Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Real Man

In my recovery process, I have come to realize that as a man and Christ-follower I misunderstood what it means to be a real man, based on God's standards. The world's idea of what a man is contradicts what God expects and wants. Even a lot of Christian men base their ideas of what it means to be a man on "preference" and "tradition" instead of on God's standards. I know I have done that. It cost me a lot of years of growth and spiritual influence and freedom.

Based on Acts 13:22, there are two key components of what a Godly man is like:

  1. He delights in the Lord and is a man after God's heart, wanting to please and glorify God with his heart, life, mind and soul. It is isn't a weakness. It's a strength.
  2. He does the will of God. It's not a burden; it's an overflow of his love for God. It's a natural outcome of a close walk with God. It's a "want to," not "have to."  It's about trust, courage, obedience, surrender, humility, and freedom.
I have to pray daily to focus on enjoying God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, rather than what they can "do" for me or provide - it's about who they are and who I am in relationship with them. Secondly, I then have to follow through in obedience to what they have asked me to. If I am enjoying my walk with Him, then my "want to" makes it a "no brainer." The desires of my heart change and are more in line with His. The opposite is true as well - as I drift away, my desires and temptations change for the worse. 

A book I am studying has a good perspective on this "who" and "what" type of man:
God gave Adam a job and assigned a role to him. The ideal man is relational - that's the "who" - and he has a role - that's the "what." Adam was created as the "who," but he also had a "what." Sometimes we separate the two, often overemphasizing the "what." Jesus is the ideal example of a man, a man in whom the "who" and "what" were inseparable. He did everything to fulfill his role out of His relationship with His Father. (Christian Leadership Concepts, Dr. Hal Hadden, 2013).
It's really not complicated. Love God. Love doing His will as He enables and leads. Why do I complicate it so often? My heart is deceitful. I need that daily "renewing" to keep me in the maturing process. I have felt huge baggage fall of this year, and I am so thankful. The work He's been doing in me has been steady, and He is continually working the "junk" out of my heart and mind that kept me stuck for years.

The more I get to know Him and experience His goodness, I can't help but be changed. He's incredible. No matter my circumstances, He's a steady rock. I know I need that because I have been an "emotional wreck" for long enough!

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." John Piper

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he can not imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis

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