Posted by: Derek Guyer | November 24, 2009

Men: Following the Pattern

I spend a lot of time with men whose lives are a total mess. They’re desperate. They’re lonely. They’re broken. They’ve filled their time with women, alcohol, drugs, toys, work, and lots of other things. The reality of the mess of their lives hits when the temporary nature of those “things” becomes exposed. None of those things are necessarily sinful in and of themselves. That’s not the issue.

We’ve been so deceived for so long. I believe most men, as in 99% of them, have no idea that there is anything other than “things”. Life is a hard-fought battle to get “things. It’s a battle to look, talk, and act like a man. It’s a hard fought battle to prove something…that we have no idea who we are or where we’re going. That’s the issue. We’ve “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” (Ro. 1:25 NIV) 

We’ve learned this from a couple of generations of men who thought they were honoring God by “going to church” or by “reading their Bibles.” Unfortunately, they didn’t really ever understand that we don’t go to church…we are the church. They never really understood that searching the scriptures intently didn’t win us anything. The scriptures were just pointing to Jesus. When the word itself was elevated at too high of a level, men began worshipping the words instead of God. Jesus himself testified to this truth in the book of John. So, today we have a large percentage of our population of men and women who go to church, but don’t know or understand what it means to be the church. They read their Bibles, but the fruit of an abundant life never seems to surface. Why? Because they’re just following the pattern of those before them. They’ve allowed Satan to tell them it’s okay to settle for less and in turn have never experienced the abundant life Jesus offered. They’ve believed half truths and never seen Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This has been happening since the beginning.

We read in the book of Genesis an account of one father, Abraham, not understanding his responsibilities and being tempted to abandon the truth for his own self-preservation. In chapter twelve, it reads:

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

What a horrible thing to do to your wife. He sells her out and leaves her in a very awkward position. Strangely enough, almost the exact same thing happened with Isaac, his son, in chapter twenty-six, verse seven, where it reads:

“When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”

It’s sad, but Isaac followed the pattern his father had left him. He acted as a coward, as his father had. For all of the great things Abraham had done in his faith, he still messed up. So have we.

I know all of us can sympathize with this. For those of us who have children, it probably resonates a little deeper. We know the pain of seeing our children mocking our own bad behavior. It’s embarrassing. It’s defeating.

If the hope of this generation is in men like me, there is no hope. We need Jesus and the life He offers. We need to live life as He taught us:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! 

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Phil. 2:5-11 NIV

Our only hope is in Jesus. He humbled himself for us. He left us a pattern. Gentlemen, it’s time we follow the pattern.

God, please bring us back to our original purpose. You made us for you. You made us for your glory and we have to get there. Lord, bring us back. If it means we must be broken to see the need, break us. Whatever it takes, bring us back to you. Unite us with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. Raise us to walk in newness of life in the Spirit. We are yours. As we draw near to you, draw near to us. We want you. Thank you, Jesus.

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