Every Man, God’s Man
By Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, and Mike Yorkey
I just started this book, which is subtitled, Every Man’s Guide to Couragious and Daily Integrity. That’s such a key phrase, I think. I have often said that the hardest part about parenting is that it’s so daily. Well, that’s also true about being a godly man. Consistency seems so elusive. We have good days and not-so-good days. But seeking to be Christlike is always our goal. This book has been out since 2003, but the ideas are as fresh and relevant as anything written today. In fact, it has recently been republished. This link will take you to the good folks at ChristianBook.com’s listing of it so that you can order it.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is not a “book review.” Instead, I’m seeking to glean key ideas from the books I share (usually just focusing on a chapter at a time) so that I can share what I’m learning with you and the men I’m blessed to serve at Southside UMC. Enjoy, Dale
Introduction and Chapter One
From the Introduction
Men spend a lot of time playing to the wrong audience. “God Almighty is the only audience we need. …When we play for God, we become God’s man.”
The Three Rs of God’s Man
1.) “Read – God’s man reads. A careful reader soaks up truth and lives it out in his life.”
2.) “Recommit – Recommitment means relinquishing some of our rights and leading by serving. Recommitment means removing the sins that burden us down.”
3.) “Relate – God’s man relates to God, his immediate family, and to other men.”
From Chapter One: Bogged Down in the Red Zone
The authors reference Dallas Willard, saying that before we seek to renovate our lives, we must first renovate our hearts. I couldn’t agree more with that. In fact, I’ve written on that very idea many, many times as well. The whole Bible, I believe, is predicated on the need for heart-work before life-transformation can truly take place.
This is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does. It first puts a man into a right relationship with God through Christ (by grace through faith and repentance) and simultaneously makes that man a brand new creature with a brand new heart.
That new man of God then spends the rest of his life seeking to become (through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit and the means of grace God has provided) what God has already declared him to be – holy (or what we might call “Christlike”). This is an inside-out procedure. It involves a renovation of our character and not simply behavior modification. Our minds must also be renewed before we can really start living lives that please God and conform to the Christlikeness that God desires. “Right actions” which are not done for God’s glory and out of love for Christ are not properly motivated and thus not pleasing to God. Too many ministries today focus too much on changing behavior first. They’ve got it backwards. I believe this book seeks to straighten that out.
Kenny Luck talks about the great privilege it is to serve men by pouring himself into their lives. I couldn’t agree more. I thank God daily for calling me to such a ministry. It’s a blessing that I enjoy each day.
I once heard Tony Evans say something along the lines that if you connect with a man, his family will be blessed, then his church will, then his work, then his community, and eventually the world. Luck quotes a pastor friend of his who made this similar statement: “If you reach a man, then you reach every relationship he has.” Amen to that!
Here are some of the things that the authors will be focusing on throughout the book (These topics look great. I can’t wait to really dig in and share what I learn with you.)
- the personal benefits of having an undivided heart toward God
- how to stop resolving to change and instead experience a revolution inside
- how to move against fear and replace it with faith
- how there is no such thing as a “double agent” believer because one agent is always compromised
- how to deal with the “mole” within that bids you to indulge the dark side
- how winning or losing a spiritual foothold changes the tide of war
- how and why “80/20” thinking fails; that is, doing things 80 percent God’s way and 20 percent your way
- the importance of “marinating” your mind
- why having other men watch your back is nonnegotiable for God’s man
- how confession releases God’s power and bloodies the Enemy’s nose
- how to partner effectively and practically with the Guide – God’s Spirit
- the source of real spiritual power and how to tap it
- why perseverance is the mark of God’s man
- the purpose of building and staying within well-marked boundaries
- the need to jettison the baggage in your life
- mastering your spiritual motivation once and for all
If that list doesn’t motivate you to go out and buy the book, I don’t know what will. I look forward to reading this book and working my way through it with you.