Raise the banner: a rally cry for the Kingdom Man

Reggie White
courtesy of “http://www.nfl.com/photos/09000d5d80ec1b8d”

“A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh, crap, he’s up!

When a kingdom man steps out his door each day, heaven, earth, and hell take notice. When he protects the woman under his care, she can do little to resist him. His children look to him with confidence. Other men look to him as someone to emulate. His church calls on him for strength and leadership. He is a preserver of culture and a champion of society to keep out evil and usher in good. A kingdom man understands that God never said a godly life would be easy; He just said it would be worth it.” – Dr. Tony Evans, Kingdom Man

The concept of manhood as God would define is virtually dead today! It is so counter-cultural and rebellious to live as a godly man today than ever before. Instead of asking God to help us reach His standard of being a Man, we have lowered the rim just so we can applaud ourselves every time we dunk the ball over a 4 ft. rim. Isn’t that crazy?!

The decimation of our society can be directly attributed to lack of Kingdom men & Fathers. Men who are either completely absent in their families’ life, or have minimal involvement believing that they are doing more good to their family by being absentee bread-winners instead of active husbands and fathers.

Here are a few disturbing statistics about the effect of fatherlessness. (The Fatherless Generation):

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • When the wife is a believer and the husband is not, there is a 14% chance that the whole family will follow Christ. But when the Husband is a believer, even if the wife isn’t, there is a 92% chance the family will follow Christ.

Although the statistics are quite disheartening, they shouldn’t be surprising at all. Because when a society turns away from God and embraces sensuality and partying more than godliness and purity, we should expect such a failure in that society. God is a God of Principle and when we choose not to abide in his principles, he frees us loose to do what our own soul desires and reap the consequences. (Romans 1:22 – 32) Because we have refused to listen to wisdom and have disregarded the word of God, God simply laughs at our calamity (Proverbs 1: 22-29). Because we did not choose to fear the Lord, but instead chose to gratify our lust and desires, our own sins and mistakes catch up to us in our families and children. We, then, have the audacity to point our finger at God and say how dare He desert me? We open our mouth oh so boldly and curse God for reaping in tears, what we sowed in sin.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

Men, it all starts with you and me!

When men stop abdicating their authority to the devil, and take back what belongs to them society is transformed! When men look to the word of God for wisdom and not pop culture for guidance, families no longer become dysfunctional! When men spend more time in the word of God and prayer, than vicariously living through a sports figure or celebrity, change is at hand! When men are more concerned with gathering heavenly treasures and increasing spiritual capital, than playing with toys or accumulating worthless trinkets, God pays attention!(Matthew 6:19-21)

Dr. Tony Evans, points out how God blesses the Man who reveres him in 4 areas of life. His personal life will be blessed, his family life will be blessed, his church life will be blessed and his community life will be blessed! Take a look at Psalms 128

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.

When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!” -Psalms 128(NKJV)

It says your wife will be fruitful! Your children will be young and healthy as olive trees! You will be blessed spiritually and naturally/in the earth! I am good to go. What more do we want? Isn’t honoring God worth it?

The question was never if becoming a God-fearing Man was worth the effort, but rather how to become one.

How does a young man keep his way pure and become a Godly man?

  1. Know God’s word and meditate upon it

“9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.” – Psalms 119: 9-11(NKJV)

Ezra was a man who set his heart on seeking the Law of the Lord, doing it and teaching others.(Ezra 7:10) No wonder the king at the time would grant him all his request, because the favor of God was upon Ezra.( Ezra 7:6)

Daniel was a man who feared God. In a foreign country and under captivity he purposed in his heart that he will not defile himself with king’s delicacies nor with the wine which he drank and God gave him favor with the authorities( Daniel 1:8-9). When it was against the law to pray, and haters conspired to bring him down he still prayed three times a day and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.( Daniel 6:10). Because Daniel feared and honored God, even the Lions couldn’t harm him, because he has trusted the Lord, He delivered him (Psalms 91). God was glorified and Daniel was honored and became prosperous!

  1. Be a doer and not just a hearer of God’s word

“22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” – James 1: 22-25

Head knowledge of God’s world devoid of action is useless!The bible tells us that even the demons believe and tremble at the knowledge of one God. (James 2:19). When Satan was tempting Jesus in the desert, he was quoting scripture faster than an ordained minister.( Matthew 4:1-11) And the Pharisees and Sadducees who knew the word of God like the palm of their hands were the ones who crucified the savior of the world. The key is to let the scriptures sieve past your analytical mind and settle in your heart. Let it transform you and change you from the inside out. Walk out the iota of truth that you have learned and watch your path light up. (Psalms 119:105)

