Created Male #4 Combat Zone

 


Created Male #4 Combat Zone

 Nature is wild, untamed, God created the male outside of the Garden.  The male soul is akin to nature, dangerous but good.  God gave the male a job—protect and provide, placed him in the Garden, and then gave him a companion to share in the adventure of taming a world, He gave the Adam, the Eve. She is the one who comes alongside and helps, gives him balance, together they are to rule the world as representatives of God. 

 The world is currently waging war on the masculine soul.  Men have forgotten their real names.  Not their birth names but the names associated with their nature, names like valiant, courageous, overcomer, dependable, capable, fierce, bold, tenacious, explorer, inventor, adventurer.  The media feeds us, Homer Simpson, God calls you to greatness. He calls you to live a heroic life, like Jesus, who paid the ultimate price to complete His mission. In Jesus, a man finds his real name.

 The culture has convinced a whole generation that fathers are not necessary.  We must admit that when a boy biologically grows into an adult but remains emotionally a boy he will not be the father his kids need.  The father loves his children’s mother, he lives a Godly life, he disciplines his kids, correct errant behavior so that they can live their lives to the full, he makes his daughter know that she is precious, his son knows that dad knows that he is capable.  Fathers are to be role models.  Thank God that He gives men the strength to be good fathers.

To be the man the Creator made you to be, you, have to flourish in a right relationship with God. The first step in establishing a right relationship is acknowledging that sin has estranged your relationship with God, believe that Jesus through His sacrifice has made reconciliation possible.  The two, you and God, at odds, with different agendas, now walking in harmony, because you have committed yourself to learn how to be God’s man, you’ve bent the knee, proclaiming God to be your Lord, your controlling partner, your commanding officer. Then to flourish you do everything you can to enhance and deepen that relationship with God, refusing to do anything that might endanger it.  

To flourish you practice the 7 habits of a disciple.  You’re in the word, applying the truth revealed in Scripture to your life.  You pray like you talk to a best friend communicating with God your thoughts and desires, hearing from God in your heart of hearts what He needs for you to do, the new assignment, the new mission impossible.  You get with others who God also is making into men, it’s called fellowship, cohorts in the chaos this world churns up.  You use your strength, your know-how, your resources to help others who need help, for you know by serving you bring heaven to earth.  You make the will of God your will as you are being transformed in faithfulness, you desire to do the will of your Heavenly Father, just like Jesus.  When times get tough, you pull away to be alone with God, to search your heart, to hear from the Holy Spirit, to be encouraged to overcome the challenge, we give that a fancy name, contemplation. Flourishing you become a force to be reckoned with and the very Gates of Hell will not prevent you from accomplishing the call of God upon your life.  The 7 habits are all about connecting with God.

 Are you flourishing in a right relationship with God?  If not the world has got you by the… It’s time to be bold, to be free, to come fully alive. Seek God with your whole heart, God will find you and turn your world upside down for glory’s sake. You’ll discover your God-given name.  If this is your decision, let me know, I want to encourage you in becoming the man you have always been meant to be. The nation needs heroes right now, Godly men who will take a stand for what is right.  Christianity needs men who will throw off the shackles of a church environment that bores a man to sleep instead of stirring his heart to greatness. You have an opportunity to be that man.  Take it while you can.

 There are forces at work to keep the lion caged, to tame you, to turn you into a nice complacent sweet guy. The culture is recasting men into someone who is predictably safe.  I’m chowin down at Ramen 39 with Sherri, oh, excuse me I was sitting down to dinner with my lovely wife, and she says to me did you see that?  I said no, what?  She said, “See that couple at the register, she opened the door for him, she paid for the meal, she took the food, I’ll bet you she opens the door for him when they leave.”  Sherri was right, I thought to myself well at least he had a cute man bun.  Chivalry, don’t guys know that the reason why you open a door for a woman is so she can’t knife you in the back. Seriously the role models for caring courageous men are nowhere to be seen.   I am all for strong women, a strong man needs a strong woman, but I don’t think women trying to fill masculine roles is the answer to culturally weak men, again we're not talking about physical strength but the strength of genuine masculinity. 

