Many men think they are good, morally upright and ethical which makes a relationship with Jesus unnecessary because they are good enough. But being a good man is not a great plan. The world doesn’t need more good men who “go to church”, are morally rooted, and don’t cheat on their wives. More specifically, the world doesn’t need more affiliated Christian men. The world, however, desperately needs activated disciples on Jesus.
Affiliated men will go to church, put on a good attitude at work, and try to be a good person in life. I call these men the “Sleeping Giant”in the church because they may be affiliated with the Christian faith, but they are asleep at the wheel when it comes to an activated Kingdom calling.
Sleeping Giants are everywhere. They are good men without a mission. Good men who shy away from taking steps of faith. Good men living without a greater purpose in life. And good men escaping reality with a secret double life filled with fantasy. Eventually, the trials of life catch up and crack their code, revealing a hairline fracture in their faith that can lead to destruction in their livelihood, family and marriage. And, that’s exactly what our enemy hopes for.
Unfortunately, the Sleeping Giant perceives he’s not needed in the church. He neither sees nor feels significance there, that no investment is necessary, and that greatness is found outside vs. inside the Kingdom to which he belongs.
In the Bible, there’s a story about an affiliated man who sensed something was missing. He asked Jesus in Matthew 19, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” The man had kept all the commandments, but still wondered, “What do I still lack?” Clearly, he felt affiliated but not activated.
No man likes regret.
The problem is that we can easily get caught up in the drive to obtain great things, experiences, power, pleasure, fame, fortune, sex and stature. While there’s nothing wrong with healthy achievement, the pursuit of these things can require massive energy, consume your focus, and kill relationships in the process. In spite of our best intentions we end up holding a big bag of regret to compliment our achievements. Along the way someone or something paid the price for getting what we thought we wanted so bad at the time. Oops.
Don’t despair. The dream hasn’t died it’s just being re-set to eliminate regret and replace it with what you were really after – significance.
All that is needed now is the right focus coupled with the right disciplines to sustain my motivation and move me in the right direction. To this end, consider the following fact and helpful roadmap.
You are made to dream creative visions because you were hardwired by God for more.
Perhaps the best question to ask is: Does your dream(s) correlate with God’s dream for you? To find out, ask yourself these questions and compare your answers with what God thinks.
Is it to become wealthy?
- “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”—Hebrews 13:5
Is your lens focused correctly?
The hit, made-for-Netflix, series “House of Cards”exhibits how men craving power will don a public mask in order for private gain. It’s a story about men living with two faces: a public persona and a private will; an image vs reality; a means to an end.
Two-faced men live with the imminent tragedy that their house of cards will crash. One final straw can destroy everything, breaking the camel’s back. Men living this way, will do virtually anything to protect their polished myth. Inner turmoil ensues. Character gets twisted. Relationships suffer. Self-protection takes over. Private division and destruction follow.
This dynamic can become even more oppressive for a Christ-following man. We want to present Christian, play the role and rarely, if ever, let anyone look under the hood. There can exist a disconnect between identity and activity; resulting in a synthetic versus authentic Christian witness that is one card away from collapse.
God’s men often compartmentalize their faith and become “consumer Christians”sitting in the pews waiting to be served, or convenient Christians with a Las Vegas mentality that says “what happens outside of church stays outside of church.”
Jesus taught about, and confronted, this naïve mentality among men in Luke 6:46-49 saying:
There’s an “F” after the “SHI” and before the “T” and, yes, I did it on purpose. I am exchanging the secular phrase for a sacred principle, the silly for the serious, and if I pressed your buttons then mission accomplished. What remains are the two words every believer must consider if they claim to be a follower of Jesus – holy and shift. See for yourself.
“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV
That’s some major shift going down. Oops did it again. Key word here? Everything. God says he wants all of you versus parts of you. Get that. Life with God requires change in God if the relationship is working the way he designed. God himself is telling me in strong, simple terms that when he is at the center of my life I don’t get to pick and choose my changes of life and lifestyle. It’s positional.
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NIV
By contrast, if we do call him “Lord, Lord” we will be moving, exchanging, changing, or adjusting our ways for God’s ways on a regular basis. Why? Because when you are connected to Christ shift happens (of the holy sort). The red letters of Jesus in your Bible clearly state one unequivocal fact: change is ground zero of the spiritual life. We dispute this reality of spiritual life internally because personal change is often emotionally uncomfortable for us and requires new character we don’t presently have. Or we flat out disagree with God because we don’t want to give up that attitude or behavior. The result is self styled Christianity, patterned around our comforts, where we live out of spiritual and non-spiritual boxes as the context suits us. Both approaches fall short and neither passes muster with God.
You’ve done it. Stepped over the line and accepted God’s free gift of love and salvation, deciding to become a follower of Jesus Christ. You may feel different, forgiven and ready to start a new life. Or you may feel pretty much the same, but with a whole lot of new questions that come with a decision to do life God’s way. Either way, the next question is...
For new Christians, walking from their “decision” on wobbly spiritual legs, the next few moments, hours, and days can seem bewildering. There’s new vocabulary confusion, or “Christian-ese” that’s easier for theologians to understand than those who have just begun their journey spiritually. And it may seem like every Christian veteran has unsolicited advice for you.
So Every Man Ministries wants to provide some “crawl” steps on your way to what we pray will be a strong walk with God.
S - Start developing your relationship with God.
The entire “Christian” conversation, and the most distinctive part of our faith, is focused on God’s desire to have a relationship with us. He wants to be your friend and heavenly father. He wants you to know him, which is a deeply personal connection. At first, God may seem like a distant being, but He’s not. He’s very available. The more you know him, the more you will love Him and many, many other benefits will come. To know God you need to be with God.
The first, best way to know God is to read, and/or listen to the Bible, which is also referred to as God’s “Word” or “Scripture.” We have created a special series just for this purpose called Digging Deep, which will help you interact, engage, and apply God’s word. Consider God’s word daily bread you can’t live without.