Excavation – the process of breaking the poser

here are the slides from today —> manschool excavating

We had a lot this morning – it was fast and hard to follow, I know but rest assured, we will unpack all this next week.  Please stay in this.  I am hearing very encouraging things coming from you and the small group discussions.  I do believe God is moving and exposing things in all of us that need to be disrupted.  The poser in you works … for a time … until the gaskets of life start popping, until the disruptions come.  Thank God for these disruptions.  They expose us like digging up dirt that covers a fruit tree bearing no fruit.  We scrape back that dirt and expose those roots and it doesn’t feel good.  It feels raw.  But in so doing, we are removing the compacted, stagnant soil and will be replacing it with nutrient rich soil so the tree can thrive, bear much fruit and be able to withstand the future storms.  Remember, early on in this process, we showed the picture of vibrant, healthy vine that is producing much fruit…


This is what we’re after.  Digging up the poser, dismantling it, disengaging from it and going to the True self – the self that is a son of God and knows he has what it takes in God.  The True self knows he “is enough” because none of it is about him, it’s all about God.  A true self, an authentic man can rest in that.  He doesn’t have to pose.  He doesn’t have to present that he has life all figured out.  He can be transparent and honest and real.  He has mistakes in his past.  He has shame.  But he recognizes the wound (behind every posing man is a wounded boy) and he’s learned how to give that over to God and instead of posing as the solution, he has embraced his sonship in God.  THAT is what we’re after in all this.  Much more to come on this.  Here are the notes from today…


“Every man you meet is fighting a great battle.”    Ian Maclaren

God is reconstructing us but He has to dig deep and remove a lot of debris the false self has created so He can get to the good soil upon which He will start building anew.  That new construction, built on solid soil will be able to withstand the storms that come.

Your false self is going to resist this.  It feels like death to open all this up and drop the pose but it actually is the way to life.

We have all developed an elaborate construction of this persona we present to the world.  Persona is a Greek term for “stage mask”.  Did you know that?  Your “persona” is in truth, the mask you wear to go out on the stage of life.

Brene Brown says – “Our “masks” and “armor” are perfect metaphors for how we protect ourselves from the discomfort of vulnerability. Masks make us feel safer even when they become suffocating. Armor makes us feel stronger even when we grow weary from dragging all that extra weight around.  The irony is that when we’re standing across from someone who is hidden or shielded by masks and armor (the Poser), we feel frustrated and disconnected.  That’s the paradox here: Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you.”

Our persona – our pose – is designed to help us avoid pain.  Wrongly, we use it to answer the deep questions of our heart, our identity and our validation – the questions at our core… “Who am I?” –> goes to my identity – and — “Do I have what it takes?” –> is my validation.

Over time, this false self becomes less and less efficient at answering these questions.  Those questions should never be answered by self in the first place – they are intended to be answered by God and that’s where man got off track after the fall.  We will search anywhere to get those two questions answered.  We should be taking those questions to God.

We must come to grips with who we’ve become in our elaborate fig leafs.  It becomes very mature and sophisticated in order to work for you.  The false self, the poser boots up like an operating system on a computer.  You don’t even know it is there running in the background.  Thank God some disruptions come and some gaskets start to pop when life doesn’t work.  That exposes the poser and gives you a chance to break it.

For all of us, the poser is rooted in shame and fear “naked, so I hid”.  Shame tells me I am notFear tells me I can’t.  These are the results of the fall.  Behind every posing man is a wounded little boy.

The story of God’s restoration of our hearts as men is to come against the lies and to heal the woundedness.  We are excavating!

We want to use the poser when we find him, dig him out and discover the wounded places behind the mask.  How aware are you of the operation of the poser in your life?  The process of uncovering it entails…

  1. Awareness – of how the poser operates to avoid pain and shame to contend with fear and the “I can’t”.
  2. Disentangling – separate the poser from the True.
  3. Dismantling the fig leaf – death of the false self. The “no more, I’m not going to pose any more”
  4. Restoring the True self – that “I am enough”, that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and that God has a great purpose for my life, just as I am.

The picture of your True self comes through the new name – the name God calls you, what God sees in you.  The basis of this new name is Sonship – it is knowing I am God’s son.  It is the unique expression of who God meant you to be.

The greatest enemy you face isn’t Satan – it is self.  God wants to crucify this false self in you.

Remember the false self is rooted in our shame and fear. It develops from shame and fear to answer the question, “Do I have what it takes?”  Fearing the answer to that, we hide.

Where are you posing?  Where have you taken this question of Do I have what it takes? to get your validation?  Porn?  Other women?  Fantasy?  Self-deception, lies, covering up and denial of the deep wounds of your past?  Where are you posing?

more next week…


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