Behind his mild-mannered and ordinary appearance, the fictional character Clark Kent is a superhero named Superman. Clark Kent holds a regular job; his clothes are commonplace; his life is nothing extraordinary. He is like the majority of the population. But the Superman character is different; he does great things and makes a huge difference. He has saved others, and even the world, countless times. In stories about Superman, people point at him in amazement and wish they could be like him. Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same, but they live in two entirely different worlds.
I wonder which character each of us most feel like—Clark Kent or Superman? I am sure the majority feel more like Clark Kent. I would guess that when we are out in public, no one points at us in amazement. Most of us don’t make front page news. The majority of us are safely in the range of “ordinary.”
But as born-again Christians, we actually get to feel a bit like Clark Kent and Superman. In this world, we probably are pretty ordinary. But in the supernatural world, as citizens of heaven (see Phil. 3:20), we are like superheroes. Our actions there make a huge difference to a great many people. We can pray, and something out of the ordinary might happen. And our sharing the gospel can change the course of someone’s life and where they spend eternity. That is tremendous!
Our words and actions here on earth are stored up in heaven where they will never fade away or be destroyed: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:20, NIV). What we can do as Christians is beyond the momentary powers of any superhero. And unlike the fictional stories of superheroes, what Christians can do is real! Real people are rescued and brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (see Col. 1:13); we are filled with real joy, peace, and hope (see Rom. 15:13); real wisdom is given to those who are confused and unsteady (see Jas. 1:5); real angels rejoice when a sinner repents (see Lk. 15:10).
I think this is part of what Colossians 3:1-2 is talking about: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” God does not want us just to walk around on this earth being ordinary; God wants us to look to the supernatural, to set our minds on what is above. And what’s more, God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit (see Rom. 15:13) and blesses us abundantly so that we can accomplish good work (see 2 Cor. 9:8).
The RESILIENCE conference in 2021 was so uplifting and nourishing. It was wonderful to be with other Christians around the world at this retreat, who truly care about responding to trauma in a compassionate way by teaching spiritual practices to help with grounding and healing.”
Join us for the next RESILIENCE conference on September 29-30, 2023. Learn more at UpperRoom.org/resilience.