Derrick gave us a great recap of the Wholeness series this morning. The slides are here > Manschool – Wholeness – summary
The question for you as we’ve processed through this journey is “Have you received significant insight or experienced a measure of breakthrough?” And if so … “Have you taken action as a result?” We want you processing these questions. Ask Father. Carry on a conversation and say, “Show me Lord what it is you wanted me to see here”. Ask your fellow brothers – those Tribe men you’re close with – because the thing about Community (or Tribe as we like to say) is that only community can truly see your blind spots. Close community has a way of seeing things you just can’t see because you’re standing too close to the situation. This quote sums it up so well …
Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle.
A true community is something you will have to fight for. You’ll have to fight to get one, and you’ll have to fight to keep it afloat. But you fight for it like you bail out a life raft during a storm at sea. You want this thing to work. You need this thing to work. You can’t ditch it and jump back on the cruise ship.
This is the church; this is all you have. Without it, you’ll go down… Suddenly all those “one another’s” in Scripture make sense. Love one another. Bear one another’s burdens. Forgive one another. Acts of kindness become deeply meaningful because we know we are at war. Knowing full well that we are all facing battles of our own, we give one another the benefit of the doubt.
Leigh isn’t intentionally being distant from me – she’s probably under an assault. That’s why you must know each other’s stories, know how to “read” one another. A word of encouragement can heal a wound; a choice to forgive can destroy a stronghold. You never knew your simple acts were so weighty. It’s what we’ve come to call “lifestyle warfare.”
We check in regularly with one another, not out of paranoia (“Do you still like me?”), but in order to watch over each other’s hearts. “How are you doing?” But be careful about what you are looking for from community. For if you bring your every need to it, it will collapse. Community is no substitute for God.
John Eldredge, Waking the Dead
None of what we’re doing in Manschool is meant to convey to you an easy formula to life. There is no guarantee in this life of anything. Look at the life of Job. We don’t push a “prosperity Gospel” on you – a series of formulas or practices that if dutifully followed, “abundant life” is promised. This is a broken world with broken people. This movement towards Wholeness is a process of sanctification – steps along the path of life leading towards eternity. A spiritual, emotional “high” is great but it doesn’t get you “there”. Neither does 60 minutes of quiet time a day, scripture memorization or a “purification” of your life purging out any/all possible temptations. None of that guarantees you anything. But God…
But God. God promises you Him. He is enough. A million dollars isn’t. The perfect house isn’t. Perfect children aren’t. God is.
That said, it is a process of sanctification and yes, very much indeed, being in the Word, spending time quietly seeking the Father, giving, serving, living outwardly … yes, yes, yes … do those things. Do more of them. As you should exercise your body, exercise your faith. Turn these things into the stuff of life…
There is nothing more dangerous than a repeated experiencing of a fine emotion with no attempt to put it into action. It is a fact that every time a man feels a noble impulse without taking action, he becomes less likely ever to take action. An emotion is not something in which to [savor or delight in]; it is something which at the cost of…discipline and of sacrifice, must be turned into the stuff of life.
FINAL QUESTION – What are you going to let define you and your life? Your past mistakes? Failures? Wounds or words spoken over you by broken people? Lies of the enemy? Or … what the Father says about you, believes about you, desires for you? We all have that choice. Too many of us have lived 30, 40, 50 years listening to the wrong voice and it has defined our life. Today, right now, that can change. Today, you can let go of the lies of the past – yes, it may have happened and yes, you may have done it and yes, there are consequences of our actions – but … it does not have to define you. Christ took all that for you on the Cross. If you will trust Him, it is gone. Finished. It is “as far away from you as the East is from the West”.
Are you ready for more? Are you ready to release this and get on with the life your Father has for you?