Tag Archives: Wild At Heart

Lost to Leader: God’s Call Is Real

I’ve done a lot of reflecting over the last month of what God has done in my life and where he continues to lead me.  As I’ve written previously, this is a year of stepping back and seeking deeper intimacy with God and cultivating a real interactive relationship with him.  At the same time, I look with eager anticipation of what may be coming next.  I’ve learned however, that I cannot rush whatever God may be doing and one of the most beautiful things he does is take time.  Am I willing to trust that time?  That remains the question.

My pastor and friend, Tim, shared a sermon a couple of weeks back as we began a real push toward discipleship.  So many times we have people that say they surrender to Christ and maybe even take the step of Baptism, but then what happens.  From my short experience, with the exception of a few, many fall away.  This leads to the Great Omission from the Great Commission, “Teaching then to observe everything that I have commanded you(Matthew 28:20).  Dallas Willard stated that…

The Great Omission from The Great Commission is the idea that we can  be “Christians” forever and never become disciples. Christians generally don’t have a plan for doing everything that Jesus commanded. We don’t as a rule even have a plan for learning this ourselves, and perhaps assume it is simply impossible. And that explains the yawning abyss today between being Christian and being a disciple.”

One of the things I have realized is that this is a journey that only a few will often take.  But is there something we can do about that?  Granted, you cannot drag someone by the hair to make them observe and follow Christ.  They have to reach that point in their life where they can truly let go and begin to follow authentically.  I look at Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler, where Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and follow him, but this guy just could not bring himself to.  He could not let go of what he thought was his and the things he found worth and value in.  So many men and women have this same struggle.  They can’t let go.  They say the trust God, but then don’t.  Even say, “I trust God, but…..”  You can’t say you trust God and in the same breath say “but.”  That revokes that trust right away.

So during Tim’s sermon, he pushed our vision as a Church as a discipleship culture.  Bringing people in and then teaching them and equipping them to go out and do the same, creating disciples and teaching and equipping them.  It’s we are all called to do.  Tim shared a piece of my own story.  The week before the sermon, January 31, marked 3 years (2015) since the day I surrendered to Christ and told God that I would follow and trust him.  That journey started the 4 years prior to when he and I first met, through baseball.

3 Years!!!!  He used the term, “Lost to Leader.”  I half jokingly thought and shared with him that, “hmmmm, sounds like a nice book title.”  Anyway, 3 years.  In that short amount of time, God has done some absolutely amazing things in me and through me.  When I stood up and began to lead as a husband and father, the effects began to take root.  One year to the day, I Baptize my wife and children as they began to come alive and wow, that continues to happen to this day.  God put a call on my life that I could not ignore and counseling and then men’s ministry came about.

I know I’m talking about 2 different things here, but they are all related.  I realize that so often, people get all the good feelings, “surrender” or pray a prayer and then that’s it.  Whether it’s a fear of freedom or like the rich young ruler not able to let go of the false-self and where they found value and worth before.

So first, my message to these people, is it is soooo worth it, to truly let go of the old, of the less wild lovers, and begin to learn to live a life that follow Christ.  It is doable.  Look at me.  3 years!!!  It has not always been easy.  I’ve struggled with Spiritual Warfare, I’ve doubted myself, and even questioned many times, especially early on if I was out of my mind or if this all real and worth it.  John 16:33, “In this life you will have many trials and struggles, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”  This has become my life verse.  Remembering that the battles will continue, but you will be equipped overtime to handle them in a better way.  He has done this with me, for sure.  If God can use this ragamuffin, he will use you too.  You have to choose to truly repent and truly follow.

To those of us that follow Christ now and call ourselves Christian, what are we doing to truly create disciples and equip them.  I think we have failed in our responsibility in many ways, because we get excited at the surrender and at the Baptism, but then what.  I said earlier that I was in men’s ministry, but actually, I feel what God has called me into is mens’ discipleship.  That’s why we started these Anvil Boot Camps modeled after Ransomed Heart’s ministry with their Boot Camp weekends.

Discipleship includes equipping the saints and training them up to stand as the sons and daughters they are meant to be.  We have to do a better job.  Share the Gospel and share our stories of what Jesus has done in our lives, and then don’t stop there.  It takes work, but if we remain relentless, then we begin to do what we were commanded to do.

For those that are so uncertain and just unwilling to step into deep end, I challenge you to let go.  Stand as the real man or real woman that you are, not what the world thinks you are.  John Eldredge sums it up so well in Wild at Heart…

“The world of posers is shaken by a real man.  They do whatever it takes to get you back in line – threaten you, bribe you, seduce you, undermine you.  They crucified Jesus.  But it didn’t work, did it? You must let your strength show up.  Remember Christ in the Garden, the sheer force of his presence (John 18:6)?  Many of us have actually been afraid to let our strength show up because the world doesn’t have a place for it.  Fine.  The world’s screwed up.  Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

There is so much truth here.  Again, my challenge to all of you who are just teetering on the edge, let go, for real.  It is doable.  Look at what God has done and continues to do in my life.  There is so much more beyond what I’ve written here.  I was lost, but then I was found.  I was lost and because a leader within 3 years, and I’m still growing.  It’s nowhere near done, but I’ve made the commitment to truly trust in God and follow him into the unknown.  Step up and stand in the gap.  I promise you there are brothers or sisters that want to stand and walk with you.  You don’t have to do it alone.

What are you going to do?

