Slaying the Dragon: Character Delivers Conduct
- Mon Mar 4, 2013
- 2 comments
This is the first in a four-part series we are calling “Slaying the Dragon,” where we will explore God’s destination for us. All men have dragons standing in their way, preventing them from being closer with God. We are going to look at how to slay the dragon. To slay your dragon you have to have a sharp blade and a clear aim. Along our dragon slaying journey, we’ll talk about some dragon slayers. Finally, we’ll give you spiritual solutions to slaying your dragons and allowing you to get to your physical destinations, health destinations, professional destinations, personal destinations and emotional destinations.
Welcome to Part One of a four part series we’re calling “Slaying the Dragon.”
Let’s begin this series with a universal truth in the world of men. I think you will agree with me that men, in general, do not like being hindered or blocked on the way to a destination. For me, it doesn’t matter if I’m tripping over my wife’s shoe on the way to hang up a shirt in the closet or unexpected traffic on the freeway — right? You think you’re going to get to your destination and then all of a sudden you see all the brake lights and then you kind of feel let down. You may be going to get your coffee on the way to work and think it’s going to be an-in-and-out thing, and then you see that there is a line twenty people deep at Starbucks, so you say forget this.
It’s kind of the way we are wired. When we have a destination or goal, we want to get there. In our minds, we think we should be able to get there without hindrance, obstruction, or obstacle. As soon as a hindrance comes between us getting to where we want to go, it gets some kind of reaction. It may be small or it may be large, but there is a reaction.
The examples I gave are physical destinations, but you know what’s even more frustrating? What’s more frustrating is when you are not getting to your destination as a man.
This is what happens when we are 25 or 35 or 45 years old, but our emotional development is stuck at age 15 or 20. Where we are lagging behind, and now have man-sized responsibilities, man-sized relationships and man-sized goals, but our character is not concurrent with our chronology — with our age.
Take your pick. What’s getting in your way of you going from boyhood to manhood? What’s keeping you from achieving the character to live your life well? Is it temptation? Is that what makes you feel like you’re not there yet? Is it anger? Is it defensiveness in your marriage? Is it honesty? Do you find it important to be honest with yourself or with God — or most importantly — honest with other people?
What is your dragon? Is it personal integrity, which means living out what you actually believe? Is it compromise? Do you find yourself under pressure so you compromise your values, your faith, or your beliefs? Is it discipline, where you have the goal or destination, but you don’t have the discipline to get to there so it’s creating frustration? Maybe it’s impulse control. Maybe it’s addiction, or something more grievous?
As God’s man, it’s very clear what our destination is. When we get our destination clear, when we own it, a lot of these dragons get slain.
In this series, we are going to look at what God’s destination is for us. We also want to see very clearly the dragon that stands in our way. We are going to look at how to slay the dragon, because in our spiritual lives, God definitely has a destination for you right now. There is definitely a dragon that is standing in the way, and the key is to have a sharp blade and a clear aim to slay that dragon.
If you have a Bible, I would like you to turn to 2 Corinthians 3:18. We are first going to look at the destination given to every one of God’s men, and then we will look at the dragon that stands in the way, and talk about some dragon slayers.
I want to look at the spiritual solutions to slaying your dragons. Then, make an application to your physical destinations, health destinations, professional destinations, personal destinations, and emotional destinations, because if you can slay this dragon, you can get to the destination that God has for you as God’s man. You can use the same principles that we are going to talk about in this series to reach other goals.
What is the destination for every one of God’s men? Where are we headed? Think of it as a quest, as a journey, as a trip. This is the journey that God has for you. It’s found in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
The verse says, “And we being with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness, with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Some of you who are Christ followers, who have been Christians for a long time, and those who are new Christians, need to know the exact destination God has for you in terms of your spiritual life. The exact destination God has for you is not something you do, it’s not something you achieve, and it’s not a physical location.
Say this with me, “Someone I become.” God has a vision for you. It is His highest vision, His noblest goal. It is the best journey.
What is it?
Your goal is to become like Christ. That is the entire goal of your life. His goal is the inward transformation of your character. That’s his goal because He knows when you have right character, your conduct takes care of itself. When you have the good stuff on the inside, informing your perspective and thinking, how you value things, informing your beliefs and your conviction, you have the right center on the inside of your character, and your conduct takes care of itself.
The opposite is also true. If the conduct is not right, it’s a reflection of your character on the inside.
Jesus said: “Good things come out of the good man because of the good that is stored up in him. Evil things come out of the evil man because of the evil that is stored up in him.”Matthew 12:35. It goes back to 2 Cor. 3:18. If Christ is forming in you, the conduct is transforming out of you. If Christ is not forming more and more in you, then you’re not going to get more and more right conduct coming out of you.
Why? Conduct is an expression of your character. This is the process that we are in. You need to know right out of the box that this is the Holy Grail of the Christian life. Christ-likeness is to be like Christ.
It kind of changes the way you read the Bible. We look at the Bible sometimes for prescription, solution, for whatever our motivation is. However, that’s not the primary goal. The primary goal is to have your being affect everything that is going on in your life. Every physical encounter in your life, every test, trial, delay, difficulty — indeed everything that is going on in your life — has one purpose from the perspective of your heavenly Father. It’s to make you more like Christ.
Romans 8:29talks about God’s goal for every person.
First, God’s goal for every person is to know Christ.
Second, to become like Him.
Romans 8:29 says: “For those God knew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son so that He might be the first born among many brothers.” When you get into God’s spiritual family, God says: Why can’t you be like your brother?
Have you ever heard that from your parents? I just think about James the half-brother of Jesus. What a bummer growing up with Jesus. Can you imagine Mary saying: “James, why can’t you be like your brother Jesus, perfect kid, knows the Scriptures, knows the Word?
But in this instance, I think we get this family picture. Jesus is the first born among many brothers. Do you have an older brother? How many guys have idealized their older brothers mistakenly? My brothers all hit their teens in the late 60’s, so that’s kind of its own story. I remember. I idealized my big brothers so much. Part of the reason was because I could hear my brother Mark’s Harley 950 five blocks away. You know those old Harley V-Twin engines. I idolized my other brother who was in a rock band that opened up for Neil Young at Winterland.
Watch Slaying the Dragon Series where men’s expert and pastor Kenny Luck helps you to learn how God’s men are developing the character that slays the dragons in their lives.”
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Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book – SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God - is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries, and was recently released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching here at EveryManMinistries.com.