Kingdom Man #6 – your role in the Kingdom

Every man has a role to play in the Kingdom.  The Church is the local manifestation of the Kingdom of God established by Jesus to prevent the gates of hell from advancing.  It is a battle.  Men play — or it must be said “should play” —- a huge role in the Church and therefore, the battle.

However, men have checked out of the Church and left it to the women.  The Church, therefore, is not in alignment with God and if the Church isn’t aligned with God, God will not move through the Church.  Take Christ Community out of this and just look at the mainline denominations ordaining women as pastors, elders, bishops and CEO’s of the Church and now they are changing their views on homosexuality (The Presbyterian Church PCUSA has just changed its stance on homosexuality along with cutting ties with Israel) and ordaining gays and performing gay weddings…fully embracing the gay lifestyle.

The Church at large is out of alignment with God and therefore, the Church isn’t relevant in the battle.  Oh God is moving and God will triumph, He just isn’t moving through the Church proper.

Satan wants to keep men disconnected from the Church.  If he can disconnect the men — which has happened — he’ll knock the Church out of alignment.  God, on the other hand, has called men to lead the Church.  Period.  He calls us as leaders because men are responsible.

You are responsible for the Church, you are responsible for your wife, responsible for your kids, responsible for your home and YOU are responsible to be the spiritual leader in your home.  Period.  No excuses.  When God came looking for Adam, He was looking for Adam.  He was asking Adam, “What happened?  I left you in charge.  I left you responsible.”    Adam – “but this women Eve…you gave to me…she…”     God – “Oh no Adam, it isn’t her fault, I put you in charge.  If Eve strayed, it’s on you.  You are responsible.”

The responsibility men has been given to us.  Don’t default it away to your wife.  Lead.  Lead your homes.  Lead this Church.  StepUP.

The proof of your walk is the impact you make and it starts at home.  It is the impact you make on your wife and your kids and their walk with God that truly is the mark of a man after God’s own heart.

One last thing and we repeat this over and over and over as a foundational part of LiveUP and that is “Don’t do life alone.”  Man is not meant to be a lone ranger.  A lone wolf sounds cool and tough and it sounds manly.  “I’m just a lone wolf out there doing business and being a man.  I don’t do men’s groups or opening up.”   That man…is going to get taken out.  It’s only a matter of time.  That man is kidding himself.  A lone wolf isn’t cool and he is no threat to you if you stumble across him in the woods.  A pack of wolves is another story.  They have no fear.  But a lone wolf has been kicked out of the pack by the alpha and in reality, he’s just a scavenger and is as afraid of you as you are of him.

Don’t be a lone wolf.  Don’t check out of this.  You need tribe.  You desperately need tribe.  Don’t kid yourself.  Engage in community.  Engage in your small groups on Wednesday morning.  Be real.  Open up and trust these other men to draw out of you the source of life and to defeat the shame and condemnation we all feel.

Next week – we are going to go right after shame.  We’re going to tackle it hard.  Please join us.

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two ways to serve

Men – we had two calls for service this morning.  These are not “duties”, they are calls.  If you are looking for a place to serve in ministry and if the Holy Spirit is so nudging you, then respond.

Prayer team on Sunday mornings – we have a need for more men up front during the response time to pray for/with those that come down front.  Many times a man will come forward and kneel to pray and there isn’t a man on the other side to pray with him because the other prayer team members are praying with others.  If you want to invest in prayer with those that come forward with a need, reach out to Robin Carr at disrcsrc@mchsi.com

Zone Coordinators on Sunday morning in the Kid’s ministry – zone coordinators help make sure each classroom is supplied, not overcrowded and takes care of getting parents if there is a discipline or sickness issue with a child.  In effect, you’d float back there helping the teachers.  We have a need this weekend and nearly every weekend in November.  If you are interested, contact Angel Duarte at adurate@liberty.edu or call/text him at 706-577-8509

If so moved … ACT

LiveUP!

 

Kingdom Man 5 – in marriage

Where the rubber meets the road … home.  It’s one thing to declare “I’m a man of God” at church or at work but it is what you do in your home that truly is the mark of the Kingdom Man.  It starts at home and your wife is the ultimate evidence of your walk.

