“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
From the outside, Maul-Hall in Wake Forest is a traditional looking house – red-brick and nestled in the trees for all the world like a slice of classic suburbia. But it turns out the whole colonial thing is simply a superhero secret identity. Because – in reality – there’s nothing in the least bit ordinary about our home.
And I’m not talking about the fact that we painted all that traditional dark wood panelling a nice, bright, white. Or that we painted the dark red walls a lighter shade of pale. Or that we ripped out the dark kitchen cabinets and put in a sleek Euro-styled look. All true, but the really extraordinary aspect of our home is the revolutionary approach to life that goes on here, and that defines us as Followers of the Living Way of Jesus.
Like the house, my “normal looking” persona is really a superhero secret identity. In reality, I am “GOOD-NEWS-MAN!”
SUPERHERO! I really like this idea of a superhero metaphor for Christ-followers. It was always the “secret identity” part of the story that attracted me to characters such as SuperMan and Spider-Man; the idea that someone walking around looking and acting just like me could do a quick costume change, take their glasses off, and make such a powerful impact on the world.
The longer I live the more I realize that we all hold that breathtaking potential, the latent power to make a difference, the fact that God chooses my ordinariness to do extraordinary things – every single day. We are called to be “Superheroes for Jesus.” We’re not only called, but we’re equipped too, by the amazing power of the Holy Spirit.
OWN IT! I’m sure my Sunday morning discipleship class and my Wednesday evening men’s covenant group get tired of hearing me ask variations on the following questions:
- “Please share a God-moment from this past week?”
- “Where have you seen God’s glory over the past few days?”
- … or this week’s question for the men, “Share an example of a moment when you thought, ‘This is where being a disciple makes an impact on my everyday life!'”
But I ask the questions because I know that the self we all walk around as is really, simply, our “Superhero Secret Identity.” I am – you are – a Child of the King! We are Disciples of Jesus! We are Followers of the Living Way! We are Blessed to be a Blessing!
And that represents just a handful of the superhero monikers we could adopt. Living as Christ invites us to live makes us extraordinary every day of the week. Now that is something exciting to report back on when I ask the question!
So here’s my challenge. Look through the New Testament; find some more ideas (I’ll list a few more); talk with God about it; pick your superhero name…
…Then step out of your superhero secret identity mode more often. Live for Jesus.
- “Love in Word and Deed Person!”
- “Conduit of the Holy Spirit”
- “Prayer Warrior”
- “Compassion in Action Dude”
- “Justice Lover”
- “Forgiven and Free!”
- “Brother/Sister to the Savior”
- “The Presence of Jesus for my Family”
- “Good News Man” (I really like that one!)
- “Child of the King!”
- “Disciple of Jesus!”
- “Follower of the Living Way”
- “Blessed to be a blessing…”
Just a traditional red-brick colonial nestled in the trees. Just an ordinary clay jar. Just a writer, a teacher, an accountant, a lawyer, an engineer… “To show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us…”
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:6-10
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.