Sunday, June 18, 2017

Blessed is the Man

I hope that these words I’ve penned regarding Father’s Day will first encourage you that there are still good men around and they should be celebrated in a world that too often demoralizes masculinity and reviles Biblical principles of manhood, and secondly, that you will find a blueprint for prayer regarding the men in our lives who are leading families and businesses and directing world affairs.
It's clearly not easy to be a man of God in today’s society, but it is worth everything, for the Kingdom and for future generations.

Psalm 112 is that very blueprint we can use to pray as well as to encourage the men we know. I have been praying Psalm 112 for my boys for several years now, because someday they will lead another person in life or work and I want God to empower them to do it well. Here are a couple of verses I pray specifically for the men in my life:

Blessed is He who fears the Lord and finds delight in His commandments. Psalm 112:1
Perhaps when you hear the word FEAR you think, “Oh yes, I know about fear.”

So do I!

My mom used to use these words freely: “Just wait until your dad gets home!”
That was my cue to run to my room and add many layers of underwear to my current outfit to ensure a very soft landing upon my imminent punishment.

In contrast, the fear that the scriptures talk about here is less “run and put extra underoos on” and a little more “reverent awe and wonder.”

Blessed is the man who understands his smallness in light of the grandness and majesty of God, and uses that as a source of humility to fuel service to God. A man like this is not puffed up about His own power, but is mesmerized by the power of God at work in his life. His fear of God, as my study Bible points out, does not lead him to “…craven terror but to reverent love and worship.” (ESV Study Bible)
God, may men everywhere seek You in Your Holy dwelling. Give them eyes to see Your holiness in wonder. May they revere you and honor You as Lord.

Blessed is He who fears the Lord and finds delight in His commandments. Psalm 112:1
Psalm 112:1 mentions a man who not only obeys God with joy, not just a begrudging, “OH, FINE WITH IT THEN,” type of attitude. You know, like this: “You’re killing all my fun, but You’re the boss.”

A true man of God notices his lowly position and the generosity of God to save him, he delights in following God’s commands. Just as Jesus reminded us in the Gospels, “Those who have been forgiven much love much.” A Godly man practices obedience even when – especially when – it isn’t easy or convenient, because he knows God is worthy of it and he finds joy in responding to the love of God through obeying his commands.
Lord, we pray for the men we know and love. We pray for men who lead churches and cities and countries and wives and children. May they DELIGHT in doing Your will. Bless them with knowledge of their identity in Christ and create in them a clean heart. We pray for them to be strengthened against temptation and to take joy in obedience to You.

Blessed is the man who has no fear of bad news, his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

These days, do you find people have the tendency to run around panicked and fearful? I find this the opposite of helpful to the people of God, who are struggling to trust Him as it is! Take the news for example, with so many talking heads at once telling everyone why they should be afraid and miserable. We need steady and dependent. Author Lisa Whittle, writes in her book Put Your Warrior Boots On that we need the “ministry of sameness” – meaning what God’s people need to embrace is faithful consistency. 

When we peer into this psalm, we see that a man of God has no fear of bad news. WHY? Because he fears God and NOTHING ELSE. We need consistent Christians who can stay calm on days like last Wednesday, when shootings are happening and leaders are dying and there are open physical and spiritual wounds wherever our eyes turn. We need men of God to lead us in prayer and worship, not in hype and hysteria. 

Blessed is the man who brings our focus back to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, who never sleeps or slumbers and who sent His Spirit to help us live on earth as it is in Heaven

We need to pray for our brothers in Christ to have steady hearts that are unafraid for what is to come, because they trust in the Lord alone. Not in politicians, not in world leaders, not in fallen humanity, not even in themselves, but in the faithful hand of God at work in the world today. 

he Body of Christ needs the consistent voice of men in the Church who remind us in a way only spiritual fathers can do, “God will keep his promises to us.” Sometimes, like our own Godly fathers, this reminder sounds gentle and sometimes it sounds like thunder from heaven.
We need it both ways, just like I often needed the gentle voice of the dad who read chapter books to me every night growing up, and perhaps more often, I needed the guy who was coming home later to disciple me, which came through loving (not abusive – that is not Godly or appropriate in any setting) discipline.

A spiritual father does nothing less than help shape the children of God to be fit to carry His name, and blessed is the man courageous enough not to waver or be distracted from that call by circumstances in this dark world.

That dark world has sold us a bill of goods, teaching us for over 50
years that we don’t need men anymore.
They are wrong.

We need men of God more than ever before, 10-100, to stand up and be counted for the Gospel. We need them to fear God and to delight in doing what He says. We need them to stay calm and point us back to our only hope in Christ Jesus.

Blessed are you, men of God, when you do this for a Church who doesn’t always honor or respect you and for the good of a world who has made you the punchline of many a sitcom joke. 

My husband washing our daughter's hair. He's not the babysitter.

You are not the babysitter. You are fully capable of providing a spiritual heritage to a generation of people who want to know their Father God but need faithful men to live out His principles in front of them with integrity. We are praying for you. Thank you for serving the Church in this way.