2016 was an incredible year. There are numerous places that list the celebrities who passed away during the last year. Some websites will spend their time reviewing the historical election that took place. You might find stories recounting the numbers of crimes in our major cities or retelling the horrors of another attack perpetrated by the evil in our world. When I look at these different things there isn’t much that is truly worth reflection.
This past year has taught me some important lessons. The biggest lesson is that now more than ever we need men of God who are fearlessly authentic. Men who are willing to step out and proclaim that being a man of God means more than merely showing up. Satan shows up. We are called to be more, much more.
What does it mean it be fearless? Does it mean literally that we fear nothing? To be fearless is not to be absent of fear. It does not mean that you have attained some kind of mastery over fear. I don’t believe it is even having the courage to get back up after we have fallen down. To be fearless means that you have put your faith in God. He promised us that he would be with us.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
It is getting harder to find men who are authentic, men who are genuine, real, or true. To be an authentic man of God you must faithfully resemble the original. In other words, you must be Christlike. We are called to be in the world, not of the world. We must take the necessary steps to ensure that we are renewing our minds in Christ.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
If we are going to be fearlessly authentic we must be fully engaged in becoming men of God. We have to actively seek the Lord so that we will be more like Him. I outlined in a previous blog what a man of God is. I think it is timely to include that here.
1. A man of God is righteous.
Isaiah 33:15-17 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure. Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off.
If you want to be fearlessly authentic then be righteous. A man of God is righteous in both word and deed. He is honest in every facet of his life. He is a man of integrity. He guards his heart and his mind against evil. He sets his sights on higher things. A man of God is merciful, just, and humble. A righteous man understands that the Lord has already shown us mercy. We are not destined to receive what we truly deserve. He bows his head humbly knowing that someone has already “paid it forward.”
2. A man of God is both provider and protector.
1 Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
A man of God takes care of what is his. Those are fearlessly authentic do so by making sure that their family is protected from physical harm, psychological harm, sexual harm and spiritual harm. It takes more than just putting food on the table, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads. We are to protect their innocence. Our family’s hearts are precious. Everything flows from the heart. If we allow evil into our homes then evil will find it’s way to our hearts. What flows from our hearts determines the course of our lives. When you become a husband or father that changes. At that point what flows from our hearts determines the course of the lives of our family. If we are passive in the protection of our families then the evil outside of our homes will find its way in. Stop passively protecting your family. Put limits on the phones and the internet. Throw out that porn collection that you think no one knows about. Be more than you think you are capable of by putting your faith in the Lord. Be Fearless!
3. A man of God is Pastor, Teacher, and Worship Leader.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
A man of God is the primary discipler in the life of his family. We love our pastors. The Lord has called them to personally deliver His message. However, I will tell you right now that if your senior pastor has a larger impact on your family than you do then you have a serious problem. If the youth or children’s pastor has a greater impact on the lives of your children then you have a problem. The Lord has called us to be the pastors of our families. It is our responsibility to write the message that encourages and equips our loved ones to take on a fallen world.
In addition to being the pastor/teacher we need to be the worship leader. Throw away your pride. No one cares anyways. Sing out. Sing praise to Jesus. Do it at home. Do it in the car. If you are in love with Jesus don’t be afraid to show it. Praise the Lord with reckless abandon. Let the world know and most importantly your family that you have been changed and you have no intention of returning to the man that you used to be.
4. A man of God seeks wise counsel.
Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
I have a news flash for you. Men do not have all of the answers. Shocking, I know. I got something else even more disturbing. No one actually believes that we have all of the answers. There may be someone in your life right now that is not helping you to become the man you want to. If that is the case and you are not strong enough in your faith then he must go. There will come a time when you can walk with non-believers and your faith will actually be strengthened. If you are not there yet then you need to graciously move on.
Irregardless of where you are in your walk with Christ there will always be a need to seek out wise counsel. It is really simple. We need men of God to have community with. Jeff Voth, in his book Cavetime, suggests that we need a band of brothers to help us live well. Men who understand and who accepts the truth that we do not know everything and embraces the idea of seeking out those wiser than ourselves to find those answers. Men who will challenge us to find the better versions of ourselves through Christ Jesus.
5. A man of God is love.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The Bible has a lot to say about the topic of love. There is not a more succinct view on the topic then 1 John 4:8. It is pretty simple. If you do not love than you do not know God. Guys you are not too tough or masculine to show love. I would counter that the opposite is true. I recently had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Joaquin Molina speak at a conference. During that message, through scripture, we found out that Jesus Christ was the perfect image of a man. So, I tell you that if Christ is the example then showing love can’t be effeminate. We are called to love anyone that we encounter. Strangers should see something different when they look into our eyes.
In that same way we should love our wives like Christ loved the church. Jacob loved Rachel so much that he spent seven years working to get her. I am to love her in an unequaled way. She should not have to compete for my attention. It is his love for her that creates a need to protect her, if even from a disobedient child. If you truly love her than you will be the man of God that you are called to be. If you truly love her than you will stop giving away what is rightfully hers by watching pornography. Be fearless and be love. You will find that everyone will benefit.
In 2017 small2TALL will be striving to be fearlessly authentic. Our number one goal is to bring articles to you that are divinely inspired. That means we will follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We can’t wait to see where he is going to take us. He has already brought us a new member to the small2TALL family. Alex Adams is the Youth Director at the Columbia City Church of the Nazarene. Alex resides in Columbia City, Indiana with his wife Beth. Alex and Beth have been married for three years and met while planting churches as missionaries in Peru, South America. They are expecting their first child, a girl. Alex has a strong call to live an authentic and fanatic life as Jesus Christ displayed in Scripture. I look forward to his first post later this month. Please join me in welcoming him to the small2TALL family.
2017 is going to be an awesome year! Join us and be fearlessly authentic.