When I became a believer 6 years ago, it became abundantly clear that I needed to abandon the concept of coincidence because my God is in full control. Of course I believed in Him for many years… I just never realized that our Lord was such an awesome, efficient, and effective engineer capable of orchestrating both good and bad for His glory!
It is hard being the man and leader that God has called me to be, but it is a role I take very seriously. And because I take my role as leader so seriously, I desire to lead other men so they can lead their families courageously as the enemy is hard at work doing everything he can to take men down.
I’m also convinced that manliness wins wars… strength and guts with brains and God’s help wins wars. In 1 Cor. 16, Paul offers elements for spiritual maturity, all accomplished with love. As men, we’re called to: 1. Be on alert for those things that bring about division and distraction away from God. We should expect God’s return at any time, so our behavior reflects the Lord’s values and not defined by dark deeds; 2. Stand firm in the faith so our relationship with the Lord remains strong. Because there are so many temptations that attack us regularly, we must remain vigilant and stand firm; 3. We must act like men and be strong. Here, I believe that Paul uses the phrase be strong in a passive voice, meaning to ‘be strengthened.” We require God’s help with this as we are cannot strengthen ourselves… our part is to submit to Jesus; and 4. Let all we do be done in love. This, to men, is probably the most challenging, as it was typically not seen as a ‘manly’ characteristic. This love is a two-fold love that involves love for the Lord (16:22) and love for one another (16:24). Gal 5:22-23 states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” I believe we are called to love as it is the greatest motivating force for ethical behavior.
Heavenly Father… help us to be the kind of men you have called us to be… always seeking You in all things, knowing that if we get lost, we can always return to You (Luke 15). Let us serve You in obedience as You understand all things and obedience allows for freedom and life (Ex. 12). Help us to pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness (1 Tim 6:11), to be strong and courageous, and to do the work without being afraid or discouraged, for you, our God, are with us always! Amen