  1. Watch your Calories!

I was at a men’s retreat this past weekend with Chi Alpha christian ministries and one of the speakers explained it brilliantly, so I will just repeat it. We consume 3 types of food in everything we do spiritually speaking. You have your healthy foods, you have your poisons and you have your empty calories. The healthy foods are those activities that nurture and feed your inner man and grow you in the Lord. This can be spending time in the word, prayer, godly fellowship, godly books, and rest (Check Hebrews 4 out!). Poisons are glaringly obvious and we don’t intentionally swallow them, however our good intentions do nothing to detox the lethal amount we have sipped or gulped. Pornography, fornication/premarital sex or sexuality, dishonesty, lack of respect for authority, worldly music, X-rated TV shows or movies are a few examples. Don’t drink poison, you’ll die! The empty calories are the tricky part. They are neither poison nor healthy food, but hinder us from being spiritually fit. These could be sports, TV shows, video games, love of sleep, interest in the opposite sex, too much “fellowship” or friends. This list will be different for everyone and is not always the same across the board. Nevertheless, their effect is identical in that they take away time you could be spending with the Lord or developing yourselves personally!

You are what you eat, so watch your calories!

The Conclusion of the matter

“13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Listen to wisdom when it is calling. Don’t discount your young age or believe you have tomorrow to get it right. Fear God today, and honor His commandments. God is love but God is also holy. Consecrate yourself and separate yourself from the current of the culture. A river only carries a dead weight downstream. So it is with today’s young men. Blind leading the blind. Emmanuel Lambert, Jr. A.k.a, Da’ T.R.U.T.H said it best in his song Gray off of his new album Heartbeat when he rhymed:

“Watch those rocking entertainers; they speak words that penetrate us.

When they talk we stop and listen, all because they’re rich and famous

Culture is shifting and different changes, culture is shifting and living is dangerous

Universal epidemic, don’t nobody care what the scripture is saying”

If you have any life in you, fight against the stream of depravity and wickedness. Care more about what the scriptures say about godly living, than the tune of hottest artist out right now.( Ecclesiastes 7:5). A godly life will never be easy, but it is so worth it!

God Bless You!

 

 

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Where are the workers?

courtesy of "http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Manual_harvest_in_Tirumayam.jpg"
courtesy of “Wikipedia images

The Harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few- Matthew 9:37

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2(NIV)

These are the words of King Solomon from the book of Ecclesiastes. Guess what time it is now?

“For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”- 2 Corinthians 6:2(NIV)

If we are not careful and attentive to the word of God and the leading of His Holy Spirit, we might waste time and energy in the vain attempt of sowing seeds in the season of Harvest. In the United States, Corn crops are planted around April and harvested by the time October rolls around. Wouldn’t it be foolish if someone was trying to sow seeds and plant corn crops in October when the season and time is more suitable for harvesting what has already been planted?

Today is October and not April in the Season for Harvest of Souls into the kingdom of God!

I believe that we are in a season and a time where we are to usher in people into the kingdom of God! We are to reap the harvest that Jesus has sown (Matthew 13:37). We are to believe and by faith claim our families, schools, workplaces for the kingdom of God! “Because without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”(Hebrews 11:6)

My earnest prayer and desire is to see His children abandoning phrases such as “I’m praying for you brother” or “I’ll be praying for you sister”. Nonsense! They are empty words that reveal our lack of faith and hope in the situation. How about you pray right there and then with that person? How about you trust the Holy Spirit to give you a word of knowledge as you become obedient and stand in faith? What if you are an answer to that person’s prayer, and God wanted to speak through you? Didn’t God use a donkey, yes a donkey, to rebuke God’s prophet and bring him to his senses? (Numbers 22:28-35). How much more can God use you and me, who are made in His image and are temples of His Holy Spirit?

Today is the day to trust Jesus and take him at his word!

Today is the day to stand in faith and bring in the harvest that is ripe and ready for the barn!

Today is the day to love people into the kingdom of God and get off our high horses of self-righteousness!

My friend mentioned this once in a bible study and it has so much wisdom in it. The measure of your Holiness or how close you are to Jesus is not the number of scripture verses you can quote verbatim, or the number of bible studies you attend or your position in the church but it is the extent you can show God’s love to those who hate you. It’s the degree to which you can show God’s grace to those who afford you none. It is the amount you can be spat on and persecuted for the sake of the Gospel and still respond with love like Jesus as in Luke 23 or like Stephen in Acts 7:57-60. Even when Jesus was on the cross and being crucified He still reeked of divine Love. Right after He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”(Luke 23:33), He ushered a criminal who was on his last breath to the kingdom of Heaven (Luke 23:43). And I believe Stephen’s prayer must have had an impact on the apostle Paul, because Saul before he becomes Paul was a participant and a spectator in Stephen’s stoning.

What am I really saying?

