Band of Brothers

A few weeks ago I experienced a very special moment when another man said to me, “When I think of these things I almost want to cry.” I’m 40 years old and don’t think I’ve ever heard another man be so honest and sincere.   The men’s bible study at church is currently reading a book entitled “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge.  In this book the author discusses a concept related to men being “posers.” He writes “Truth be told, most of us are faking our way through life.  We pick only those battles we are sure to win, only those adventures we are sure to handle…”  Genesis 3:10 is also referenced when Adam says, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Men, how many of us are hiding?  Not because we are naked but because we are afraid.  Our fear drives us to “fake and pose” our way through life as if we do not have struggles, guilt, pain, feelings, or emotions.  There is an old saying (although probably true) “that behind every great man is a great woman.”  Well how about this… “Beside every Godly man, there are other Godly men!”

We must find ways to move beyond our personal “castle mentality” which establishes walls and gates as means of protection.  The walls we build do not provide us with protection, instead they prevent us from being fully protected by God.  Behind these walls we are separated from each other.  These walls are not physical, they are spiritual.  They are built with bricks of pride and a mortar of pain and unforgiveness.

Proverbs 27:17 states that “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” This sharpening does not occur by merely being in proximity of each other.  It does not happen by just gently coming in contact.  This sharpening occurs when we open up to each other with honesty and sincerity.  This does not mean we must go around sharing our deepest thoughts with everyone, there is no wisdom in that.  It means that every one of us needs men in our lives that are more than just friends.  We need brothers of accountability, mentors, and disciples. Do you have these relationships in your life?  Do you desire these relationships in your life?  If so, praise God!  If not, keep this matter in prayer and look for opportunities to begin establishing these special relationships.  Blessed is best!!

 

A Few Good Men

The movie “A Few Good Men” starring Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise was released back in 1992.  Undoubtedly, the most famous line in the movie is when Tom asks for the “truth,” to which Jack exclaims, “You can’t handle the truth!”  He then proceeds to give a dramatic speech regarding his perception of the truth. There is however a “real truth” much greater than what Jack expresses, ironically it still involves “A Few Good Men.”  The real truth is that God is looking for men after His own heart.

What does it mean to be a person after God’s own heart?  Charles R. Swindoll expresses it as this in the book entitled “Becoming a Man or a Woman after God’s Own Heart”

It means your life is in harmony with the Lord. What is important to Him is important to you. What burdens Him burdens you. When He says, “Go to the right,” you go to the right. When He says, “Stop that in your life,” you stop it. When He says, “This is wrong and I want you to change,” you come to terms with it because you have a heart for God. That’s bottom-line, biblical Christianity.

When you are a man or woman after God’s heart, you are deeply sensitive to spiritual things. Second Chronicles 16:9 explains it this way: “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

What is God looking for? He is looking for men whose hearts are His—completely. That means there are no locked closets. Nothing’s been swept under the rug. That means that when we do wrong, we admit it and come to terms with it. We long to please Him in our actions. We care deeply about the motivations behind our actions. God is not looking for magnificent specimens of humanity. He’s looking for deeply spiritual, genuinely humble, honest-to-the-core servants who have integrity.

There seems to be a shortage of these men today,  I’d even say there has always been a shortage of these men.  Are there things in our own individual lives that prevent us from being this kind of man?  If so, are they worth it?  Is it worth the impact this has our our lives, wives, children…. the lost?  Even as I write this I ask myself, “Am I this kind of man?” Brothers… may we each ask ourselves this question and may we not be afraid of the answer.

One final thought, can we pray that other men in our church join us in the quest to become a man after God’s own heart?  It is not enough to only desire this for ourselves.  Godly men need other godly men.  I challenge you to choose 2 other men and earnestly pray for them. Blessed is best!!