GS24-08 Step Up to Your Hero's Journey

Step Up to Your Hero's Journey
Bill Giovannetti
There has never been a religion or a philosophy or a science that sees human life in terms as exalted as Christianity.

I don't know what you see when you look in the mirror, and I don't know what your family or friends think when they look at you, but when Jesus looks at you, he sees a sacred being, a masterpiece, created in the image of God, and therefore sacred to God in a way unlike any other life form or created thing.

Just that part is because you are human. That part is common to us all.

But it goes deeper.

There is a glory to you also because you are you. Because of the one-of-a-kind unrepeatable qualities that you bring to the table.

You are on earth for a reason. You have purpose and value far beyond what you know. God has a mission for you. That mission is yours only. No one else can bring to this world what you can bring. No one can bring the perfect blend of personality, experience, strengths, and weaknesses that you can bring.

The Hero's Journey

In literature, there is a kind of story that I want to focus on today. It's a story called The Hero's Journey. It's also called the Hero's Story, or the Heroic Narrative. It's found all throughout literature and myth... every culture has this.

So does the Bible.

The classic Hero's Journey represents a call to adventure, facing challenges and trials, emerging transformed, and making a difference that transcends your own life and times.

Technically, according to the standards of literature, "Most of the stories in the Bible are hero stories" (Ryken).

I think there's a reason for that.

I think the reason is that Jesus Christ put you and me and every person on this earth exactly for this. So we could follow the steps of those heroes, AND so we could blaze a trail for the ones coming after us. Because what I want to say today is that God has got a Hero's Journey for you—a life of adventure and faith—and you can embrace it with your whole heart...

Or you can shrink back from it, and live a safe, boring, vanilla life full of artificial stimulants, till the end of your days when you meet your Savior face to face.

So, my talk today is this: Step Up to Your Own Hero's Journey
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul..." (1 Peter 2:9-11)

Your Hero's Journey

The first part of the hero's journey is in these words: "that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

This is The Call to Adventure.

Moses sees a burning bush, goes to investigate, and finds out it is God. God calls him to go to Egypt and set his people free.

A humble woman named Esther, an orphan, gets swept up in international politics and intrigue in ways she didn't ask for and didn't want. She doesn't know it yet, but she is going to save her nation, and become one of the most prominent heroes of history.

Joseph has dreams where he sees himself as a ruler, and doesn't realize it's going to become God's call on his life.

Mary receives a visit from the angel Gabriel, who says she will bear the Savior of the world.

In each case, these are people living ordinary lives in what has become to them an ordinary world.

I am not telling you to expect a visit from an angel or a voice from heaven. But I am going to suggest that you wake up and pay attention to the ways that God is disrupting your comfortable routine and complacency.

If you're a believer, if you're a Christian, God is calling you to a bigger story than the one you're telling yourself today.

That call may take a lot of different forms.

You're feeling increasingly restless and unfulfilled in your current job/career... that's what it was like for me and Margi when we came here from Chicago... a couple of years ago.

A sense that you were made for more - to use your talents in a new or bigger way... we had that going too.

An opportunity arises that requires stepping out in faith to pursue (new job, entrepreneurial idea, returning to school, etc.)

Witnessing an injustice that stirs you to get involved and make a difference.

Becoming aware of a big need and feeling compelled to step up and help. There's a man in our church who built a worldwide ministry out of discarded pool pumps and bicycles to solve the problem of irrigation and drinking water in third world nations.

Some of you are going to meet someone who will become a close friend or spouse and transform your life's trajectory. When I first entered ministry, I met a man named Vern, when I was in my teens. I guess he saw something in me, and one day when I was 20, he called me and invited me to co-pastor with him, and the rest is history.

An undeniable prompting from God to radically re-order your life's priorities.

A time of searching and questions that leads you to embrace faith.

Or maybe you finally get sick and tired of being bored, being addicted, being dysfunctional, or sitting at home filling your crisis of meaninglessness with distractions.

It could even be a sermon like this one.

The purpose of God on your life is that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

In your hero's journey the purpose is so that your life may become an actual experience and undeniable demonstration of the awesomeness of a life with Jesus.

It is not about you living for yourself... though you will feel blessed more than you could ever dream.

It is not about amassing followers or fortune or fame... though God can and may bring that to you.

It is about Jesus. It is about Jesus as the one who called you out of our culture's soul-sucking philosophies — which are nothing but sleepwalking in a hypnotized, demon-bewitched state — out of all that into the uniquely crafted heroic adventure of a life worth living and a love worth finding.

It is time for you to begin to listen for the still small voice of God... calling you to the adventure of a lifetime.