So far we’ve covered a lot. We’ve established that to be a man you don’t need to be as swift as a coursing river, have the force of a great typhoon, the strength of a raging fire or even be as mysterious as the darkside of the moon. No, to be a man you must obey God. For what is the sole end of man but to glorify God and enjoy him forever?
But then we also realized that we can’t do this. As men, on our own, we can do nothing without God. We are nothing without him. Without God we are like the beasts of the field, we are a vapour, a mist, the grass, there for a little while then blown away by the wind.
Yet there follows a truth more glorious than any we have yet discussed. It is best expressed in that verse from Joshua which if you don’t know off by heart by now you should feel ashamed:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1 v 9
Why are we, as men, strong and courageous? Why are we, as men, neither discouraged or afraid? Why are we, as men, steadfast in our faith? Why are we, as men, dedicated to obeying God? Why are we, as men, battling to put sin to death? Why do take risks? Why do we stand up when the world tells us there’s no point? Why do we live by faith and not by sight? Why do we, as men, act like men?
Because the Lord our God is with us wherever we go.
What does that mean?
It means everything.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
Romans 8 v 31 – 32
One day I’d quite like to go into the world of politics and God willing if I do then I’m going to have the following words hanging above my desk: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
God gave up his son for us. And it doesn’t stop but he will graciously give us all things. So then, as men, when we are called to step up to the mark and display all the qualities a God centred man should have what do we do? We turn to God and seek him.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19 v 26
With God all things are possible! Even turning us sinful, weak, proud, self centred, rebellious and slothful boys into men of God. When we think of all the qualities a man should have: strength of character, integrity, purity, courage, steadfastness, maturity, the ability to teach, graciousness, the discipline involved in being a good friend, husband and father not to mention the responsibilities and duties that comes with the position of headship granted to him then it is easy and highly accurate to judge ourselves wanting.
But we do not do this in our own strength! For our own strength is weakness. We turn to God asking, praying and seeking the transforming work of his Holy Spirit to correct our wayward ways and to make us more and more like Christ.
Ask yourself this question: does God want you to act like a boy? I think not for he created you to be a man. So then, if you ask God to make you into the man of God you should be do you not think he will answer you? If you ask God to man you up will he not delight in answering?
Course, the process of manning up will be hard. Very hard. But as Paul writes:
““Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8 v 35 - 37
If the last verse was to go above my desk then verse 37 of Romans 8 would be stamped across my heart: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
To become the men we should be we need to conquer our immaturity, our sin, our foolishness, pride, character weaknesses, bad habits, our laziness and so much more. And yes, we will also need to face trouble, hardship, persecution, nakedness, danger, sword and death. But in all these things, all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.
With God we can be men. Without him we can do nothing.
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16 v 13
I came across a rather good quote on the way the Bible tells us to man up. It always says: “Quit living like the natural man you were, and start living like the supernatural man you are!”
Well, this is likely to be the last of my Manology posts, at least for a time, time and half a time. I’d like to end by bringing it all together with my favourite of all bible man quotes:
“Dress for action like a man”
Job 38 v 3
Are you ready to do that? To lay aside your childish and immature ways? To be strong and courageous? To be the man God created you to be? Are you prepared for what it will take? Are you going to step up to the mark of biblical manhood not in your own strength and power because they are nothing but in the power of God, in his strength, in his love and with his grace?
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.”
Hebrews 11 v 32 – 34
With God weakness is turned to strength, sin to holiness, bad habits to good, hate to love, cowardice to courage and boys are turned into men.
p.s. Type "dress for action like a man" into Google and click I’m Feeling Lucky. I told you I liked it.