Man of Steel

I know what you’re thinking – you think this is about Superman, don’t you?

Not even close. Superman is a Hollywood creation, as are all the so-called “superheroes.” If you want to talk about a real “man of steel,” you need to look to the God of Creation, for He alone can craft such a man.

God will craft a man the same way that a sword is forged. The strongest steel is formed by fire, the hammer, and the anvil. It is a grueling process, but it is effective. The steel is heated to a glowing red, placed upon the anvil, and then struck with the hammer. It is then plunged into water. This process is repeated many times. The result will be steel of the finest quality.

God’s method is quite similar. The Apostle Paul was such a man – a man of steel. Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus and without sight for three days. God then spoke to Ananias, a faithful believer, and instructed him to go and lay hands on Paul so that he might receive his sight. God’s instructions to Ananias are quite informative.

“But the Lord said to him [Ananias], ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’”

Acts 9:15-16, ESV

Paul understood the grace of God extended to him, and he stated to the Roman believers,

“Do you suppose, O man – you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself – that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

Romans 2:3-4, ESV

Paul willingly gave himself into the hand of a gracious God who forged a “man of steel” through suffering, persecution, and adversity. The fruit of Paul’s ministry reaches to this very day.

I have a Christian brother that I love and respect. He is a man of steel. He has had heartbreaking life experiences you would not wish upon your worst enemy. Right now, he is enduring the loss of a dear brother who has died under heartbreaking circumstances. His grief is palpable. He is about to speak to an assembly of pastors from around the country, and he doesn’t know how he will get through. I know better because I know his heart. God’s call is so impregnated in his heart that the message will flow, as Jesus tells us, for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b, ESV). Like Daniel, my brother has purposed in his heart to live a life serving God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and he is doing great things for the kingdom, with great opposition from the adversary of our souls.

Reflecting on my own life, will I submit to the fire, the hammer, and the anvil? Will I take Paul’s perspective on suffering?

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

2 Corinthians 4:17, ESV

Considering eternity, will I flinch at the cost of discipleship, or will I follow the example of King Jesus?

“For to this you have been called because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

1 Peter 2:21-23, ESV

When you willingly put yourself in the hands of a loving God, choosing the fire, the hammer, and the anvil, you will hear the words of King Jesus when he tells you:

“Well done, good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of your master.”

Matthew 25:21, ESV

I, for one, choose to give myself wholeheartedly into the hands of my Lord to use me as He chooses, even if it means the fire, the hammer, and the anvil.

What say you, Man of Valor?

Adapted from Men of Valor Devotional by Ron Helle, 3 May 2024

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