July 31, 2008

CONSISTENT HEROISM
by Charles R. Swindoll

2 Kings 1

We cannot help but admire Elijah's consistent heroism. The man is alone, standing before the king and, surely, surrounded by armed warriors, faithful to Ahaziah, who could have finished him off with one thrust of a spear. Yet God's man never gave the risk a second thought. He was so convinced, so committed to his Lord, that the thought of self-protection never entered his mind.

The heroism of godly men and women is demonstrated in their willingness to face unpleasant conditions, even threatening circumstances, with remarkable calm. They act with firm resolve, even though it means incurring personal unpopularity. Nothing deters their passion to obey their God . . . regardless. His message is paramount. Period.

Few in the history of the church possessed this quality of passionate heroism in greater measure than Martin Luther. It's been asserted that he was, perhaps, as fearless a man as ever lived. "You can expect from me everything save fear or recantation. I shall not flee, much less recant," said Luther on his momentous journey to Worms.

Luther's friends were concerned for his safety. Focusing on the grave dangers ahead, they sought to dissuade him. But the mere thought of not going disgusted him. "Not go to Worms!" he said. "I shall go to Worms though there were as many devils as tiles on the roofs."

On a later occasion, while awaiting an audience before all the prelates of the church, Luther was asked if he was now afraid. "Afraid? Greater than the pope and all his cardinals, I fear most that great pope, self."

Elijah rose above his enemies, his king, even himself as he heroically stood his ground, delivered God's message, and refused to dull its edge. May his tribe increase in this day of shallow, feel-good theology, so popular among superficial, backslapping ministries.

And may you find the spirit of heroism in your own heart.

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.