Anthony shares a word on his heart (based on his own journey) for men.
The American Christian man is dying. In John Eldredge’s Wild At Heart, he writes that “in the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”
I’ve got my beauty. Done. Picking the battle to fight and discovering the adventure to live has been a slower process (and less fun!). But I’m getting there.
This morning I shared in a small church how I think I’m not alone when I say that Christians are not “fighting the good fight” but are caught up with “coping with the wrong fight.” And unless, man of God, you’re a professional troubleshooter for a company, you don’t do well just “coping.” You not only need the right fight and adventure, you WANT it; you crave it; and you’ll go to the grave with a huge regret if you realize you didn’t fight it.
I don’t want that. Being a hospice chaplain for three years confirmed that in me. I have heard too many death-bed stories of regret. It’s no longer okay for me to have a career only. It’s no longer satisfying to provide for my family alone. I hate it when I realize that any money that comes my way has to go to fixing my car (which broke down again today). I despise the thought that more money each month goes toward paying a mortgage and health insurance and STUFF than most cities in the world receive in a year!
Again, I’ll quote William Wallace from the film Braveheart when his Scotsmen were lined up, facing a sea of English soldiers on a battlefield, and one of his men asked him where he was going—“I’m a goin’ to pick a fight.”
Well, I’M a goin’ to pick a fight, but it’s with the demons in my head. It’s with the smelly imps that tell me that God is not the source of my sustenance, I am. Therefore, I never have enough to make any difference at all in this world. Never enough to bless anyone. Never enough to leave our borders and learn how 95% of unsaved humanity lives. Never enough to literally save the life of an orphan child. The little devils have told me to tell the More-Than-Enough God that there’s never enough.
What a slap in an all-powerful God’s face! What awful pride. What a need I have for repentance.
Man of God, rise up. Don’t die, but live! Your fight and adventure are before you. Rise up, as the Lord spoke to Ezekiel when we saw a valley full of dry bones. God told Ezekiel to prophesy to them until they get flesh and tendons and life. Later in chapter 37 He tells him, “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them.”
Who will get flesh on their bones, pick up their sword, and truly put the kingdom of God first? Unsaved multitudes, orphans, widows, prisoners, the poor, the sick. Where have you been, man of God? More importantly, where are you going?
The true leader of a household does not put food on the table. God does that. He does not pay the bills. God does that. He does not put his children through college. God does that (if He wants to). Oh, we don’t sit on a couch all day and play the Wii. But the ultimate securer of our household when we do our part is a loving Father. If not, then who keeps us off the streets? The One who promises us in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” This should free us up to be that true leader who is obedient to rescue those who need God and who need you.
I leave you with James 4:13-17, a passage every man should learn by heart:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.