Finally! How long did it take Hollywood to realize that there is only one guy in the known universe who should play the role of Hercules! We don’t need another shirtless Twilight look alike or beefed up One Direction clone for the role of a demigod…We need…
If you don’t believe me…watch the trailer for the movie, and when he yells, “I… AM… HERCULES!!!” – I think you will believe him.
Meanwhile, there is no explanation as to why his clothes are on fire in the movie poster…maybe that’s just how The Rock rolls, right?
But this new version of the ancient Greek story is a very different take. The story takes place post-12 labors fame, where we find a haunted and guilt-ridden warrior who has doubts about his calling as a champion. Without giving away too much, this movie chronicles his journey from embittered mercenary to a reestablished hero who must restore a rightful king to the throne.
Interesting how Hercules has the strength of a god, yet can feel the pain and weakness of a human, isn’t it? And though this is just a big screen battle fest with a ripped cast and crew on top, I feel like there is a deeper lesson for those of us who have followed the Lord Jesus for a while.
Have you ever felt like Hercules? Not in the sense of being so yoked that you want to grab a club and demolish a supersized lion, but more in a post-victory way? What I mean is, maybe you’ve battled back some major sin areas in your life, but now you sometimes feel as though you are just a mercenary going through the motions, and you’re still haunted by your past.
I think that’s how many of the Christians who lived in a Greek city called Philippi felt almost 2000 years ago. In fact, maybe the story of Hercules reminded them of their weakness as well? In any case, God had a special message for them that applies to us today:
I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you, will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting you until the day Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world (Philippians 1:6, The Voice).
What an awesome reminder and promise that we can hold on to! Whether we embrace it or run from it, God will keep working in us, in order to do great things through us!
We don’t have the muscles of The Rock, but we are endowed with the Spirit of The Rock of Ages – Jesus Christ!
We don’t have the status of a demigod, but we are called the Children of God!
We haven’t slain any multi-headed dragons, but we have overcome the Serpent named Satan!
And despite our past sins and present discouragement, God will keep perfecting us into the image of Jesus until the day He returns or calls us home to be with Him.
In the meantime, don’t get stuck in the “mid-design” mode that so many Christians fall prey to. The King of kings wants to do an amazing work in and through you, and it starts with a re-commitment to the things that fired up your passions when you first trusted Christ.
Commit yourself to daily prayer – seek His face when you first rise and praise His name when the sun sets.
Turn your back on the things that make you a worldly mercenary and fix your eyes on the heavenly Savior.
Pour over God’s living Word – a double-edged sword that is more powerful than anything Hercules ever carried!
And finally, dedicate yourself to something more than just yourself…it’s called THE Cause of making disciples. It was Jesus’ final command to all His heroes, and it is the highest calling we have on this planet. Share the gospel whenever and however you can, with whomever you can. Live your life in a way that makes people curious about your relationship with Jesus, and share His message in word and deed. Always be prepared to lead someone into a saving relationship with Him.
If you do these things through the power of the Spirit and for the Glory of God, you will release your inner Hercules and help restore the one true King to His throne on the day He returns!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, ask God to remind you of the things that made you passionate about following Him, then look for ways that He wants to work in and through you. Before you know it, you will feel like the hero He has called you to be!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, please restore the passion that we had when we first followed You, and give us opportunities to reach people with Your life saving gospel.
Read: Hebrews 12:2.We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Hercules is a reminder that when we feel discouraged in our faith, we need to remember that God will complete His good work in us.
Key Passages: Philippians 1:6
- Is it normal for Christians to feel discouraged sometimes? Why or why not?
- What kind of “work” is God doing in you?
- What is one way you can restore the passion you had for Jesus when you were first saved?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?