Remember the old cartoon, Wonder Twins? When the Wonder Twins got in a jam they would touch fists and say “Wonder Twin powers activate!” Then they could take on a variety of forms (form of ice, shape of a shark….etc). Then they’d kick butt old school. So here’s a question. Lot’s of folks talk about strengthening their faith in Jesus. What about forming a faith of Jesus?
Rather than crying out to God in desperation (all the time), what about shaping and forming ourselves to become like Jesus? If we did this, we’d have some serious power, right? We’d be equipped. We’d be able to respond with the love, compassion, wisdom, and grace that he did – at least in part. But is this even possible? We’ve had so few examples in recent centuries, we’ve lost confidence. Yet becoming like Jesus is at the heart of the New Testament message.
Christianity leans heavily on God’s saving grace. It’s important, but we need to use and grow this gift of Grace. Not bury it in dogma. Christian teaching also focuses on a lot of doctrine to ensure folks have their theology straight. There is a place for this too. However, first and foremost, Christians are to be students of Jesus – to follow in his shoes – to walk in his shoes – to form their thoughts like Jesus. The rest will fall into place. Christians are to “put on Christ,” and to live in God’s kingdom that has broken in and is at work here and now.
Yet, rather than active participants in the shaping and forming of our character we act like consumers of Christianity. We consume. We don’t shape. Dallas Willard writes:
…we now live in a time when consumer Christianity has become the accepted norm, and all-out engagement with and in Jesus’ kingdom among us is regarded as just one option people may take if it suits them – but probably as somewhat ‘overdoing it.’ By contrast, the biblical pattern is, from beginning to end, ‘Be ye doers of the words, and not hearers only.’
Wikipedia notes: The Wonder Twins powers are activated when they touch each other and speak the phrase, “Wonder Twin powers activate!” If the two are out of reach of each other, they are unable to activate their powers.
When Christians get in a jam few are able to effectively respond like Jesus. They haven’t been practicing. They lack a relationship with God where they can activate God’s power – God’s gift. Without intentional practices such as prayer, fasting, silence, solitude, community, service to others…etc, it’s impossible to activate any effective power even though it’s available. They can’t say “form of Jesus.” This is sad.
If we think God is withholding something from us, he is. But it’s only for our own protection. He wouldn’t give us something we couldn’t handle. That would be like a parent handing a 2-year-old a Ginsu knife. It’s a great tool. But in the wrong hands bad things happen.
This isn’t to say that taking the form of Jesus can done perfectly or without struggle – it’s a challenge. It’s to highlight that we need to discipline ourselves to be in position to tap and experience God’s power and grace. Faith in Jesus is a great starting point. The faith of Jesus is what Christians must Activate!
Thanks for reading – (Enjoy the video…)
~ Ted Olson
Wonder Twin Powers – Activate!