may the warrior spirit rise UP in you.
There are boundaries in you. Growth that has stopped. You have achieved a comfort level. There are risks you aren’t willing to take anymore. A numbness that has developed in your soul, a passion that has grown silent. Without realizing it, you have engineered a small life. Playing it nice and safe, not willing to ruffle any feathers, not willing to risk … you are shrinking back.
We pray there is an awakening of something deep within the masculine spirit. What has grown dormant in you? When was the last time you took a risk? Why are you shrinking back? Where in your life are you playing it safe and importantly, what does all this do to the condition of your soul?
I am about to be 57. Where do I want to be at 67? What kind of man do I want to become in these next ten years? What frontier is there for me to wade into? What new territory is there for me? Where is my comfort level, why is it there and I am willing to let that go and do some things that aren’t comfortable or safe? My soul cries out for the warrior spirit in me … for the frontier. Where do you want to be in ten years? What walls need to come down? What is The Spirit saying to you in this moment?
We enter into Chapter 6 on the “Warrior”. We hope to paint a Biblical picture of what true masculinity looks like. No doubt, manhood is under attack. Look no further than the commercials and TV shows and notice how men are portrayed. We see this playing itself out all over our country. What is a man to do? Turn and take a look at what Scripture says to us…
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love”.1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV
Be watchful – see what is going on around you. Read the room. Discern the patterns. See what is developing. Understand the battlefield. Realize where the enemy is at work against you and your family. Be on alert – where am I vulnerable? Where am I tempted? Don’t just sit back and take what the culture is telling you. See what they are telling you. Understand the deception in it. Take steps to combat it. Men, our faith is meant to be active and alive and growing. Growing in your wisdom and discernment. Age is a very good thing in a lot of ways – you can get much wiser with time and experience.
Stand firm – know what you believe. Know your values. There are some things we can tolerate and there are some things we simply cannot tolerate. Know where the lines are. Know your non-negotiables. Know what your guardrails are that you will not cross.
Act like men – you’re not 21. Don’t act like you are. Get control of your emotions and get control of your body. Be a man. Stand up for what you believe in. Do hard things. Challenge yourself. Take on adventures. Don’t let the culture feminize you. You’re a man. Be one. The verse also says “act like men” – it’s plural. This isn’t a solo journey. Men are better in tribe. You need other men around you on a regular basis hearing your story, pushing you and challenging you. Talking about tough things. Going after one another. This is there for the taking but you must vision it, you must want it, you have to pursue it. Mediocrity won’t cut it in the coming storm. You need to be ready. You need to be a man. You need tribe.
Be strong – Men understand that they are wired to produce. That means men work. Work is good. If you’re retired, keep “working”. Build things. Clean out your attic and garage. Help clean up a neighbor’s yard. If you’re not in shape, get in shape. Lift weights. I am stronger today than I was six months ago. Keep moving. Men are meant to work. I’m in the woods most weekends – moving deer stands, climbing up in trees, building things, planting fields, moving heavy stuff, cutting up firewood. When I get home, I am covered in dirt and soaking wet in sweat. I stink to high Heaven. I love it. It is good to be in the dirt, it is good to be in the woods. My sweet wife gives me that day and washes my farm clothes and folds them for next week. She does it because she knows I am restored outside. She sees the fruit in me from my labor. Be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love – things done in love are done for other people. It isn’t self-serving. It is giving. Love is giving. Let all that you do for your family be done in love. This means men are protectors. They fight for their family, for their country, for their way of life. All this we as men are called to do as the leaders of our home – be watchful, stand firm, act like men and be strong – all of it is to be done in love and for love. Love is paramount. Love is the Gospel. This passage gives us a roadmap to manhood and love is the mission.
We leave you with this picture and reminder …