If you have a crack in your wall, it might be that you have a problem in the foundation of your home, not the wall itself and until you fix the foundation, the cracks will keep showing up.  In the same way, the issues you are having at home – the tension, the fighting, the distance – could well be just symptoms of a much deeper, foundational problem.

It starts with Eve.

Adam lost a rib but gained back other things that he didn’t possess.  He gained a helper and like it or not, if Eve is left out of the kingdom equation in your home, you can limit God’s involvement with you.  Your wife is meant to be your collaborator, not your cook.  Your partner, not your sexual outlet.  She is a helper in the expansion of God’s kingdom.  You are a tool, a fighter, an ally in the expansion of God’s Kingdom and your wife is there to help you in this quest.  And this is why Satan went after Eve – to create chaos and put her in charge.  When she was in charge, things quickly got out of alignment and you know what transpired.

I am to create an environment where Shannon can flourish.  She is likened to a vine in Psalm 128:3 “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house…”  A grape vine in a vineyard is first secured to a post.  This makes it stable.  From that stability, the vine is free to climb.  Once it can climb, it can cluster and flourish and as you know the grapes are then harvested and turned into wine.

vine

What a great analogy this is to our wives.  If she is secure and stable, she can begin to climb.  If she can climb, she can flourish.  If there is a lack of leadership, my wife will not feel secure and stable.  If I am reckless financially or morally, she will not feel secure.  A woman’s greatest need inside marriage is security.  She needs to feel safe.  When I am out alignment with God, my wife will not feel stable, she won’t climb and flourish.  In many cases, in the void of leadership, she will take over.  The more I resign back from her taking over, the more I “give up”, the more territory she’ll need to take to make sure things are getting done.  Chaos will reign.  The whole order will be out of alignment and there will be many cracks in your walls because your foundation is failing.

And here’s the thing, as much as it might appear your wife wants all this authority and thrives on taking charge, she really doesn’t.  That isn’t her design.  She is a helpmate to you.  She has gifts you don’t possess and they are there for a reason – you need them.  And while you have the final say, you need her input, you need her intuition (and men, there is such a thing as a woman’s intuition) and you need her contribution.  But … you … have to act.  You … have to lead.  You … have to initiate.  You … have to set direction as the spiritual leader of your home.  She will respond to this because it is how God designed her.  She will be secure and she will flourish under your leadership.

This comes at a real cost.  This isn’t a little brother/little sister “It isn’t fair” thing.  This is marriage.  This is a covenant.  Ephesians 5:26 lays it out pretty clearly – We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church.  How did Christ love the church?  He died for it.  We are to “die” for our wives.  Christ gave himself up for “her” the church.  In the same way, I am to give myself up for Shannon.  And I am to sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word.  Sanctification is the process of taking someone from where they are and turning them into what they should be.

Whoa.

It’s on me.  Again, this isn’t an “its not fair” thing.  I am here to serve her.  To serve her, sanctify her and satisfy her.  Thus the reason the preacher says, “It isn’t to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly”.  And so…when the problems arise…Richard…when your home is in chaos, when she is making all the decisions, when I have checked out and quit because “I can’t do it right anyway” … that just won’t do.  It’s on me.  All these things are happening because I am out of alignment with God.  My test of being a Kingdom Man lies at the feet of my marriage.  The proof is in the pudding.

Men, it is time to rise UP by serving down.  This is true servant leadership.  It is leading her by serving her and getting her to where she is capable of going in her walk with the LORD and as my helpmate in the expansion of His Kingdom.  It isn’t about turf or territory or that’s not fair.  It is my job.  I have been entrusted with my helpmate and she is incredibly valuable to me and where I fall down, LORD come and help RESTORE me.  May my wife be a GODLY woman who submits to God’s alignment and Trusts His mighty hands.  As Billy Gross said many years ago, “We LiveUP by first bowing down”.

For those of you who are divorced – this may be hard to read.  But take this as a roadmap to the future, not a condemnation of your past.  God isn’t shaming you with these words rather they are picture of what the future could hold for you and these are also great lessons to be teaching your sons and daughters.

