“The world is full of evil and lies and pain and death, and you can’t hide from it—you can only face it. The question is, when you do, how do you respond? Who do you become?”
An excellent question from Agent Coulson from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., wouldn’t you agree?
And who wouldn’t agree to be on the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division? According to Coulson, these are the folks who are “the line between the world and the much weirder world.”
But alas, there is an equal chance of me becoming an S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent as me attaining the bicep status of Thor.
That being (painfully) said though, I recently came to the realization that in a very real sense, I am an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D! As a Christ follower, I represent a line between the physical world and a much weirder (but more awesome) spiritual world—not because I am a superhero—rather just the opposite:
Look carefully at your call, brothers and sisters. By human standards, not many of you are deemed to be wise. Not many are considered powerful. Not many of you come from royalty, right? But celebrate this: God selected the world’s foolish to bring shame upon those who think they are wise; likewise, He selected the world’s weak to bring disgrace upon those who think they are strong. God selected the common and the castoff, whatever lacks status, so He could invalidate the claims of those who think those things are significant. So it makes no sense for any person to boast in God’s presence. Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed. He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness and holiness and redemption. As the Scripture says: “If someone wants to boast, he should boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31, The Voice).
I used to think that Christians needed to be superheroes for THE Cause—that I would need the strength of The Hulk, the courage of Captain America, and the ingenuity of Tony Stark just to keep up with a world that is so “full of evil and lies and pain and death.”
And to be sure—I have supernatural power through the Holy Spirit who lives within me, and I can do “all things through Christ Who gives me strength”—but honestly, sometimes I feel as weak as a kitten with the flu.
But then I realized that as a part of the “chosen people,” God doesn’t call the equipped…He equips the called!
Do you feel called as an Agent of G.O.D. (God Opens Doors)? If not, then you are in great company, my friend. The 12 Apostles who changed the world didn’t either, but when they realized that they didn’t need to be superheroes to serve the risen Savior, they rocked the planet with the gospel!
The Apostle Peter denied Jesus three times before His crucifixion, yet he went on to establish the church that now holds a membership of 2 billion people! Not only that, but he boldly stood for Jesus in the face of his executioners and asked to be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be killed in the same way as his Lord.
The Apostle Thomas (aka “the doubter”) refused to believe that Jesus came back from the dead until he was able to feel the nail marks in His hands and touch the spear wound in His side.
Jesus granted his desire for proof, and Thomas took the gospel all the way to India where he was eventually run through pine spears and burned alive.
The Apostle Paul carried the weight of guilt for murdering Christians before he gave his life to Christ, but he went on to be God’s pen, composing the majority of the New Testament. Not only that, but his missionary journeys established churches all over the world—and his life ended as a martyr at the hands of the Roman Empire.
The stories of the original Agents of G.O.D. go on and on. In fact, if Marvel produced a series about these courageous and audacious servants of the Most High God, it would be perhaps the most fascinating television show to ever invade our living rooms!
But that is not going to happen—which is a good thing—because we need to turn off the TV and get busy for THE Cause. We were called out of darkness to carry the torch that our brothers and sisters from ancient days ignited, and if we don’t fulfill our mission…who will?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. As Agents of G.O.D., are we any different? Our world is dominated by the evil one and the father of lies. There is real physical, mental, emotional and spiritual death all around us, and we must face it!
The question is, when you do, will you respond? Who will you become?
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
When you are feeling like an ordinary person with no extraordinary powers, remember that you are an Agent of G.O.D. with a calling on your life. God will equip you to fulfill the mission to which you have been called, so go and change the world!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, thank You for choosing to use the least likely people to do the most unlikely things. Help us to be faithful to Your calling so we can advance Your Kingdom in this world.
Read: John 15:5. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Get: Have You Ever Wondered About God? Use this short YouTube video as an opening to a deeper spiritual conversation with your friends. Text it, tweet it, post it, whatever works for you! (The video is part of Salt…Creating Thirst, Dare 2 Share’s newest evangelism training curriculum for youth groups.)
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a great reminder that God uses ordinary people like us to accomplish extraordinary things for His Kingdom
Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
- Who is your favorite superhero in The Avengers?
- How does your life reflect the line between the physical and spiritual world?
- In what ways can you relate to the 1 Corinthians 1 passage?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause of making disciples who make disciples?