Reading this “40 Day Devotional to Biblical Manhood,” has been an odyssey to say the least. Lasting much longer than 40 days as obstacles (spiritual warfare), procrastination and just plain busyness got in the way of learning these 5 critical areas from 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 on how to become “a quality man,” which I so desperately want to be for God, my wife and my daughters. The journey of “Act Like Men” has brought me through a variety of emotions and deeper levels with God than ever before. Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV) says,
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
That is what I pray to be about…walking with Jesus, being built up in Jesus and established in the faith for all my days! My pastor preached last Sunday on “Spiritual Awakening,” and gave this prayer challenge to go to God daily in prayer and ask for:
“A HUNGER for God’s Word. A BROKENNESS over sin. And a BURDEN for people.” Marty Collier
Wow!! Could you imagine what men would be like if we would pray that earnestly everyday? The whole point of this book is for men to have a spiritual awakening to realize that the 5 pillars contained in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 are critical to be a “quality man of God.”
It is so sad the truth behind MacDonald’s statement,
“Men are checking out at prolific rates because any careful review of the ‘Christian Man’ job description has at the top impossible!”
But I love how he counters that sad statistic with this…
“The Christian life is not, nor was it ever intended to be you as a professional juggler of the latest list of biblical priorities…We have no ability to sanctify (change) ourselves than we have ability to save ourselves. Colossians 2:6 makes this clear: ‘As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.’ Are you doing that?…you have no ability to live the Christian life, no more capacity in yourself to live the gospel then you had to believe the gospel in the first place.”
I think that is a major problem with men, and especially myself; I try to handle everything on my own, on my own strength but in the end I fail. I am not a master juggler at all and as MacDonald said, I need to realize that I need Christ daily to renew me, and strengthen me for what I am going to face that day. As he said,
“The Christian life is the life of Jesus in me by the Holy Spirit. Christianity is not me striving to live like Jesus as a ‘thank you’ for saving me. Christianity is Christ taking up residence in me by the Holy Spirit living His resurrection life through me.”
Amen!! It’s amazing how much easier life can be when that perspective is straight in our minds…When we have Jesus in the center of the whirlwind of responsibilities of life, we will have stability just like a metal sign post in the ground. It is interesting what James MacDonald said about what Jesus will NOT do though…
“Jesus will not wrestle or fight with you; as long as your flesh wants to be in control, it will be.”
Boy that one hurts but we need to “stop juggling and start communing” with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (ESV) says,
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
He will surely do it!! What a great promise… but how many times do I get that backwards and try to do it on my own?
“God doesn’t just call me to do it; He Himself is the doer, if I will just lean into my constant communion with Him and yield my ‘members as instruments of righteousness.'” (Romans 6:23)
I love the ending prayer, one which I plan to pray as I move forward in my walk with God…
“I so long to gain and maintain clarity on this point of empowering community with You as the foundation of all that I am and do. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me; I can do nothing of eternal value in my own strength. You have given me Your Holy Spirit, as the power to live in community with others and love them as you would. I so want to live in the power of Your Spirit, setting aside more and more evidences of the exhausting life that tempts me every day. I’m relying on Your Spirit to issue piercing warnings each time I stray into that danger zone. Please get glory for Your name as You empower me to act like a man and lead other men in this worthy calling. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This is the final installment of the Act Like Men Book. I hope God has spoken through these posts and that you will read not only James MacDonald’s book but the Bible on what it means to be a Man of God!
If you want to read previous Act Like Men posts click here.