 Many men don’t realize that they are living in a combat zone maybe not literally but definitely spiritually.  I guess according to the neighborhood you live in you might be in a literal combat zone of crime and anarchy.  “Your enemy the devil is on the prowl” (1 Peter 5:8). Here’s the question: Would you go into combat alone?  Even though I was in the military for 8 years I never saw combat.  I did get to hear some sea stories about guys in my rate accompany marines on riverboats in Viet Nam.  One thing I learned is that in a firefight you don’t want to be by yourself.  You need a team to survive.  The culture has put men in a war zone.  Godly men have always been under attack.

 Ephesians 6:14-18 (NIV)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 Flaming arrows of the evil one are being shot at you all the time.  Regardless if it's bullets or propaganda those projectiles are aimed at your heart, at your masculinity, all for the purpose of taking you down, taking you out.  These arrows take many forms.  It's an arrow when you feel forced to participate or give support for some agenda that is an affront to following God’s way.  It’s an arrow when you hear that men, especially white men, are evil and the cause of all the social ills of the culture. The latest foolish cry is “The world’s evils originate in male supremacy” (Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge https://www.theblaze.com/news/2014/11/04/man-down-the-attack-on-american-masculinity).  It’s an arrow when men are portrayed as disposable and at best an accessory and at worse evil.

 I watched a traditional guy-type movie (Without Remorse) and there is a scene in which two trained soldiers one male one female, go at it in a fight to the death and the woman wins that physical contest.   That’s a subtle arrow.   I’m not saying that women aren’t strong, that women can’t defend themselves, that women aren’t tough. I wouldn’t get into the ring with Rhonda Rousy, but then you don’t see her getting into the ring with Brandon Moreno.  The culture has been using men as punching bags, the arrow is that men should just hang up their manhood like old worn boxing gloves, bow their heads and make way for a new social order that has no place for masculinity. (https://www.theblaze.com/news/2014/11/04/man-down-the-attack-on-american-masculinity)

 You are in a combat zone.  That shield of faith that extinguished the fiery arrows of the evil one is made up of many things.  One indispensable component of the shield of faith is a team of men who will stand with you when the arrows are flying.

 Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

 Men need the company of men to survive the war zone and thrive as they battle the cultural forces that seek to castrate them.  Beyond Blue is an organization that reported that their research revealed that 25 percent of men ages 30 to 65 have no one outside their immediate families that they can rely on. [https://www.communicatejesus.com/post/5-challenges-christian-men ]  Long ago I read that it is uncommon that a man has five friends he could count on, that he knew had his back, and he theirs, that this was an exceptional relationship.  Men are lonely.  To quote J.R.R. Martin, “the lone wolf dies the pack survives.”  

Part of that shield of faith is a band of brothers. I’m not talking about a group of guys that you get together with to play cards and drink a couple of bears.  I’m talking about a group of men, passionate about expanding the Kingdom of God, bringing out the best in one another, supporting one another, holding each other’s confidences, and sharpening one another to a razor edge. Men need the company of men to live lives of no compromise.  

A man needs the company of men to hold him accountable.  It’s like my experience with my workout buddy.  We would meet at the gym and work out hard.  But I discovered when he wasn’t there spotting me, I went easy on myself.  A man needs a man to hold him to the high standards of being authentically masculine. A man needs the real friendship of other men, friendships that allow for authentic interaction, for bonding, for standing next to him in the fight.

 Men don’t make friends over a cup of tea and biscuits at the local coffee shop.  Men become friends in doing things together:  the greater the challenge the stronger the bonds that are formed. I’ve gone to hell and back with my closest friends. One of the tactics of the evil one is to keep men so busy and over-committed that they don’t have time to do anything with other men. “Hey, getting together sounds great but I don’t have the time.”  Having a band of brothers doesn’t seem important until the bullets start flying. If the enemy is shooting fiery arrows at you don’t you think you will need a shield?  Your band of brothers is out there you just need to gather them.  You need to take the initiative and gather the team.  There is a mission, a battle to fight, a mountain to climb, you need other men for you to be victorious. Go gather them.  The Holy Spirit will lay the team members on your heart, the Spirit will open your eyes in the midst of an ordinary day and tell you, here’s one of the men you need on your team, here’s a man who needs you.  It is necessary for your survival to find a band of brothers.  Go make your team.

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