Who are your heroes?
By Patricia Newman
"As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."
Who are your heroes? Who do you take delight in? Everyone has someone or some people that they delight in and admire as heroes and regard as worthy of imitation. Essentially a hero is someone of exceptional bravery or fortitude, or simply someone who has achieved something great. Heroes are regarded as worthy of admiration and as a result worthy of imitation. People make much of heroes and delight in them. But those that you take delight in will reflect deep things about your heart, your real values. Your delight shows what true excellence is to you.
Many young people who say that they are Christians love, admire and even idolise pop-stars, footballers and other sporting heroes, actors and actresses. Some have their pictures or posters proudly displayed in their homes. They buy their books, and eagerly read about their lives in show business magazines. Some copy their hair styles, fashion, mannerisms and more.
The trouble is that while these people may indeed have great talents and abilities, and while they have attained great success in the world, if they are not in Christ then they are still "worldlings". They do not fear the true God. They are naturally self-centred, and usually filled with pride. Beloved, remember that God hates pride, and God resists the proud. His grace is reserved for the humble.
These so-called "heroes" do not give due worship to the true and living God. They do not revere God. They are filled with vanity, and their often pervasive influence can only be worldly. They are not born again. They are still on the broad road that leads to destruction and cannot, therefore, be true heroes. What kind of a hero takes his or her admirers down the road that leads to perdition?
I am particularly burdened when I see children and young people, from professing Christian families, following after and idolising worldly heroes. Parents - awake!
Point the children - that God has entrusted to you - to Godly heroes, who bring glory to His name. How about great Christian scientists, such as James Clerk Maxwell, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, or Michael Faraday? How about great missionaries, such as William Carey, David Brainerd, or Amy Carmichael? How about great preachers, such as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, or A W Tozer? Or how about Corrie Ten Boom, Eric Liddell, or Helen Roseveare? The Bible, of course, is full of Godly examples to inspire. But, most importantly of all, be yourself a Godly example to your children.
Pray for worldly heroes, as for all men, as the Bible commands of us. We must remember that we, ourselves, were saved by grace through faith. Our salvation is not of works, so we have no basis to boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). But we do not make worldly heroes our heroes. And we certainly do not copy them.
In Psalm 16:3 above, we see where the Psalmist's delight is placed. The Psalmist highly values and esteems the saints of God. These are the Godly ones. They have been bought back from the devil (redeemed), by the pure and precious blood of Jesus. Justified, they have moved from the realm of darkness to the realm of God's marvellous light. They are set apart for God and are being sanctified by the indwelling Holy Spirit. They are being conformed to the image of Christ, the holy One, our true and eternal Hero, to Whom all glory belongs. Hallelujah!
Beloved, if you love God, you cannot but delight in His people. The true, devoted and zealous servants of God bring immense joy to your soul. You delight in their company, you love to help and serve them because you love the same Jesus that they love. You have the same Holy Spirit at work in your heart that is at work in their heart. We are, of course, commanded in Scripture to love everyone, even our enemies, but there is a unique and special love that can only exist between the true brethren of Jesus Christ.
I remember frequently coming out of Prayer and Bible Study meetings filled with gratitude to God for His people.
Pray that the Lord will enable you by His divine work in your soul to love what He loves and hate what He hates. God delights in the saints. The saints are "Hephzibah" to God - this means that God delights in His people (Isaiah 62:4). The saints should truly be the same to you.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I thank you with all my heart for Your most gracious and utterly wonderful work in the hearts of Your saints. They are truly the excellent ones in whom my soul delights.