The Making of a Man

Trucks, cars, guns/hunting, soldiers, cowboys, football, basketball, sledding, bicycles & motorcycles, hiking, the farm, the outdoors, the Word of God, the local church, The Wilds, evangelism, and strong preaching!  That sort of sums up my boyhood years right through my teens.  Just typing those words brings back some really great memories!  These were some of the important ingredients of growing into manhood that my parents always gladly provided (except the motorcycle) and encouraged.  There is so much I would love to share with you about each one.  My background is one of the reasons I love Ephesians 6:10-20.  Read it as a boy all dressed up in his cowboy boots w/ holster and six-shooter or as a soldier in your front yard with the neighborhood boys getting ready to take out the enemy or baling hay and stacking it up in the top of the barn on a blistering hot day or as it is so portrayed, putting on your shield, armor and sword and preparing for battle!  Read it with some umphh in your voice; with gravel in your teeth; with heart pumping out of your chest; and sweat oozing from underneath your helmet!!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Are you ready for battle?  Is your heart still pumping with vigor?  Is this a manly passage or what?  Wow!!!  Men, I notice something that is so manly coming out of this passage that is a huge need in our lives today—-it is verse 18.  I will say it now rather than lead into it by more verbiage—–you are no more a man than when you are in earnest prayer on your knees before God the Father!!!  The dressing room for the armor of God is the prayer room.  There you put on each piece which is Christ (Next Tuesday, we will examine each part of the armor). Oh, just look at those manly words in verse 18, praying always, being watchful to the end, perseverance. That’s the characteristics of a strong man, a man of truth, faith, ready for daily conflict, and ready to defend and protect!

Men, we must be men of prayer!  For far too long, the ladies have led the charge when it comes to this awesome privilege.  I am so grateful for a praying wife and a praying mom, but oh the sight I see right now is the many, many times I saw my dad on his knees weeping for lost souls within his family, church and city, crying out for revival among the saints, adoring his Heavenly Father through intercession and supplication, and praising God for all His goodness in answered prayer and for Who He is!!!  Thanks, Dad!!  The Tonka trucks and cap pistols are long gone—but the need for men of prayer remains!!!!  How are you dressed today, men?

The Making of a Man

Over the years I have read some good books on the subject of being a godly man.  My heart and life have been challenged and changed by these reads.  As I begin today with this Tuesday series of blog posts, “The Making of a Man,” I must make two statements.  First of all, these writings are from a desire to see men be genuine, Spirit-filled, Christlike, servant leaders . . . men of God.  Have I arrived there?  In no way.  This leads me to my second statement. To be all that God wants us to be, you and I must be humble, willing, teachable and “changeable.”  (By the way, humility is not me thinking little of myself; it’s me not thinking of myself at all.)  Therefore, these blog posts will begin with me . . . me searching my own heart, being honest before the Lord and trusting that what He does in me will be encouraging and edifying to you.  Let’s grow together to be men of God, men of the Book, men of character, men of Christ!

Since I mentioned the subject of good books, I’ll start there today.  You have heard the statement, “Leaders are readers.”  I totally agree!  Please don’t overlook the next statement by using the “I’ve Heard It Before Lens.”  Men, to be the godly leader of your wife and family, at church, at work, in recreation or any other venue of life, you must have the daily habit of reading God’s Word and letting God’s Word read you!!  The most courageous, strong, manly man is one who knows his God through His Word and applies the Word to every area of his life.

Let me give you some examples of real men who walked with God and knew His Word.  Do you think these men were sissies?  (This list is by no means exhaustive.)

Noah – What a carpenter!  What a man of faith! What an influence on his world & family! What patience and endurance! (Hebrews 11:7)

Abraham – He didn’t have to have everything laid out in front of him when God told him to depart his homeland—the guarantee of a good job, good retirement, etc.  He had a promise!  What faith!  What adventure! What courage!! (Hebrews 11:8-19)

Amram (Moses’ father) – Here’s a father who did not live in fear but faith.  He did not fear Pharaoh (the government); he feared God.  He did not fear to let his son go into the hands of Almighty God; he and his wife, Jochebed, “cut the apron strings”!!  (Hebrews 11:23)  What leadership!  What courage!

Nehemiah – Many things to be said about him, but most of all, he was a man strong in prayer who based his intercession upon the character of God (Nehemiah 1:4-11).  He stood tall because he knew his God!!  What a leader!  What a man of courage!!

Onisephrous – Here’s a risk-taker.  He was not ashamed to be identified with Paul so he could be a refreshment to his brother in Christ in prison.  Nero was not a fan of Paul nor of anyone associated with him or Christ! Onisephorus often was like a “breath of fresh air” to Paul.  What a friend!  What a blessing!  (2 Timothy 1:16-18)

Paul – Like so many in Scripture, much could be said about this man.  One thing here, he was not ashamed of the gospel!  He proclaimed it, stood for it, shared it, lived it, wrote about it, and died for it!!  What a man; gospel-saturated; all out for Christ!!  (Romans 1:16)

All of a sudden, I find myself wanting to stand up and sing . . .

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

So, men, are you a student of God’s Word?  Is your passion to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do you begin your day in the Word (Psalm 63:1) and with the Word (John 1:1,14)?  Real men read the Word and let the Word read them in a real way for that’s when you become a real man!! Let’s be humble, teachable, willing, and changeable right now.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:8-9)  — By the way, this was written by a real, courageous man who knew his God!!   The Word of God makes real men!