This is rich material.  Please comment below if you have something to share and stepUP and lead in your home but don’t dare do it until you are under God’s authority in alignment with Him.

Kingdom Man 4 – fearing God

You are called to God.  Called to something different than the rest of this world, called to something different than your co-workers.  You are called up to a higher standard.  You are a Kingdom Man – a man of God.  God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of Man and Man is the head of Woman.  Alignment.  When things are in alignment, things can prosper.  If you get out of alignment, trouble rears its ugly head.  If you lose your proper alignment, you lose your sacred covering, you get out from under God and there are consequences of this.

Fear God.  What does that mean?  Do you fear God?

I love sunsets.  They speak to me.  I love the quiet and watching the Master Artist paint His evening sky especially in the fall.  Last night’s was a beauty…

sunset

This is part of “fearing” God.  Fearing (respecting/appreciating) the majesty of His creation.  Fearing is also what you think it is – respecting the power and wrath of God.  As surely as He creates this, He can take it apart any moment.  There, in fearing, comes the proper reverence for Him and that truly, none of this is about me.  I am but a faint whisper on a second of history.  To fear God means to take God seriously – not casually, not lowering His standard but knowing His Word and rising up to His standard.  When we lower His standard, we cheapen God and yet we still want His full blessings.  God’s not going to honor that.  God’s on the perimeter of your city, circling you but He’s not going to engage you if you take Him out of the formula and live your life as it suits you.  If we decide to take God seriously we can begin to see His purpose and the blessings He has for us as we submit to His Word and His will.

Fearing God is alignment.  We fear Him with our feet as we actually walk the talk.  It all starts with being a man of “alignment” – trusting God, walking in faith, turning away from any flirtation or temptation, living with integrity — integrated with the Great One — and giving Him your Trust with all your decisions and relationships.

“It’s not about me God anymore.  I give it all to You.”

LiveUP!

Special Saturday project – helping Phil Staten

As we discussed this morning at ManSchool, we have a special service project this Saturday morning at 9am helping Phil Staten at his house.  Phil is battling cancer and is almost finished with his chemo treatments.  If you know Phil, you know his spirit is strong and his faith is rock-solid.  He knows all this is in the Lord’s hands.

The chemo is taking its toll on him physically and so he hasn’t been able to tend to his yard like he needs to.  His daughter has been cutting the grass trying to maintain it but the yard needs a good “once-over” to get it back in shape – trimming hedges, cleaning out undergrowth in the beds, cutting/edging, putting pine straw down, etc.

Jimmy Bone has it on his heart that our men need to step UP and serve Phil.  Jimmy is leading a team that will spend a few hours getting Phil’s yard cleaned up and ready for the winter.  We need a group of men to join in.  You’ll need to bring the equipment you can like blowers, edge trimmers, shrub clippers, etc.  It should take about two hours.

Phil lives at 7110 Willow Oak Drive – this is across the street from TSYS’ North Center and across Moon Road from North Highland Assembly of God.  It’s easy to get to.

If you want to help, please email Jimmy at gantis51@yahoo.com or text him/call him at 706 575-3475.   Thank you in advance!

Kingdom Man #3 – taking a step of faith

“God decides what we will do based on the decisions we make.”

Think about that statement.  Moses accepted the call God gave him and this was evidenced by Moses’ first step toward action.  He accepted the call in his heart, heard God’s command but it was only until Moses took that first step that the power of God came to him.  Had Moses heard God’s call but remained in the place of “I have too much shame, too many weaknesses”, nothing would have happened.  Moses had to take a step of faith.  God responds to our motion.

Imagine Abraham – called to sacrifice his son.  Imagine that.  But he obeyed, he took the step and when God saw his faithfulness, God put things in motion.

Just like Keith’s call yesterday of obedience to the call of giving.  God’s not going to honor your giving … until … you actually give and give with a cheerful heart.  Faith requires action on our part.

So what is it that God is calling you to?

