Super-Hero vs. Villain
Have you ever watched one of those 'super-hero' shows where the villain is hard at work trying to destroy all things good and true, while the 'super-hero' is combatting the villain's every move? What comes across is that the villain believes in his heart that he cannot and will not be stopped. No matter what forces oppose him, he will continue to move his agenda forward. Along comes the super-hero, countering each and every villainous thing with some 'perfect' response to keep the villain from succeeding. One thing any super-hero is known for is their desire to continually 'do good' - it is that very desire that keeps them going and actually makes them unstoppable. It isn't necessarily his ability that keeps him going - it is his availability that does. How available are we when in comes to doing good? If we want to live 'super-hero' like lives, we might just want to focus on being more available to doing good in life rather than bemoaning the fact we don't always know how to do good!
If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. (I Peter 3:18)
If with heart and soul - these two interwoven in unity become pretty unstoppable forces. Heart and soul sold out to evil and self-interest makes a man or woman pretty domineering, unkind, and a force no one really wants to reckon with. Heart and soul sold out to righteousness and God's interests makes a man or woman stronger than any forces of evil, though. It isn't that we have become 'super-heroes', but that a super-hero like strength now resides within us - the power of Christ to live above the forces of evil all around us. Get heart and soul together on the same page, reading from the pages of God's plans, and you have a force that honestly has no real opposition, though many will still try to oppose it! Hearts at attention - notice the heart needs to be 'attended'. The mind and heart aren't going to remain upright and pure simply by osmosis. There is an 'attending' that must be done to keep them pure.
I think this is where we go wrong so many times in life - we simply stop paying attention. We lose our focus because something distracts us. Remembering that the heart is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, no wonder God reminds us to keep our heart at attention. The mind can be swayed when it is not 'on guard' to keep out stuff that isn't honorable and pure. The will can be convinced something isn't all that important when our mind isn't focused on what is very important for us. The emotions will play upon our mind and influence our will whenever they are allowed to lead the way. Attend to your heart - pay attention to where it is taking you in your thought life. Listen to what it is telling you to do and where it is saying it is okay to go. Compare that leading with the Word of God and you will oftentimes find you are being led down paths you are warned to stay away from!
Doing good isn't a result of some unconscious trait. It is a result of deliberately choosing to remain alert, attentive to the will of God, and thoughts 'checked' against God's Word each and every time we are about to make a decision. Heart and soul - mind, will, emotions - soul being almost a synonymous term for heart. Be attentive to where you are being led. No 'villain' really becomes a 'villain' unless there is a willingness of the heart to move in that dishonorable direction in life. No 'super-hero' really just happens upon becoming a 'super-hero' - there is a calling, a purpose, and a direction in life. Much like there is with the child of God - a calling to live uprightly, a purpose to be about the Father's work, and a direction in life that leads us into the throne room of God time and time again - worshiping at his feet, feeling his touch, understanding his leading. I think this world has way more super-heroes that could stand up against a few more villains if we'd just pay a little more deliberate attention to our heart and soul. Just sayin!