Why the World Loves Super Powered Heroes
The world is preoccupied with super powered individuals. Their super abilities may be physical, mental, spiritual, or mechanical. In most cases, these super abilities were bestowed by a kind of secular election, aside from any merit on the part of the recipient. In nearly every case the powers are maintained regardless of how the hero seeks to use them. For good or for evil, for others or for themselves, their superpowers are morally agnostic and under the control of the superhero.
These super powered heroes have captured the imaginations of the world because of the advancements of motion picture technology, but also because of the spirit of the age that is preparing the world for a man who will promise and deliver on this very dream, who through technology and demon possession will make good on the promise made to the first humans, that they might be like God.
The Promise of Godhood
Genesis 3:4–6 (KJV 1900) 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Antichrist: the Man of Sin
2 Thessalonians 2:9–12 (KJV 1900) 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Christian is the True Superhero
The believer in Jesus Christ, unlike the fictional superhero, has real supernatural power. This power is greater in degree and in scope than anything imagined in the movies. The believer’s power comes directly from God. This power is unlimited. This power changes individuals, communities, nations, and history itself.
However, this power has conditions. First, it is God’s power at work in the believer, it does not belong to him as a personal possession. Secondly, this power is available only as long as the believer is connected to God in daily fellowship, which requires obedience to the Word of God. The believer does not have a tank of energy which is periodically refilled, but must constantly maintain spiritual contact with God, through faith and obedience for his power to remain. Thirdly, the Christian has unlimited power to do two things only: to minister to others and to live a holy life. It is through these two activities that heaven and earth, time, and eternity are influenced by the Christian.
The superpowers of the secular superhero are self-oriented and for most people, it is the real reason that they are super, the real reason that the world loves the superhero. Their powers belong to them, they control them in a morally agnostic way. There are many Christians who attempt to use God’s power in the same way that the fictional heroes do. Since God’s power does not operate in this way, these people must resort to make believe and trickery to convince themselves and others that their powers are real.
For the Christian who is preoccupied with pleasing God; the person who lives to realize His kingdom and righteousness, to know Him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, this man or woman, boy or girl will exercise world changing power every day.
The Bible Describes the Mechanics of Spiritual Power
Matthew 17:20 (KJV 1900) 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
John 15:7 (KJV 1900) 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
2 Chronicles 16:9a (KJV 1900) 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…
Three Keys to Spiritual Power
The first key to spiritual power is the discipline of abiding in Christ. The second key to spiritual power is the transformation of human personality via the fruit of the Spirit, the formation of the character of Christ in the soul of the believer. The third key to spiritual power is the manifestation of special gifts designed to enable spiritual ministry to others.
The fictional, secular superhero is a corrupted version of the real thing, the spiritually mature believer in Jesus Christ. The motion picture superhero is given his own power to be used according to his own will. In this Hollywood recalls the first offer of superhero status, by Lucifer, to the first humans in the Garden of Eden: ‘Ye shall be as gods.’ There was, and is, a category of spiritual evolution that is not possible until God is rejected in favor of self.
In our next installment of this series, we will describe the first key to spiritual power: how spiritual power is realized and maintained by intimacy with God, through the Holy Spirit.