (Acts 2). Jesus didn’t die and rise again so we could remain as we are, but so that we could be transformed and empowered to do more!

I think of Apostle Peter. During Jesus’ hardest hours, Peter denies he even knows Him three times before the crucifixion. Yet after Jesus rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit was poured out, Peter stood boldly before thousands (whom, might I add, thought he and the others were drunk!) and powerfully declared the truth about Jesus. The bible says about three thousand people were saved that day!

There is a broken and hurting world out there that is locked in darkness. It’s yearning for men and women, and sons and daughters of the King, to put on the power of God and break some chains. And what exists for those who call on the name of Jesus is the ability to do so? Jesus said, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses...” (Acts 1:8). Here is good news: not only does God call you to a higher purpose, but He also equips you with the supernatural ability to fulfill those purposes. He enables you to shine bright in the darkness. And He empowers you to stand boldly before others and let your life declare the freedom and love of Jesus.

Stop daydreaming about super powers and start living an empowered life. Stop imagining what it could be like, and start living it. What is available for you is greater and more incredible than what any superhero movie can present.

What you have access to… is the power to shine!