God’s not going to give you your “all” until He’s sure you can handle it.  He called Moses but it was only until Moses acted that things started to roll.  And remember, many times, God takes a mess (or what we consider a mess) and makes it a miracle.  So stop believing you’re “done” and washed-up.  You may have made a mess of things but God’s not done with you.  You and your mistakes are oh so “nothing” in the power of the Lord Most High.

And think of Joshua.  Moses was dead.  The leader, the man that parted the Red Sea and stood down Pharaoh was gone and leadership was thrust upon Joshua.  He had to leave his yesterday behind.  Yesterday, he was the #2 man.  He had to look forward into the future.  Joshua had to trust God that his future was indeed going to be a LOT bigger than where he’d been.  Satan tries to tie us into our yesterday, our failures, our shame but God is looking forward.  Past sins and past mistakes are exactly that … past.  It’s time to move forward men.  It’s time to engage.

What is it in your “yesterday” that you need to … right now … leave behind?  What is that thing that is weighing your down, defeating you? 

It’s time to let it go and step forward >> in faith.

Kingdom Man #2 “LORD God” or just “God”?

here are some summary points from last week…

  • The one opposing you only wants one thing – your utter defeat.
  • Man was given the responsibility of protection and provision for his “garden”.
  • Satan showed up and whereas Genesis 1-3 referred to God as “LORD God”, Satan shows up to Eve and starts talking about “God”  (we’ll address that below)
  • You were not created to just be male; you were created to be a great man – conquer, ruling, greatness, substance, significance.  We associate with greatness.  Think about it.  It’s why we love Gladiator and Braveheart but closer to home, think about your loyalty to your college football team.  Say you love Alabama.  Odds are, you greatly respect and admire Nick Saban.  You puff your chest at knowing “he’s our guy, he’s perhaps the best coach of any sport in the nation“.  If you love Georgia, there is something deep inside that probably also loves Mark Richt.  You’re proud that your coach is deeply ethical, a man of deep integrity and strong faith.  If you love Auburn like I do, you kind of hang you hat on the offensive genius of Gus Malzhan.  You look at him and admire his genius.  Why is that?  Why is it that we have this strong inner drive towards greatness and towards affiliation with greatness?  It’s because God installed that desire in you as a man.
  • When God chose a man in the bible, He always called that man to do something way more than he thought he could do.  Moses was the “meekest man ever to live” and yet God called him up into facing down Pharaoh.
  • What God is calling you UP into isn’t “world greatness” but rather “Servant greatness” – He is calling you UP into a role of great service, sacrifice and self-less leadership.  The biggest man is the one who has gone low before the Lord.  “Here I am LORD.  Place me where you need me“.
  • As a man, you get to name things.  You get to name your wife!  You get to declare what ought to be.  You get to cast a vision – for your family, for your wife, for your children, for your business.  You get to name it.  (goes back to God empowering Adam to name all the animals)

And so, the question is, how small are you thinking?  Are you remaining stuck in the “work sucks, life’s hard” mode?  Or, are you thinking great, dreaming big?  God has so much more for you than wallowing in your problems, wallowing in your financial issues, wallowing in past mistakes, wallowing in self-loathing.  No, God has called you UP into something much grander.  As a man and as the spiritual leader of your home, it is incumbent upon you to declare “NOT in my house” and step out of the pity and UP into the vision you cast for your family.

The root of the problem is that we want our independence from God.  We want to do our own thing.  This is crucialplease get this – in Genesis the Word speaks of the “LORD God” creating.  Go back and read through it.  Look at how many times you see “LORD God”.  And then when Satan shows up, he immediately addresses Eve talking about “God”.  What Satan is doing is in essence saying to Eve, “You can have God.  He’s real.  But let’s not let him tell you what to do.  You need to do your own thing, find your inner self, seek what makes you feel good about you“.  And ever since then…chaos.  When we remove LORD from God, we are telling God, “I’ve got it God, you stay back there in background and only when I hit the rocks will I call upon you.”  What God is asking is that you let God be LORD God in your life.  Let Him be LORD over your family, LORD over your business, LORD over your marriage, LORD over your children.

Dig deep into this.  Ask yourself if God is just God to you or is He “LORD God”?  Let Him be LORD.  Give him the keys.  Let Him drive and see where He takes you.

LiveUP!

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