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Whether we recognize it or not, every Christian has a superpower, a supernaturally chosen, Spirit-infused, divine grace, given to you to change your world. You didn’t ask for it, but if you’re a Christian and the Spirit of God lives inside of you, then you’ve got at least one. Commonly known as ‘spiritual gifts,’ your superpower is a divinely-infused pathway to make a difference with the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

It might be leadership, the divine superpower to inspire and move people in a common direction. It might be prophecy, the divine superpower to speak a revelation from God or to speak truth to power. Your superpower might be mercy, the divine ability to communicate the love and compassion of God in a tangible way to those who are hurting.

As Christians, we all have a superpower, but there’s a reason why so many of us fail to recognize that we actually have one. Because our superpower seems so natural to us (because of God’s Spirit living within us), we mistakenly assume that there’s nothing special about it. For instance, leadership is one of my spiritual gifts, making the task of casting vision and leading others as simple and natural as tying my shoe. What seems profound to others is effortless to me, because it’s my superpower. The spiritual gift of mercy, however, is not a superpower of mine, and I am mystified at how effortlessly some Christians are able to empathize and sympathize with others. If there’s something you do almost effortlessly, something that you assume all other Christians do as well, but something that those around you continually remark about, that might be a sign pointing to your superpower. What’s effortless to you is not natural to everyone: it’s a supernatural gift, a superpower, given by the Holy Spirit himself.

 

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One of the most hopeful verses in the entire Old Testament is Jonah 3:1, when God speaks again to Jonah after Jonah had been swallowed by a whale for his disobedience:

 

1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Jonah 3:1-3

 

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. Doesn’t that fill you with hope? If Jonah could get a second chance, so can you. But there’s a catch:

 

 

Stop waiting for God to tell you something different.

 

Just as it’s important to note that God gave Jonah a second chance, it’s also important to note that when God did give Jonah a second chance, He didn’t give Jonah a different directive. God gave Jonah a second chance to follow through and obey what God had originally told Jonah.

And that’s important for us to remember today. Many times we’re on the sidelines, not because God put us there but because we put ourselves there by refusing to do what He’s asked us to do. Some of us have this mistaken notion that if we don’t like something God has asked us to do, if we just wait long enough God will change His mind and ask us to do something more agreeable to us. God doesn’t work that way.

It’s God’s world, we’re just living in it. If you would say, “God hasn’t spoken to me in years. I haven’t heard His voice for decades,” I would tell you: go back to the last thing God told you to do and do it. God is always waiting for us at the point of our obedience to what He’s already told us to do. If God’s clearly told you something to do but you don’t like it and you’re waiting until God tells you something different, just a heads up, you might be waiting around awhile. Stop waiting for God to tell you something different.

 

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The most famous part of the story of Jonah in the Old Testament is the moment in his life when he was swallowed by a huge fish:

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry. Jonah 1:17-2:2

Jonah had a “come to Jesus” conversation in the belly of a whale. It’s hard to keep your dignity and pride when you’re being partially digesting by a whale. So, he decides it’s as good of a time as any to get his life right. Here’s the finish of his prayer:

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.

9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah 2:8-10

Some of you have been there. No dignity, no pride, life has beaten you up and literally vomited you back onto dry land. You never, ever, ever thought you would be where you are today. You never thought your career would turn out this way, that your marriage would turn out this way, that your kids would turn out this way. You never thought you would grow old, that you would lose your health, that you would lose your retirement.

Whatever it might be, some of you have been and maybe you are right now in the belly of the whale. When you’re there, when you’ve been humbled by life or by God, you can give up, you can get angry, or you can get right.

 

If you’re in the belly of the whale, make the most of it.

It’s no fun being in the belly of the whale. No one asks for it, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. But sometimes you find yourself where you never thought you’d be. So, when you’re there, make the most of it. James, the half brother of Jesus, talked about this in the New Testament:

6 That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:6, 10

This is called repentance. You can either humble yourself, or you will be humbled in the belly of the whale. Either way, we will all be humbled. That’s not a fun fact we like to celebrate, but it is a fact. So, when life has you beat down, you can give up, you can get angry, or you can get right. It’s never fun being in the belly of the whale, but when you’re there, might as well make the most of it.

 

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If you look at the Old Testament story of Lot (Genesis 13-14, 19), you’ll see a cautionary tale of how quickly life can get out of control when our bad decisions start to snowball. Where did things start to go wrong for Lot?

It was when his uncle Abram gave him the choice of where to live:

10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. Genesis 13:10

Lot couldn’t get past what his eyes saw, because what you set your eyes on you begin to value. This is completely contrasted with Abraham, who didn’t go by what his eyes saw. Here’s how the writer of Hebrews put it:

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

Abraham lived by faith, Lot lived by sight. The reason it’s so dangerous to simply live by sight is because the eyes are deceptive, and whatever you set your eyes on you begin to value. Once Lot saw the plain of Jordan, he couldn’t get it out of his head.

So, what are you choosing to put in front of your eyes? Is it God’s Word, or is it television? Is it God’s Word, or is it your phone? Whatever you put in front of your eyes, for better or for worse, that’s what you begin to value. So be careful.