24 Mar The Call
Men, have you ever had to participate in a group project? You might have been placed as the leader, or maybe the one to present, or even the person to come up with the most ideas. How did that make you feel? You might have felt nervous, confused or just scared to fill such an important role. This illustration echoes how many men feel about leading today. But no matter how anxious we feel about leading, God has called us men to lead courageously.
When we look at our culture today, we can observe that many men struggle to lead. They cannot lead their families, peers, friends or their communities. They sit and watch life pass idly by, while babies grow up with no examples. Teenage boys are shaped by societal values and standards and young men walk through life doing as they please. According to a study shown, only 18% of men work as social workers while 82% of women work as full time social workers. Ministries are being affected as well. Over the past couple of decades, we’ve seen a growing number of women enter full time ministry, which is not wrong or unnecessary, but as for men, they are nowhere to be found. These are two jobs that require the fortitude and uniqueness of a man. The reason why this is such an epidemic is because God has entrusted men to be the leaders. He has desired from the very beginning of creation that we model what it means to lead courageously in every area of life. Before I give a biblical strategy on how to lead courageously, first I will propose just two crippling reasons why we refuse to lead:
Fear and insecurity. We have been taught, as long as we can remember, that we (men) should not be afraid of anything. Not bugs, not pain and definitely not responsibility.
But how is it that we have mastered destroying insects but not our own paralyzing fears?
If I ask you how your life will look in ten or so years, most men will tell me they don’t know, because they cannot look that far ahead into the future. Some men stay there, in the state of I don’t know, because they know they will never have total control of their life, visually or tangibly. Also, many men refuse to look reality in the eyes because of self-doubt and insecurity. “I can’t because,” “I’m not that kind of guy,” “I don’t have it in me.” These strong statements mold many men into a weak, depressed and purposeless man searching and fitting his designed leadership into useless or sinful things.
Unclear calling. On the other hand, many men don’t know what they want their lives to stand for so they walk aimlessly and critique everyone else’s journey and choices. It is a kind of pride and jealously that says “I don’t know why you’re so happy, you don’t even make that much.” When men don’t know what to do, they either find pointless things to do or not do anything at all, both being dangerous and unhealthy. What is God calling every generation of men towards when it comes to leading courageously?
In the book of Joshua, we see Moses exiting the scene and a new great responsibility is being placed upon the shoulders of Joshua to lead the people of Israel. With more than one million Hebrew men, women and children to guide into a land God promised to have for them, he has to now bear the burden of protecting, instructing and mediating for this nation of people. Starting off the Lord tells him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
The call to lead courageously is both a commission and covenant.
A direct order from God to do something with the promise that he will be with you as you do it. Once we understand what God generally has for our lives, we can fully understand what he specifically has for us day-to-day. Also, we can look towards the perfect man who led courageously: Jesus Christ. With 12 broken and lost men under his wings, he led them to understand the Father’s ultimate plan for them and mankind. Christ introduced to us the true art and guide on how to, as a biblical man, lead righteously and effectively. Here are three profound ways we can choose to respond against the default passivity to not lead or take action:
Pray. A life of prayer gives you the vision to see what God sees for your life and for those who are around you. Pray not only for clarity, but pray for opportunity to glorify God through his mission and focus. We are often times scared to pray “big” prayers to God, but if Joshua being just a man asked God to make the sun stand still, I know we can ask for many things with certainty God will hear and answer according to his will.
Read and Believe. The Bible is God’s tool for speaking to us men today. It is authoritative, trans-formative and supernatural for all ages and people. We should open the Bible and be wowed by the comfort and hope God gives us when we obey and trust his will for our lives. When the Lord tells his men to have courage or take heart, it is not so we can feel motivated, but that we would be stirred to have deep unmoving faith that leads to action.
Do. The quote “that’s harder to say than to do” plays a role with this part. Why? Due to the fact that we are procrastinators and lazy. After we have understood the mandate to lead courageously, we should then take action. Plan out how that would look like for you whether it be in your career, education, home, church or just the community. Don’t wait to be asked to do or start something, rather, align yourself to God’s will, and then ask him for grace to complete the tasks.
Remember that the Spirit of God lives inside of every man who is a follower of Jesus. Meaning that the Christian is fueled to live holy, pursue righteousness and be bold for the gospel. If you still struggle to do, read and believe, and if you feel that it still is incomplete, ask God to help you overcome whatever the struggle is so you can truly lead courageously in your life.
Written by Volkens Elizort