A Special Father's Day Message for Men of God
This is perhaps the most challenging time in human history to be a child. And for men, it’s probably the most challenging time to be a father. Hopefully todays message, although very challenging, will be a message of encouragement for you. And for women as well.
Remember this. Although the world may be radically different, and the challenges we fathers have are radically different than when we grew up, there is one thing that hasn’t changed. - God! He hasn’t changed. His word hasn’t changed. And His solutions for how to deal with the evil and chaos of this world hasn’t changed. And that is we are going to talk about in todays message.
Most men would die for their family. And most men who truly believe in Christ would die for Him. Very noble. But the question I want to ask today this... How many of those men are willing to live for their family? And how many of you men who say you would die for Christ, are willing to live for Him? I believe that it is much harder to live for your family and Christ than to die for them.
What do I mean by that? If you came home and found that your house was on fire, and heard a loved one yelling for help from inside, and you had the choice of facing certain death by rushing in to save them or just standing and watching, who among us wouldn’t rush in to save them? Why?
First, the danger is real to you. It’s tangible. Second, your love for them is strong because of a long, intimate relationship with them. Because that relationship and love is so strong it overcomes your fear of dying. You would rather suffer then have them perish. Third, you have an intense sense of responsibility towards them because you are the head of the family. They are dependent on you. And in that moment that special bond and sense of responsibility overcomes everything else. As a man, you are wired that way. To protect the innocent. With your adrenaline pumping and your warrior spirit at full throttle and given the intensity and passion of the moment the choice is easy to make.
That’s dying for your family. But when it comes to living for your family, that’s an entirely different challenge. So many other challenges come into play. When you are a real man of God, a true warrior for Christ, now that’s a life that is not for the faint of heart. And unfortunately, most men are not prepared for those challenges, so they get fatigued, worn down, discouraged, and even swept away in the darkness of this world.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says “It is harder to lead a family than it is to rule a nation.
What most men don’t realize, is that whether they realize it or not, they are at war. Especially if they are a husband or father. That’s when the war really gets intense.
You see, Satan wants to destroy society. Cause chaos, and rule it. And he knows that the way that God created things, and set up the hierarchy of things, that the family is the foundation of society. And the man is the head of that family. So he knows that if he can destroy or neutralize the man, then everything else will crumble.
So Satan has 4 goals.
1) Sever the relationship between the man and his wife. He does this several ways. By using pornography, the egos of both (God stated in the Garden of Eden that the woman would want control), by creating a false ideal of both men and women, and by generally making it as difficult as possible for both to spend time together in a meaningful way. Multiple jobs, activities, misguided priorities, etc.
2) Sever the man’s relationship with his children. Stress, fatigue, overworking, over emphasis on career for the father, and for the children indoctrination from school and media telling them what losers parents are and how the father is the dumb one of the family. Homer Simpson type.
3) Neutralize men and fatherhood in society. Removing gender identity (even in the church), glamorizing sex outside of marriage, single parent families, abortion, feminist movement, portraying father’s as fools or morons in sitcoms and in films, pushing Phil Donohue types on women as the ideal man, creating false narratives like the recent “toxic masculinity is to blame for all the worlds problems” craze, or white men are the root of all evil, or the insane pushing of homosexuality on every facet of society, the list goes on and on and on.
But the most insidious goal is #4 4) To remove Christ as the fixed point of reference for Christian men when it comes to what a real man should be like. More on this in a moment.
Follow the logic here.
There are 3 components to achieving success, or achieving victory in battle.
1) Set a goal, and define what victory or success is. IE what are you hoping to achieve?
2) Create a strategy or battle plan of action to achieve the goal or victory. 3) Have the resources necessary to carry out the plan.
So let’s apply that to the Christian man.
1) Goal is to spend eternity in a relationship with god, an to reflect Him to the world by becoming Holy as He is Holy. 2) Strategy or plan of action. Accept Christ as your savior, read the Bible and use Jesus as a fixed point of reference for how we should live.
3) Resources. The Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom, and if you are married, support from your wife.
Notice that all 3 point to Christ. He’s our fixed point of reference for truth regarding all 3. He’s our role model. The perfect example of what a real man should be like regarding - How to confront evil - How to treat women
- How to treat children - What a true warrior acts like - What a true champion or hero is like - How to be a defender of the weak - How to be a great husband to your bride - How to be a picture of morality and holiness - EI, how to be the real authentic man that God created you to be
So satan has set out to distort or hide the real Jesus from men. Why? If we don’t know Him or have Him as a fixed point of reference for all of those things, then we will be without: 1) A goal or purpose in life. We will seek the lusts of this world and our own hearts instead of what God designed us for. So we will never be satisfied or fulfilled.
2) We will be clueless regarding how to achieve our purpose in life
3) W/O the resources necessary to fight the war in which we are engaged and accomplished the strategy to achieve our true purpose in life.
And when that happens, we will be neutralized. As a result, the family will fall and then society. Do you see how everything depends on us knowing and following the true Christ? The Biblical Jesus?
