In this series titled Fantasy Island – Part II, we are going to take a closer look at the emotional aspects of fantasy. We are also going to discuss God’s will for men like you who want to grow in maturity, truth and reality, versus Satan’s plan to replace your reality with his fantasy, escapism and unreality.
Boys often run from problems. As a man, it’s never God’s will for you to run from your problems. He’s there in them. Guys , that’s the difference. If God is in my problems, and He’s going to use my problems and develop me into something that is more valuable and stronger after the process, I have to hang in for the process.
What is in process for you right now? What’s testing or tempting you?
You are under the coaching of one of two entities: God or Satan. Those coaches have separate goals in mind. God uses testing to move you forward. Satan uses temptation to get you of track. God uses testing to develop. Satan uses tempting to destroy. God uses pressure as a stepping-stone. Satan uses it as a stumbling block.
When God uses pressure as a stepping-stone, He always tells us. He tells us through Isaiah where He talks about how the waters rise and that He will take you through the fire. He will take you through the high rising waters. He says, “I am with you. I am with you. I am with you.”
Why does God repeat “I am with you?” Because life is a process and we need to hear it over and over. God is always with us, using life to create something of more worth and value.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Fantasy seeks to remove us from emotional maturity. Romans 8:28 is a verse that you have to memorize as a man with respect to your growth and your relationship to reality. God is working in you and through you. That’s a key verse.
My wife makes amazing Texas sheet cake. One of the ingredients is cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is not sweet. I found out. It even says Hershey’s on the outside of the container! I took a big spoon of it, and ohhhhh does it taste bitter. But if you take the cocoa powder and mix with all the other ingredients, you get a Texas sheet cake.
That is what Romans 8:28 teaches us. You can’t see the negative bitter moments of life in isolation. If you do, Satan will bring devastation. You have to see how God is baking in all of the other ingredients in the recipe to turn you into a God’s man.
We have to understand what the goal is for God and Satan. God wants to build a man. Satan wants to stunt a boy.
Let me bring this into the real world. Frankly, the world is desperate for men. Men who act their age, men who are tough, men who are tender, men who are relationally disciplined, emotionally mature with moral conviction. The world needs men , not boys.
When the world, specifically our countries and communities, are led by boys, there is injustice and suffering and pain for women and children. Satan makes you relate to that because he wants to keep making people suffer, to keep destroying family relationships, and to keep causing pain for women and children.
Let’s look at emotional intimacy. Here is the fact related to emotional intimacy. Every man is made to experience emotional intimacy. Some of you had a hard time reading that because I used the word “emotional,” which is indicative of where we are as men in the world of emotions.
Jesus was an emotional person. You are made to have and feel emotions.
Here’s the problem: we live in a broken world that affects the way we engage life emotionally. Our emotions are still there, but because of the brokenness, hurt, abandonment, and losses in our lives, we desensitize and protect ourselves emotionally. We do not want to experience losses, hurts, abandonments and brokenness again.
You are created to feel the emotion of affection. That’s what a son is supposed to feel from his mom and dad together. That’s how we are supposed to feel from our Father in Heaven. You have men at different stages of the life continuum who know, feel, and receive this affection. They know this affirmation. They have their worth confirmed, creating an emotionally healthy man. You also have men who have never felt affection and affirmation in a healthy way. They have an orphan spirit. When you have an orphan spirit, you will chase validation, acceptance and affirmation.
Can’t you see how Satan is waiting right over there with fantasy? He’s waiting for you to witness or experience intimacy and affection in an unhealthy way instead of experiencing it spiritually with God and relationally with the father in a family.
Emotion is a key factor in both intimacy and fantasy. If you have the ability to give and receive love, you have intimacy. It’s the most precious thing that a human being can have. If intimacy is present in a man’s life, if masculine intimacy is present, it establishes your worth.
If it is absent, you chase worth. It may be through an affair, or the type of car you drive. That’s all a smoke screen for chasing worth, which is all part of your deep need for intimacy. Intimacy creates worth. If you lack intimacy you will chase worth in unhealthy ways.
I want you to see intimacy in action.
Consider Matthew 3:17, “A voice from heaven said, this is my son with Him I am well pleased.”
Whatever God models for us is meant for us. What did God model for us in creating worth in His son? To what end?
Every man who is ever born needs to hear those words. If he doesn’t hear and feel the depth of those words: a special name, “this is my son,” a special love, and love from a father and a special blessing from your Creator and from an earthly father; he will chase a name, love and validation of blessing in unhealthy ways. You will go get it because you are built for it. You are built for relational intimacy and if you don’t get it in a healthy way, you will pursue it in unhealthy ways.
If there is an absence of it, you will search for it.
Why do you think boys and girls and men and women who have never experienced that kind of sonship and daughterhood, that kind of special blessing in their lives from a man end up finding it in other ways? Girls have sex with a man in search for a father’s love. Boys who were never validated as a man in their younger years with time, talk and touch by their dads, will go get that time, talk and touch in many other forms.
Some of you are discovering for the first time why you are doing what you are doing right now. It’s because you were made to have a special name, love, affirmation and blessing from your father.
What happens if you get it?
I John 4:18 talks about what happens if you experience intimacy at a deep level. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
We have millions of men walking the planet, fearing that they are not worth something. They are chasing validation in unhealthy and unacceptable ways.
All they need is a deep encounter with a deep love. They can stop that unhealthy pursuit and begin winning real intimacy with God and people. That’s the spiritual battle. Satan is spiritually invested. God wants us to know that we are loved, that He loves you. He accepts you because He made you.
God wants you to know today, man of God, “You are my son, who I love, and in you I am well pleased.”
You get acceptance without performance, you are loved because of who you are, and Jesus wants us to know that we are loved.
In John 15:13 He said this, “Greater love hath no one than this that He lay down His life for his friends.”
When we know this, it drives out the fear connected to not feeling worthy of love. When you know you are loved, you feel secure. I don’t have to chase fantasy, because I have the real thing. I have eternal love and a relationship with God.
John 3;16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is the whole deal, God sends the Son so that you can feel love. You feel love and worth, and when you feel real worth, you don’t have to face false worth, intimacy, and fantasy. When you feel love and the security it brings, you can love other people in healthy ways, and win quality relationships. Your masculine soul needs to feel worth and be validated.
How do men validate their worth in unhealthy ways? I want you to answer that question.
Answer this too: how can you find your worth in healthy ways?
WatchFantasy Island – Part II where men’s expert and pastor Kenny Luck shows us that the real issue of fantasy does not exist at the level at which we see the behaviors. It is rooted in deeper emotional issues and conflicts within a man. Kenny dives into the man-specific emotional causes that propel men into fantasy.
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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.