We had a great night last night with 50 men gathering to eat, fellowship and prepare for the fall Manschool. Coach Hugh Freeze gave a great talk. If you go back to the June 25, 2015 post on the blog, there is a summary of his talk and a link to the video. He referenced his daily discipline of being in the Word – what he called Divine Mentor. If you go to http://www.lifejournal.cc it will take you to the online journaling site. They really encourage you (as we have) to journal. On that page there is a link on the right side to “today’s life journal reading” and that is what Coach Freeze uses daily.
What I love about that Hugh Freeze talk is that he is intentional. He’s intentional in his pursuit of God. Intentional in pursuing his daughters. He knows, apart from God, he’s an accident waiting to happen. “We men are one step away from stupid every day”.
His talk is a wake-up call. The question tonight is just how intentional have you been with God?
Eldredge says, “We are all just branches, after all, in search of a Vine. Every single one of us is searching for a source of Life. I’ll guarantee you that whatever it is you are personally struggling with – forgiving someone who wounded you, or getting past those wounds; achieving a lasting victory over your addictions; the fear, doubt, shame, unbelief, sorrow, rage and the carnival of things that keep you from living life whole and free – I’ll guarantee it would all change if you were filled with the Life of God, in unbroken union with Him, branch to Vine.”
This is what we’re after – that reconnection God. A conversational intimacy with Him. Walking and talking daily as branches drawing upon the Vine vs. being that man that wrests control from God and just does life day to day trying to figure it out and only turning back to God when we find ourselves in the ditch again.
With that as introduction, here is a quick summary of the first half of Wild at Heart …
What we’re after is freedom – setting men’s hearts free. That’s why we do this.
Our issues are deep. You have areas in need of deep healing, in need of counsel from older men, in need of restorative fathering from God. Something in you has been lost, been stolen, been surrendered. Something in you has been assaulted.
The spiritual life was never meant to be suburban and safe. It has always been frontier. We who live in it must accept, even rejoice, that it remains untamed.
What we want you to know is there is “more” – so much more. More than the dull, boring, dutiful, checked-out, resigned life so many men are leading. Boredom, by the way, is a very dangerous place for a man. You’re a sitting duck waiting to be taken out. It explains pornography, affairs, gambling, video games. We’re bored.
Everything you want in this life, you’re going to have to fight for.
Let me ask you – just in this past week, have you felt “opposed”? Opposed in your work? Opposed in your attempts to connect with your wife? Opposed by this world and all its craziness?
There is a reason – everything you want in this life, you’re going to have to fight for. And so we talk a lot about fighting and warrior. It isn’t to glorify combat in the military sense rather it is the realization that our lives are opposed and there is an enemy and if do life ignoring that, you’re headed for a world of hurt.
The recovery of your warrior heart is so absolutely essential for your job, your friendships, this church and your calling and your marriage. It’s so easy to say “screw it”. You’ve got to fight for it. There is an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Most men, most Christian men, most guys sitting in church, miss this.
There is an epic story underway and you have a vital role to play. Most men miss this too. They just do life.
Your life will be opposed. Your enemy fears what you can become. There is a Kingdom to come and the battles you fight here and face daily, they are shaping you for the coming Kingdom. We are pushing new frontier here men.
We’re going to be leaning into the Kingdom and learning how His Kingdom works. This fall we’re going to adapt and learn spiritual warfare. And we’re going to adapt and learn how to fight for Eve’s heart. We’re going to be spending most of this fall talking about two things – learning and equipping for spiritual warfare and Eve.
We’re going to push to deeply to understand our own hearts and the things that stir us and in so doing – learn of God’s heart and His passionate pursuit of us. John Eldredge says – “It is this next frontier that most men never venture into”. We are.
If you’re looking for a motto for LiveUP and manschool and everything we’re attempting to do, here’s a great summary…
Our hearts desire, our make-up and our thirst is to bring the Kingdom. To rescue people, to defeat evil, to restore men, to raise an army and to see freedom and lives restored. All of this is simply bringing the Kingdom. Isn’t there something in you that craves, needs, demands you to seek to stand for something more important than your own life? To stand for the Great Life in the hand of God?
This is what LiveUP is all about. It is calling men up and outward – Excurvatus Ex Se “a life lived outward” So what will you do with this call?
I will wrap up with this. Listen to this from Erwin McManus …
God gives divine moments to those He can trust with them. When was the last time God called you close? The last time He asked you to take a huge, courageous step of faith? And you said, “I’m just not ready for that yet. Maybe later.” For a lot of people, they thought later as another day and it became a decade. And they say, “I don’t know what happened to me…I was so close, I had so much faith…and then…” History is full of people who said, “and then”
God calls us in. He calls us forward. He calls those with a surrendered heart. Eli told Samuel, “Go lie down and say ‘speak Lord, your servant is listening’” We need to posture our heart towards God and say, “The answer is yes Lord, now what is the question.” (think about that)
You know who God uses? He uses the person who doesn’t negotiate. He calls those with a surrendered heart who say yes first. When we resist the words of God, the call of God, we find ourselves in prisons of our own making. When we trust God’s voice, He creates the path of freedom. God moves when we move with God. If you want to stay lukewarm, He’ll let you. If you keep saying “no” or “maybe later”, He may quit asking. Our future depends on the posture of our heart.
And that is the great final question for you this morning, “Are you going to remain lukewarm or are you willing to go in over your head for the ‘More’?”