I have many spiritual “heroes”. I want to die like John Wesley, penniless because I have given everything away for the sake of the Kingdom. I desire to live with the unabashed enthusiasm for Jesus that Keith Green exhibited during his too-short life. The insight and depth of understanding of all things Christendom exhibited by C.S. Lewis and A.W. Tozer compels me to learn and pray more. Shane Claiborne’s simple lifestyle, Francis Chan’s grasp of God’s love, David Platt’s radical call to service, and Greg Boyd’s liberating views on God’s will have inspired me to greater freedom and devotion to Jesus Christ. We all need people from whom we draw encouragement and inspiration.
It is extremely difficult to live a devoted life to Christ in absolute solitude. We need others to light the path they have walked before us. It is immensely helpful to know others share our beliefs, our struggles, and our triumphs. I receive many emails from people who feel utterly alone. They talk about how no one around them understands their faith. I hear stories of loneliness, discouragement, and often even despair. I am not immune to those feelings either. As followers of Christ, we need to quickly recognize that none of that could be from Jesus. Feelings like those are the sinister work of Satan.
Reading books and listening to messages by fellow believers is a great antidote for these ailments. While we all strive to be like Jesus, it is also worthwhile to model our earthly life after spiritual giants who have gone before us. Always recognize that these examples are/were fallible humans who will let us down with some part of their life. Only Jesus can withstand total scrutiny. Still, at times it is helpful to identify and learn from others along the way. Modern technology has made this easier than ever. You can now easily watch services from churches around the globe any time of the day or night. Podcasts put millions of audio messages at your beck and call. You can watch or listen to messages on your smartphone, computer, Roku, iPad, or other tablet.
In addition to the people I mentioned above, there are many others from whom I receive regular instruction and encouragement such as Steven Furtick, Christine Caine, and Andy Stanley. The internet can be a tremendous resource of both encouragement and instruction for our spiritual walk. It is an amazing tool and blessing. It has always been my goal to make this blog a helpful component to your walk as well. To that end, I’d love to hear what people and resources each of you use to help along the way. Please let me know by leaving them in a comment below. That way we can amass a great library of wisdom for all of our community. Feel free to drop me a line if you ever get discouraged, but always remember there is no fear or discouragement in Jesus. Help is available directly from the source and all those who have passed this way before. Seek out Godly wisdom from others and be encouraged!