Many people think the characters in Bible stories are superheroes, almost perfect. To us, they were so noteworthy, good, honorable, or memorable that it was no wonder they achieved a lasting legacy in the pages of God’s holy word, the Bible.
However, even a cursory reading of the Bible quickly tells us otherwise. Other than Jesus, who is both God and man, there’s not a single human being who ever walked this earth who is perfect. Every person in the Bible is flawed and falls far short of holiness, no matter how many pages are devoted to them.
Take King David, described as “a man after God’s own heart” in Acts 13:22. He was an adulterer who had his best friend killed to marry the man’s wife. Abraham was a deceiver (Genesis 20), Jacob a cheat (Genesis 27), and Moses a doubter who didn’t get to set foot in the Promised Land (Numbers 20).Still, there is a way to overcome our all-too-human flaws and step up in faith to be far better than we are on our own, and God shows us how throughout Scripture. Here are some ways to be the person God needs you to be.
Ask for help.
It seems simple, but often, the hardest thing to do when we need it is to ask for help. Still, over and over again, God shows us how His people turned to Him, and He answered. For example, the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt for many years, forced to endure harsh labor and other cruelty. Finally, their oppression grew too much for them. God heard their groaning and grew concerned for them. His response was to send them His prophet, Moses, who led them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.
In short, they asked for help, and God came to the rescue. In Matthew 14, Jesus’s disciples were all in a boat without him when they saw him in the distance, walking on the lake. While terrified, Jesus reassured them it was Him and invited Peter to step out of the water toward Him. Immediately, Jesus did indeed save him. The message is clear: God loves us. He wants to help us. All we have to do is ask for help.
Rely on scripture.
The Bible also gives us another method for living in alignment with God and being the person God created us to be: Read His holy word. Reading the Bible helps us understand who God is, how much God loves us, and how to live a life in line with His ways. And God’s words are powerful. Indeed, they are what Jesus chose to use when He modeled for us how to overcome temptation.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we read how Jesus was led into the wilderness to face temptation. After He’d fasted 40 days and nights, the devil came to Him, tempting Him three times: with food, with pride, and with earthly riches. Each time, Jesus countered that temptation by quoting scripture.
Later, in Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul tells us that God’s Holy Word is so powerful that it is a weapon against evil. As Paul writes, we are to “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” as seen in Ephesians 6:17. It also provides clarity. Psalm 119:105 says God’s word is “a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” There is power, strength, and wisdom in scripture.
Surrender to God.
Another fundamental way we can be who God wants us to be: by surrendering our will and turning ourselves over to His sovereign rule. In His Ten Commandments, God tells us He is a jealous God and wants us to have no other gods before Him, nor are we to craft an image that we worship, as seen in Exodus 20:3-5. God desires us to love Him and Him alone and other people in His name.
Indeed, Jesus reminds us of this in His response to a legal expert in Matthew 22. The man had asked Jesus what the greatest commandment in the Law was. Jesus gave his reply in Matthew 22:37-30, saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
When we put God first, that means first. We surrender our will and desires and do what He will have us do. Jesus modeled that for us when He accepted a painful crucifixion to pay the debt for our sins. After the Last Supper, Jesus retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane with some disciples to pray. In anguish, He poured His heart out to God, pleading, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done,” in Luke 22:42. Indeed, He didn’t want to be nailed to a cross, suffer publicly, and die a torturous death, but He surrendered to God’s will. And in doing so, He not only became our savior but was resurrected to God’s right hand.
Honor God in worship.
Take time each day to express respect and devotion to your Father. Sing to Him. Thank Him in prayer for something He’s done in your life. Tell other people about what He’s doing. Search your music streaming service for “worship” or “praise,” then listen to renew your mind with reverence for Him.
Invest in God’s Kingdom.
God modeled generosity by giving us Jesus, His most prized possession. Give your time by working to become a better listener. Use your talents to serve others in your community. First, invest your resources into your local church or consider supporting another mission that weighs on your heart.
No one is perfect. We all fall short. But as we can see in the Bible, we can come closer to the person God intends for us to be. We must ask for help, rely on His Holy Word, and surrender to His will. We must also honor Him in worship and invest in His kingdom. That is what living in complete alignment with God looks like.