1Whosoever believes on Jesus as the Christ is born of God… 4For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith (1 John 5:4-5).

The fabled heroes strained to survive the adversary, relentless in pummeling the outnumbered ranks. One pummeled to the ground while on bended knee his armor wasted. One brother-in-arms on his back—the enormous weight and scathing sensation of his own axe-blade piercing while a once Norse-god-strength faltered under weight of his very own weapon. Suddenly something altered like the ceasing change one can feel and see and hear in coastal air about to bring relief. When the oppression of howling wind, battering rain and hail are suddenly torn away by what seems for a moment to be a new sun itself whispering in the stillness. Hope. The hearts of those around me pounded and watching eyes widened like they broke some supernatural barrier to collect light at the source.

Ripples of failure and loss dissipated in seconds as we watched it rise from the earth—scorched by the enemy. All eyes were now fixed on one thing—all ears to its acoustics. The hammer of Thor. The hero himself overcome, Mjolnir continued to slowly rise and like lightning scorches after thunder it careened through air with its song landing an enemy-blow. And it did not stop or fall into the hand of rejuvenated Thor. We all looked on as the hammer landed in the grasp of another, his iconic shield adorning the opposite. Captain America. Worthy.

“Cap” was worthy to be one blessed with the ability to lift it and wield it and this the audience believed, remembering with me the inscription in the side of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir: Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. He called down thunder and lightening onto the enemy who fell backward in dismay. He was worthy and I knew it. My fellow movie-goers erupted into audible cheers (…and I mean I’m not saying I was one of those but…). Worthy. He was the rising action of this entire multi-film saga and then one could feel it in the room. Victory.

I remembered then what Cap had began to repeatedly replant and rebirthing in my mind—re-planting: my Grandpa Ralph in his Army fatigues. War the image of my Grandpa Ralph of real heroes quickly forgotten who battled our freedom over the years in our world and continue to with not one iota of superpower, no magically blessed weapon to wield. It wasn’t the test-tubed super-soldier in star-spangled-spanx action that earned a “worthy” status. It was Steve Rogers—man behind the mask. The man behind the name was worthy; chosen to be the hero because of his sense of goodness and honor, courage and indwelling spirit of seeing the needs of the oppressed and having a relentless fight in him to face tyranny eye-to-eye born long before the Superhero, His worthiness within the hero. It is not so different in truth for you and me.

Galatians 5 and 1 John 5:4-5 (that Pastor Rich preached from recently) in the Bible are Truth for our practice and Ephesians 4 is one of many listing the how more practically. “It was for freedom that Christ set free,” compelling us to “continuously allow my re-rooting” in Christ to be free and live free (Gal 5:1,13). While the English definition says freedom means: “independence” but that isThe biblical Greek is literally, “free for doing” (Strongs Exhaustive Concordance; Thayers Bible Dictionary). In other words practice the new nature I fastened into you—that’s your freedom. 1 John 5:4-5 shows the new identity that comes from this for life that way.

What remains is a question: How should lead to some godly action plan and : How? Here’s a head-start. Read the Ephesians 4 verses. Talk through them. Pray to he Formulate an action-plan (in its entirety for greater breadth and depth with someone:

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, [3] being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [11] And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, [12] for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; [13] until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. [15] but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. [22] that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, [23] and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, [24] and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Ephesians 4:1-3,11-13,15-16,22-24 NASB).

We have a choice now in how we live—of which I’ve spoken many times—the overcomers or the overcome. Make no mistake, overcomers fail and fail hard. I do often. We do not and we cannot overcome because of power to wield from worth that is earned. That kind of power is short-lived, abusive and at best dies. Christ and His Spirit are the power who remade us and live in us to continue reforming us. We will fail and fall but he beckons us to him in both because that is not what the saved and sanctifying (reborn and reforming) life of a disciple of Christ is. Failure. He who is within you has MADE YOU WORTHY so strap on your shield and take up the hammer! Allow Him to be the rising action of this story in you along with me and hardship won’t go away, sickness may never fail but allow God and His power to fight through you and life will change. Just ask him to help you with one more little thing each day you can cast out of your life that isn’t part of His character placed in you, adding another that is, and we can start living together accordingly. In doing so, the adversary will turn to dust around us.

If we keep on fighting and pulling up one another to fight, someday we will follow behind Him in battle and He will bring with Him a new heaven and new earth. Then a different kind of sequel and the art of storytelling will happily change. I can’t wait to be in that story with you. For “there will be no more suffering, crying or pain,” just God and us in Him with wonders we can’t imagine (Rev. 21:1-4). Our job until then is to live like one reborn, worthy of He who lives in us. Avenger. Overcomer.