The Navy Shipyard, Sandy Hook, Columbine -- the mere mention of these names open files in our minds about seemingly senseless shootings, deaths, perhaps vulnerability. Along with these, recent news of Syrian President Assad unleashing chemical warfare on unsuspecting populations and the anniversary of “9/11,” remind us of moments in time when the world stops to ask “why?”
While these events fuel national news reports and investigators pursue answers, inevitably the tsunami of discussions will revert to worldly explanations and political agendas. It amazes me when a massacre occurs, we tend to try to “contain the culture” with the politics of peace, federal funding for education or counseling or economic plans for poverty.
Cultural men don’t want to rely on spiritual answers. There’s no room for the “morality play” in their game because those answers force us to look in the mirror.
Instead of talking about gun control, maybe we should be talking about “guy control” or how to help the average man avoid going evil. All men are vulnerable of getting hijacked by worldly systems of thinking, which can cause them to inflict evil.
Here’s the bottom line: We are in a “fight” for our faith. In 1 Timothy 6:12, we are instructed to “fight the good of faith.” So put on your spiritual boxing gloves, lace up your shoes of peace and step into the ring -- which is right outside your door.
Nevertheless, temptations arise. Bad thoughts happen, even to God’s men. So how do you fight the good fight of faith, especially when you are tempted to do something bad, even evil?
- 1. Turn to God.
David, the writer of many of the Psalms in the Bible, called God his “refuge” and “strong tower” and “shepherd.” God is our strength in times of trouble and an oasis in chaos. His Spirit counsels. His love soothes. His grace serves. God knows you, the situation, and the enemy better than anyone. Turning to him isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.
- Turn to the Body of Christ.
Have evil thoughts, temptations? Confessing them depletes their power. There’s power in confession and even more power among other men of God. Look at James 5:16 where it says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
The Bible also explains that God’s men are a part of a bigger unit, called the “Body of Christ.” We each serve a role, and when evil tempts us we can seek other men in the body who can share from the benefit of their spiritual gifts. The fact is, the body is of no use if you’re not connected. The enemy seeks to destroy “like a lion,” the Bible says. This tells me, that the enemy wants you to be isolated, before attacking.
- 3. Turn fear into faith.
Fear can drive men crazy or build faith in God’s plan. Whenever there’s worry, or fear, there’s a hiccup in faith. Jesus said in Matthew 28:11 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He also said, and might want to memorize this one, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Here’s another scripture that should be tattooed in your brain and put in the ring in your fight for faith. From Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
The fact is the very nature of God is love and family. He’s our father with open arms and answers. If we stay connected to God, within a thriving community of Christ followers and exercise faith, then we can look forward to a good fight of faith.
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Kenny Luck is the president and founder of Every Man Ministries. As the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in California, Kenny has found the proven way to improve men’s ministries around the world. Sleeping Giant is this blueprint, and gives men the tools they need to lead and understand their own men’s ministry. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.