I guess when I post once, I start rolling. Well, today, I believe God spoke to me, as He often does, through a circumstance. In the Old Testament, God spoke to many of the prophets through ordinary things. He’d have them go into the city and pour out a jar of water, then He’d give them words to talk about how He is going to pour out something on the people. Even in the New Testament, Paul is told in Acts 21 of how he will be bound if he goes to Jerusalem. Verse 11: “And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, ‘This is what the Holy Spirit says: “In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”’”
(For the purpose of audience and the specifics of what is on my heart, I’m going to speak to men, though I’m sure much will translate to ladies. Also, though much of this can apply to the rest of the world, as I have stated before, this is mostly from my perspective here in America.)
I say all that to say this; God is calling us men to wake up! We have been lured to sleep by tenacious and deadly temptations that are strangling our souls, torturing our families, and anesthetizing our minds. We have bought into the World’s wisdom in ways that are both unassuming and insidious. There is a deep and profound truth that God has been pulsating into the minds of so many men, and it is this simple statement: WAKE UP!!!
“And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ … And He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.” – Matthew 26:40-41,43
These men walked with Jesus, saw His miracles first hand, and knew that He often went off to pray for hours at a time! When was the last time you spent the night on your face, weeping before God instead of sleeping comfortably in your bed? When was the last time you prayed so long that you can’t tell if you fell asleep praying or spent the night praying?
Today, an amazing convergence occurred that allowed me to sleep in a bit (an exceptionally rare privilege) without chaos ensuing. Later today, I felt sleepy again. Having had many busy weeks recently and minimal sleep (especially last night), I chose to take a nap. Several times, I was awoken due to conflicts that needed a mediator to resolve. On the last time, I felt even more tired than when I started the nap. This is when this subject began for me. You see, I had some laundry to do today. By taking the nap, I have failed to get that done, and now I have to make up that time tonight. That pretty much defeats the purpose of the nap!
This is the state of so many here. Many men are asleep at the wheel, thinking they’ll just catch 40 winks so they can make it through the day. We miss that our 40 winks is about to drive us off a cliff, meanwhile whatever rest we get is wasted, lost to extra effort needed to get us out the holes we dug.
Men, we need to step back up to our roles, and the unfortunate part is that it will be hard! We have slid down the mountain by indulging in things like pornography, casual sex, drugs, alcohol, money, entertainment, and anything else I can’t think to list right now. And really, what is the root of all of these things? It is our pleasure! It is the comforting of ourselves in our own individual pains. We are seeking the feeling better, rather than fulfilling our purpose. Think about it, which is better: the temporary warm fuzzies or the satisfaction at the end of the race, knowing you did what you were made for?
What you were made for? So many of us have been looking for our purpose, over the years. Still, for others, this may be the first time you have been told that you were made for a purpose. God created you, dear reader. And God doesn’t create things without purpose. Back in my High School days, the evolutionary biologists and such couldn’t figure out a purpose for the human appendix. They claimed it was a “left-over” of evolution and served no real purpose in the human body. HA! Sophomoric hacks! In fact, we have since figured out that the human appendix is a valuable piece of our immune system, which explains how it gets infected and why people without an appendix can be more susceptible to infections.
Well, in the same way, the world tells us men, “Oh! You’re just evolved from monkeys; so, live for yourself, enjoy your life, live for today, no consequences, etc.!” It’s all lies! You are a created being with purpose. You are to live for God’s pleasure. And you are to live in His life, for today, knowing the consequences of actions, trusting in His salvation! In fact, men, the Bible speaks exactly to this problem in our lives. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.”
Check that part in verse 5: “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” Does that sound like you? Do you hold to a religion, but deny the real God who wants all of you? When God does not meet your expectations, do you try to pull the “if I do X, God will do Y” shuffle? The above are tangible examples of “having a form of godliness, [while] denying its power.”
“But what does it matter, man? It’s not like I’m needed! [Insert responsible person here] has it under control!”
Oh, dear reader, we are the garden tenders! It was given to men the solemn duty to cultivate beauty in our world. No matter how “under control” that person makes it look, the gardens will never be what they can be with our involvement.
And I don’t mean vegetation, though we have the job of working and producing for our daily needs. Rather, I mean that we are to cultivate true beauty in all those we touch, starting with our wives (if any), our sisters, and then our friends. We are also to teach our sons and brothers to cultivate the same beauty! Think of it, who is the first love of our daughters’ lives? We are. Who is the closest to our wives to speak into their lives? We are. Who can break a guy’s head because he messed with our sister? WE CAN! (Ha ha ha, ok. I’m not advocating violence, but guys, you know what I’m talking about!)
If our minds are in the gutter, we are crippled in our ability to build beauty. Like a man who puts herbicide on his hands and then tries to plant a garden. We taint the very ground we touch. If we are polluting our bodies with drugs or alcohol, we are like the man who pours gasoline in his garden, expecting it to produce edible blessings. And if we speak harshly to those around us, we are like the man who beats the growing plants, if they grow sufficiently, they will be deformed. But in many cases, the plants won’t grow properly.
Obviously, these plants are our children. And when we look on the past 30-40 years of men abdicating their roles in the home, it is no wonder that our world has spun out of control into perversions and lawlessness of most every kind. We are currently living in the ripple effects of generations of abdication. And now, we who see the rubble of what is left behind must pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild the world our fathers lost.
Men, it is time that we begin rebuilding this world, with the foundation of Jesus’ example and with Him as the muscle by which we work. He is the charge leader, the foreman, if you will, for the building effort ahead. It is going to be hard. It is going to take, at times, everything you can give and more! (And that more will be found in His strength all along!) But here’s the pay-off; if we, as men, will mirror our Lord and build beauty in everyone around us, teaching them the true beauty of a life surrendered to Jesus, then we can be assured by our devotion to Jesus that we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
That’s the pay-off, simple as that. There will be succulent blessings along the road, little nuggets to encourage our feeble bodies and weakened resolves. But the big pay-off is knowing we have blessed our Heavenly Father, given back to Him what He gave to us. He poured love, beauty, and worth into us. He invested in what everyone would have termed a lost-cause. He poured in all He had (as if He could run out!), and all He asks from us is to look upon Him, cast our all into Him (and our all is really dirty paper scraps) so that He can use us to pour love, beauty, and worth into others by His Son.
Oh! Before I go, let me dispel one myth that my mind has even caught; we will never succeed in rebuilding this world. This world IS crumbling, my friends. It is tainted beyond repair with sin, and it will perish one day when our Lord determines the end to be that day. What I am calling you to is your world! Our collective worlds. I can’t change what’s happening in another country, but I can change what happens with the family God has given me. I can’t bring all Muslim’s to Jesus in one charge, but I can raise children who (God only knows) may become missionaries to reach these groups. I can’t stop the world from crumbling, but maybe I can slow it down a bit!
He broke me. And He has broken you. But the reason is very simple. He broke us for a reason, and I think that reason is to call men back to Himself, to restore them to their roles as He has intended them. So, step up to the call, men! Let us answer our Lord in union, “Sir! Yes, sir!” Let us begin to rebuild this fallen world.
Go forth, and build beauty! Be men! Even better, be men of the Almighty God! =)
Vires et Honorem!