If we don’t, it will be like a mighty, well designed battleship that is without a port to head to, a Captain to lead and a GPS to guide it. It will be adrift, roaming aimlessly across the sea. Powerless. A sitting duck for the enemy.
The perfect example of satan leading men away to a false sense of manhood is GQ magazine. Most guys think of it as a hip, stylish magazine which cool men read. Right? The men who get all the girls and money and drive the nice cars read it. And if we want those things we should read it to and be hip like them. Well here is a quote from a recent editorial from GQ magazine regarding the bible. Listen to what it says: GQ Condemns the Holy Bible: ‘Repetitive, Self-Contradictory, Sententious, Foolish...Ill-Intentioned’. In an article by “The Editors of GQ,” the men’s magazine blasts the Holy Bible. “The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.”
Well, they got the last part right. It’s not the finest thing that man has ever produced... Because man didn’t produce it. God did. But I digress. Well that’s a taste of satan leading men astray outside the church. But what about inside the church?
The Bible warns us that in the last days men would rise up from within the church and lead many men astray. Look around at today’s church. Most Christian men are clueless regarding the real Jesus. Who He really is. They picture Him as weak, effeminate a doormat, an embracer of diversity and love at any cost, even if you have to compromise your principles regarding morality and justice. He’s a pretty boy pacifist.
And we wonder why men feel confused, discouraged, fatigued, hopeless and lost. Listen. A namby pamby pretty boy peace nick doormat Jesus like that will never change this broken world. And if you follow that Jesus, then you won’t either.
God did not design and wire men to follow the modern world’s Jesus. He designed us to follow and emulate the Real Jesus! That’s when we will find a true sense of purpose in life. A true sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, hope and joy.
The Real Jesus that I know, the one you can read about in the bible, confronted His enemies and spoke His mind. He didn’t apologize for offending when He spoke the truth. He didn’t sugarcoat it either. His approach was direct and His message was more often than not divisive. He didn’t hand out flowers like some guru, but was a bold revolutionary who was a threat to those in power. A true warrior, He boldly proclaimed in Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”. In Luke 12:49 He says “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Is that the Jesus you learned about in Sunday School? Or from the pulpit? Or in your small group studies?
Listen men. Jesus Christ is:
The ultimate warrior. The ultimate Champion
The ultimate Hero
The ultimate man’s man. And He can be your ultimate friend.
He was sent by God on a mission that no one but He could succeed at. He entered the heart of the enemy’s territory, stared the ultimate evil in the eye, endured pain, sorrow, intense warfare, temptation and challenges, and ultimately made the ultimate sacrifice for His fellow brothers and in fact for all mankind. And in doing so he set all those who were held captive in bondage behind enemy lines free. Thus claiming victory against the fiercest, most cunning and ruthless enemy this world has ever known. And in doing so He achieved the goal in which He set out to accomplish. His purpose in this life was realized.
Jesus was sent by God as a warrior to fight and to pay the ultimate price for our rescue. He and He alone stood in the gap for each one of us between heaven and hell. He fought a battle that only He could win. And when it was over, He stood in victory as the ultimate warrior of God. He wears a badge of honor and courage that no other man is worthy of. Consider this from the book of Revelation.
Rev 5:5-6 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Jesus), has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain”
As though it had been slain. Did you ever read that and wonder what that means? Isaiah gives us a clue.
Isa 50:6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; Isa 52:14 So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
Remember the scene with Thomas? Jhn 20:27-29 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I think that on the day of judgement, when all men will stand before Jesus, when they look at those scars, that face, those hands, all will believe. No one will be able to say that He did not pay for their sin IN FULL. He will bear those scars as a badge of honor. And every knee will bow before the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, The Lion of the tribe of Judah. Yeshua Ha Messhiac, Jesus the Christ.
Men (and especially you fathers), this is a call to arms. If you are seeking a purpose for this life, God has one for you! One that will bring you a sense of Honor, of Glory, of respect, of satisfaction and excitement that you can’t find anywhere else in this world.
Do you want a guide on how to find and accomplish that purpose? A true leader, a real man’s man that you would be willing to go to battle with, and to even lay down your life for? Look no further than the REAL Biblical Jesus.
If you follow Him and emulate Him, you will find sense of purpose in life that you’ve been seeking.
You will become a true man. A warrior after the heart of God. A leader and a father that others will respect, and trust, and love, and follow.
The resources are all there waiting for you. The Holy Spirit is in you, waiting to be activated. Angels in unseen realms await Gods call to aid you. The very word of God awaits for your consumption and empowerment. And if you are married to a woman of God, an amazing and vital resource is by your side, anxiously awaiting for you to become the man of God that she’s longed for you to be.
When it comes to husbands and wives, this is a vital key to whether the father succeeds or not.
Most of you have read the book LOVE & RESPECT. It looks at how God created and wired men and women in a very unique way in order to compliment each other. They both crave different things. Women are wired to desire love, and men respect. Thus the title. God designed it to be a strength and to bring us together. But satan, as he always does, uses those same differences to try and tear them apart.
