What kind of man … ?

Fork in the road

Here is the question for you today… “How big are you willing to dream?  How big a life will you live?”  If you have not read last week’s blog post (Wild at Heart – Adventure 2), please do so.  Last week, we discussed the Holy Spirit as the “Wild Goose”.  He cannot be tamed and we never know where He is going. Is He safe?  No, but He is good.

We said that life without the Spirit is boring and domesticated.  Jesus didn’t die to make us safe and comfortable – He died to make us dangerous to our enemy in the battle for a lost world.  And yet, too many of us are living lives of mediocrity buried by all the responsibilities we have. Where is your passion?  Where is that excitement you once had when you were an emboldened new believer unafraid to share your faith?

Why are so many men – even in our own church – seemingly checked out?  They tell me they “hear great things about Manschool” and then say “but”.  Which is always, “but I can’t come”.  Why is that?  Really?  “I have to carpool my kids”.  OK, ask your wife if she’d rather you be at Manschool one day a week instead of taking the kids on Wednesday.  I bet she’d delight in you being at Manschool.  The men that are coming are regularly telling us, “My wife loves that I am willing to get up early to be here.  She loves that I’m in Manschool.”

It’s a choice.  What path are you going to take?

Clearly, it’s easier to sleep in.  No question.  It doesn’t risk much to stay at home.  Manschool is risky.  It is an investment of your time, energy and faith.  We’re going to push you.  Men will challenge you.  We go deep and go into areas you typically don’t hear discussed in church – frank, honest, candid discussions among our Tribe as we seek to grow closer to God.

But I digress…

The question we discussed this morning revolved around just how big our lives were going to be.  All men stand at a fork in the road and Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”.  One path is an intimate walk with God.  It is Sonship.  It is accepting that God is my Father and that He chose me before creation and that He delights in me.  It is a radical choice, a radical walk.  It is the Wild Goose and it cannot be managed.  You certainly will not be able to control it.  If the Wild Goose leads you to give up your career and your home and enter the mission field or the ministry … is any part of that “safe”?

Think of Mark 10:29 – “I tell you the truth, Jesus replied, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life.  But many who are first, will be last, the last first.”

This path requires huge faith.  It is a life where we cannot control the outcome.  It is a life where your vision and your dreams are so big that God has to show up in order for it to work.  It is giving up caring what others think and embracing a radical walk with God.  All of us were created for “more”.  Way more.  But our wounds, our fear, our shame, our self-doubt they hold us back and they cause us to settle for a lesser life.

The second path is the life we can control.  It is a life where a man says, “I am only going to reach so far but I will be able to control it.  My kingdom may be small but the taxes will be paid, the checkbook always balanced, the yard – even though it is tiny – it is immaculate.  I’m not going to take risks with deep friendships, instead I’ll pretty much be an island to myself.  My kids, they’ll know me but I won’t be willing to risk much with them.  My dream for them will be that they keep the law, make the grades, get a good job and stay the heck out of trouble and in so doing, my wife’s facebook posts will always show off a nice, tidy, family who has it all together.  As for missions and ministries and all that stuff, that’s really for those guys who can’t make it in the workplace.  I’ll pay my dues, rise the corporate ladder, keep my nose clean and retire with a big 401k and a whole lot of comfort.”  

This path prizes comfort above all else.  It savors control.  It’s a small path and a very small life.  But you will dumb it down, shrink it and manage it to get it to a size you can control and once you know “life is all up to me and what I can accomplish and manage within these narrow borders” then … you will see no need for God.  Nothing in your life will depend on God because you can do it all yourself. There is no Sonship here – no need for it.  You and God, you’re kind of partners and since you’ve got it under control, He leaves you alone to do your thing.

This is a WAKE UP call men.  It is time to stand on the walls and shout and wake up the men around us.  What kind of man do you want to be?

I believe a shaking is coming.  I believe Christ Community is already being shaken.  I certainly believe America is shaking.  Birth pains are all around us.  We stand perilously close to losing our nation.  Racial tensions are everywhere and our city is divided.  Many in Columbus have no hope.  There is so much more we can do, so many more lives we can impact for the Kingdom.  It is “somebody else’s problem” until it erupts in our own backyard.  Aslan is clearly on the move.  He is looking for warriors to join him.  My question to you is simply, “How big are you willing to dream?  How big a life will you live?”

Are you going to choose the safe path of control, predictability and comfort?  Or will you choose the Wild Goose and embrace Sonship with the Father?

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3 thoughts on “What kind of man … ?

  1. Thinking about Morgan’s comment about vacations as a boy that, the one week when his father didn’t work and the family was off together, it took a couple days for his father to unwind, so there were two days his father was really present to him, before thinking about heading back home to the work routine, and how Morgan cherished that.

    What we men want is our father’s voice – with just us – and none of us got that very much. But we can have our Father’s voice. We have His voice when we hear Him talking with us as Sons as we read what He has to say. Examples: Proverbs; John 16-17.

  2. This is a great message. However, for some I believe the “fork in the road” doesn’t always separate the roads super far from each other. I think you can be a soldier for Christ while still working hard to do a great job at work, a great job as a family man, being a leader in the church, being a representative of Christ, stick up for and fight for the widows, orphans, and homeless. Yes, Christ is our FIRST AND GREATEST priority. But Jesus wants men to demonstrate and be examples of what it looks like to be diligent, hard working, and proud to put their name on their work AND still be loving and caring family men. The problem is when men have their priorities mixed up with their wants, fears, needs, and desires at the top of their priorities (or equal in priority to what they THINK God wants for them). I think for some, a smaller kingdom might actually do them good because they have built their own kingdom up too large to control (ie: house too big, car too expensive, etc.). When your kingdom is small, that leaves more opportunity for God to use you in HIS kingdom and plans!

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