Jesus read in Luke 4:17-19, 21 a paraphrase of Isaiah 61:1, 2 which said: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor….. And he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. Let us seek to see Heaven come down on earth and people on earth come into God’s kingdom! Stop uttering faithless prayers, but instead trust God in the here and the now for the Salvation and healing of his children. Let us seek His kingdom first and trust that all else this world has to offer will surely follow, because the Man and the Son of God said so! Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4). Stop being drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit of God (Ephesians 5:15-18). See wine doesn’t always have to be red and come in a bottle from somewhere fancy in France. Wine can be anything that has intoxicated you and anything that doesn’t not progressively lead to holiness but leads to sinful indulgences. Turn off the TV and instead be in tune with what God wants to broadcast to you and through you! Love more, have more grace, and above all Seek God’s Kingdom first! See for yourself if God doesn’t shower you with many blessings, the greatest of which is His very presence!

 

 

 

 

God is too big to fit in your box

“Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him;
Nor can the number of His years be discovered. – Job 36:26(NKJV)

Image
courtesy of : “http://bustedhalo.com/blogs/the-god-box”

We’ve put God in a box. For so long now, we have limited God in how we expect Him to show up in our services and lives. We have certain routines and procedures to invite His presence as if God is obligated to obey our rigid agendas and timelines. If He doesn’t show up in our 2 hour service, we are content with singing kumbayah and leaving without hearing from and experiencing the touch of the Holy one.

How many times have we missed out on what God wanted to do at the moment, because we were so caught up in having an ordered, boring ordinary service to appeal to boring, ordinary nominal Christians. We must ask ourselves if worship is truly about God, and God is spirit( John 4:24), shouldn’t we become more obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and less concerned about having things go according to human plans?

A time is coming and I believe it has already come, where our testimony must be confirmed by demonstration to have any impact in this faithless generation. A great man of God, Sean Smith, talks about the different level of impact two testimonies can have when one is accessing the gifts of the Holy Spirit and another is just using mere human wisdom. It’s one thing to give someone a tract and tell them ‘Jesus loves you’. It’s something totally different and much more impactful, to witness to someone and have a word of knowledge for that person based on the leading of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

This young generation has grown up with Tele-evangelists preaching “pseudo-gospel” and is exposed to Christianity one way or another. They’re not fazed with the same old message. Not because the Gospel is powerless but because it has been misused to fit people’s agenda and in the process has lost its power. The “Name-it-claim-it” movement and the “prosperity gospel” movement are just 2 examples. So how does someone who doesn’t have deep theological knowledge differentiate between these false movements and the real deal. I believe Mark 16 gives us a glimpse.

“15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”” – Mark 16:15-18(NKJV)

These signs that follow believers when they preach the gospel are meant to confirm the word and demonstrate God’s power to the nonbeliever! If we believe the Bible is the word of God, then we need to take the Bible seriously in its entirety. If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and Jesus said “he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father”( John 14: 12) then we should see more miracles. We should see more physical and emotional healing taking place in the house of God. We should hear more about solutions to the world’s problems coming from the house of God, instead of scandals and corrupt pastors. People, who come broken to the house of God, should leave feeling loved, empowered and transformed instead of abused, taken advantage of & discounting the real Christianity because they encounter so many fake ones.

I believe when darkness increases, the Grace of God increases even more abundantly. So I am not worried about and I do not think that all is lost for America or Christianity. God is not looking for thousands of bench-warmers to fill up grandiose stadiums and sanctuaries on Sundays at 10 am. What God is looking for is one person who has given his all to the almighty. One man or woman who has purposed in their heart that the highest, most intimate, most satisfying relationship they can have is an intimate relationship with the Father that is planted in the secret place of prayer. One individual that is willing to cut off any and all idols in their life that clog the line of communication between them and God.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”- 2 Chronicles 16:9

I am by no means dismissing the value of theology. What I am saying is that in regards to evangelism and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, we need to realize the Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Spirit come certain gifts that establish our testimonies and empower us to be bold witnesses. I’ve heard of evangelism or outreaches that turned into heated theological debates to leave both persons agitated and angry at each other. I’ve also been a witness of times when God gives you a word of knowledge to a person and you waste no time in senseless chatter, but it cuts straight into the person heart and you have an audience with that person and you get to impact that person for eternity. Let’s not put God in a box. But rather have expectancy for Him to show up in a great and new way! Because our God is not just the creator, but He is also creative!

What am I really saying?

Stop putting God in a box. Trust that He is a giver of good gifts and he doesn’t intend to harm you. Linger in His presence more. Expect Him to show up in different ways and not just in a church service once a week. if you’re not baptized with the Holy Spirit, waste no more time and ask Jesus to give you the gift He has promised. If you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, step out in faith to be used by God in the supernatural. When you’re faithful with the small that the Lord has entrusted you, He will expand your influence and give you more revelation. Learn to love prayer. More battles are won in your knees than could ever be counted. Go “Jenny-Craig” on your soul! That means weight-loss. Before you can build your spiritual muscles, you need to get rid of the fat first. Get rid of the worldly idols you run to for comfort first, instead of coming to Jesus in Prayer. You know exactly what and who they are! Let’s get to work! Our God is Big!