Here’s a perfect example. A husband is watching the first quarter of a football team. His wife asks him to take the garbage out because it’s bothering her. He says “sure”. Now in her mind she is thinking that if he loves her, he will show that by getting up and taking the garbage out right away. In his mind however, he is thinking that since she respects him she won’t mind if he takes it out when he wants to, IE after the game. She asks again at in the third quarter with the same response. By the fourth quarter she is very upset and feels that he must obviously care more about the game than her and she takes it out herself. He then sees her and gets upset because in his mind she has disrespected his authority by not allowing him to take it out on his terms.
Neither realize that the other is not wired that same way as they are and thus doesn’t understand what just happened. That is why God (thru Paul) has to give each proper instructions on how to treat the other. Notice what He says.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
If that came naturally, then God wouldn’t have to instruct them in how to connect with the other, right? So it takes effort and discernment. Something that you will find in the Bible.
So you wives out there, please note. God made you uniquely to compliment us, and vise versa. It’s a two way street. If we dedicate ourselves to follow Christ, to be the man God wants us to be, to engage in this fierce spiritual battle, we ask that you please respond in kind. Please be a resource and not a stumbling block. You are more valuable to us than you can imagine. And some of us desperately need you to be that resource in this battle. We are fighting battles on multiple fronts. One in particular is usually an Achilles heel for us. You are uniquely equipped to help protect us in that area. You can also encourage us and inspire us to keep fighting more than anyone else. The love of family is such a powerful resource to us. We don’t always say it or know how to express it to you, but we need you in this battle more than you could know. And your respect and love for us is more powerful that you realize.
One last note to men. This is a battle of endurance, and it’s a battle that takes commitment. Paul talks about the endurance aspect in Hebrews.
Heb 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
A jogger won’t gain endurance only jogging 3 minutes a day. And you won’t gain spiritual endurance by only praying and consuming the word of God for 3 minutes a day. We need to give nourishment to our minds daily with the word of God and we need to gain power and strength by interfacing with God daily thru prayer. We can’t approach this battle with a cavalier attitude. It takes commitment.
In his book POINT MAN, Steve Farrar recounts the story of the spanish explorer Hernando Cortes. Cortez wanted to lead an expedition into Mexico to capture it’s vast tresures. After months of travel, his eleven ships landed in Veracruz in the spring of 1519. As soon as the men unloaded the ships, Cortes set fire to and burned the ships. That is called commitment. There would be no turning back, regardless of what they encountered. All other options were eliminated. No matter how strong or fierce the battle, he was now committed to see the mission through.
Gentlemen, when you accepted Christ as your savior, you enlisted in a spiritual war. You cannot fight and win this battle while your mind is back in your prior life and it’s lusts and desires. You must burn your ship, and be fully committed to your new life as a man of God. This commitment means that no matter what happens, you are going to stick it out. That you are going to follow thru on your commitment to God, and to your family. You will be a man of honor and keep your word.
There are plenty of lukewarm Christian men out there. Men who play church, but is still embracing this world. Men who might honor God with their lips, but whose hearts are far from Him, as Matthew points out in 15:8.
Don’t be one of them. God is looking for true committed warriors who will trade all that this life offers for the privilege to take up arms and go to war beside Him, storming the gates of hell to rescue the lost.
Matthew 11:12 says “The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
Jer 1:19 They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the LORD.
Christ Himself tells us in Mat 16:18 that when we go to war with Him, that the gates of Hell will not prevail against us.
Josh 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
1Jo 4:4 He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
So to summarize, Satan’s order of attack is: 1. Man. Especially if he is a father. We must win our personal battles. If we don’t, then how can we fight for others?
2. The family. A man must fight for his family. If satan can’t take you down, plan B is to attack those you love. We must pray for our family and be the guardian of our home. 3. Our communities. All 3 are connected, but all start with the man.
Finally, a word of encouragement to you men out there who are engaged in this battle.
Even though God is with you, and victory is assured, God does not expect us to fight alone, in earthly terms. Because of our pride, men tend to fight personal battles alone. We suffer in silence. There are battles and struggles that really only men can relate to. Many times men are embarrassed to admit that they are struggling with them. Don’t try to fight them alone. In war you never fight alone. There is strength in numbers. Find a Godly man to confide in. One you can trust. And find strength and encouragement through him. It helps to talk or just to know that someone has your back. You might need an accountability partner to confide in and who will challenge you. There are great men’s groups out there. David has a great small group of men that meets in his home on Sunday nights. It’s called the Upper Room group. Appropriate name. Pray and let the Holy Spirit guide you regarding this. But please don’t think that you are alone in this battle. Or that there is no one else who could relate. You would be surprised to find how many men are going through the same battles.
Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
So finally men, remember:
- Focus on your ultimate goal, which is the hope we have in Christ that we will spend eternity with God.
- Focus on your battleplan, which is to be disciples of Christ. - Embrace your resources, the Holy Spirit and your wife if you are married.
Men, if you do those things, then I can promise you this. Fighting this battle, with Christ and the Holy Spirit by your side, you will discover something in struggle that you will never find in comfort... a full and meaningful life, a life of purpose.
And one day, when you stand before Jesus, the ultimate warrior, the ultimate Man’s man, your ultimate role model, and friend, you might have the honor of hearing Him say to you: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’