We all know the story of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Where a predator strives to blend in with the herd, in order to prey on the unguarded to satisfy its own insatiable appetites. However, as bad as this is, it’s even worse when the shepherd, the one appointed as guardian and responsible to ensure safety turns on his own. Thus, this once noble protector is transformed into a predator. It’s hard to believe this can even happen, and yet, how often have we experienced, or seen it within leadership circles and even among loved ones. Scandals, seductions, schemes, squandering and scams seem to flood the headlines.
However, there is hope amidst such chaos – and it begins with each of us. We don’t have to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing, trying to hide selfish intentions; and we definitely don’t have the be the shepherd betraying the trust of his/her flock. Yet, I submit this cannot be done apart from our complete surrender to Jesus Christ. For only He can transform our predatory hearts. It doesn’t mean selfish tendencies and temptations suddenly vanish, but it does mean, we don’t have to rely on our own abilities and self-controls to defeat them.
Undoubtedly, the world is in desperate need of sacrificial heroes, but before that can happen, we must first understand what makes a H.E.R.O. and what a true one looks like – Jesus Christ:
Honorable: Protectors do not defile, deceive and/or distort the relationships they’ve been entrusted with. They are there to serve the needs of others and guard their best interests, even over their own (Philippians 2:3-4).
Encouraging: Discouragement is a tool of the deceiver, not God. Therefore, we also are to encourage others in their pain and share the hope we have through Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Reliance: Temptations can not be avoided, but we do not have to give into them. Additionally, selfishness may always tug at our devotions, but as we learn to surrender our lives daily to Christ, He provides us the restraint and rescue from those things bent to our destruction (Proverbs 25:28).
Obedience: Jesus says we are blessed when we do those things we know to do (John 13:17). But in order to know what to do, we must know His commands. Therefore, it all begins with making Jesus priority, above all things, so that we know Him, know his directives and possess His power to act on them.
Application: “Heroes Wanted” – Acts 20:28
We have enough people blending in. What we need are more heroes. Heroes bold enough to stand out from the crowd – to honor relationships, not use, abuse and discard them. We need families restored. We need encouragers rather than intimidators. We need those with Godly convictions and are committed to restrain themselves from those things that will lead them and others to fall. We need obedience to a higher authority rather than our cravings – and thankfully, all these things flow freely from Christ. For He demonstrated them in His life and will help us live them out in ours. The question is, will we head the call?