“Discipleship is being with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become like that what that person is. An “apprentice” of Jesus is learning from him how to lead their life as he would lead their life if he were they.” – Dallas Willard

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Not In Control

AnvilIt’s been nearly a month since we returned from our first men’s weekend, The Anvil.  If you did not see my last post, this was a retreat designed and modeled after John Eldredge’s, Wild at Heart.  For this weekend, 18 men, most from my local church, took a risk to step away from life and into the wilderness for 4 days.  If you knew about my personality and demeanor, you will note that I am planner.  My preparation for something like this is fairly detailed.  I want to makes sure that things go as smoothly as planned.  I spent a lot of time writing content and working with my other leads to ensure we were on the same page and getting everything organized.

Regarding the overall format of the weekend, we stayed to the schedule well.  For me that’s a win in itself.  What God showed me on the first night, however was that none of us were in any control of what was going on.  God showed up in a big way for the men that attended and for myself and the leads.  He threw us for a loop late into the first night, that’s all I will say.  Friday morning, while in prayer before we got going, the one thing I heard from God was, “When are you going to remember that you’re not in control?”  It was a very direct question and it kept being repeated.

With that, I had to reset.  I had to let go of all control and allow Him to work.  He thwarted me again that morning when the power went out in the main room before the first session began.  “Okay, okay, God…I hear you,” I’m thinking.  It was time to let go.

Friday afternoon, the men went rafting down the Chattooga River.  Many for the first time, including me.  What a holy time that was.  The time spent on the river, surrounded by so much untouched beauty was amazing and the the bonding and connections that happened with the men, working together to get down river, was beyond expectations.  I remember at one point, when we stopped on the river for lunch.  I stepped away for a minute looked over whole group and so much joy filled my heart.  I told the men that evening, if I was that joyous, I can only imagine the joy that God felt.  As Hardy Greeves says in The Legend of Bagger Vance, “They say God is happiest when His children are at play.”  I certainly think He had to have been all smiles that day and that weekend.Anvil Men

The rest of that weekend was beyond any words I can describe.  The breakthrough that took place in many men was immense.  Men were able to open up parts of their lives that they had not even thought about.  It was a truly holy time.  The evenings by the fire pit some great fellowship and bonding was created over conversation and cigars.

To say this was a successful weekend would be an understatement and to add to that, I take no credit for it.  This was entirely God inspired and God executed.  He took control the first night. Thwarted me when He needed to and which gave Him more room to work.  I told many people that God grew me up in ways that couldn’t have been imagined in those 4 days.

Our God is truly amazing.  He is an awesome God.  He has full control.  With all He did in me and many other men in this first weekend, I stand in eager anticipation of our next boot camp and expectation of His goodness.

Letting God Forge the Way – The Anvil

I have been very quiet on this site this year as this will be my first post since the new year.  This year started off with a bang as I began my counseling internship in the final phase of my Masters program with Liberty University.  It has been a huge experience so far.  Needless to say, I’ve been a little busy with that.

AnvilThe big thing that has been going on however, is about take place tomorrow.  What began as a conversation over breakfast many months ago has led to the development and now launch of our first Wild at Heart modeled Boot Camp, called The Anvil Men’s Boot Camp.  God put it on my heart well over a year ago, that it was my turn to begin seeking and rescuing the hearts of men.  As time has gone by and as I began to counsel with people, I realized that so many of the problems within families stem from the father in some way, whether he is abusive, completely absent, or present but not present. This pattern is destroying marriages left and right and wounding children by the score.

The need was there, but what would I do about it.  In counseling, many of my clients are women, so getting men to come sit down one-on-one is going to be a challenge.  I realized how huge it was for me to step out of my element and go the Wild at Heart Boot Camp in Colorado a couple of years ago.  We were encouraged to take this message back home.  In the last year, I got to know a few other men who had a similar desire.  2 sages and a peer.

The conversations began.  My peer, friend, and brother, Matt and I started small with a men’s small group where we began to lead men through the Wild at Heart message.  It became evident that something bigger was needed.  I met a man named Butch just by happenstance, and we decided to have breakfast and the conversation began. He is a sage who has a huge passion for men’s ministry as well.  The idea was born.

I pulled in another brother and sage, Steve, who also attended Wild at Heart and is immersed in their ministry as well.  Conversations began to happen and we decided that it was something we had to do, sooner, rather than later.  Only way to learn how was to dive in and give it try.

So that’s where we stood. We knew what we wanted to do, we found the site, and now we needed the men.  Conversations with my friend and pastor, Tim, brought me to begin leading some of our men’s Wednesday night Bible studies.  Again, all of this is out of my element, but I jumped in.

I have to admit, we were skeptics at first.  We knew we would start small and opened it to just 12 attendees. There was skepticism as to whether we would get 6 or 8.  A few weeks later, I’m calling Butch and saying telling him we need a 2nd cabin.  Now with a day to go, we have a 19 men heading to Upstate South Carolina for 4 days with God.  Unreal the response we’ve had and we have more waiting in the wings for next time.

So these last few months in 2017 have been all about planning this event out.  Writing content and coordinating everything.  To see it all come together has been so huge.  I can tell God has been at work in this and we’ve made it a point to surrender it all over to Him and not let this become about any of one us.  We know that if a group a men get together like this, God is certain to show up and He already is.

I knew there would be opposition, but the Enemy has been relentless in his attacks, which tell us even more that we are moving in the right direction.  My family has been attacked relentlessly in the recent weeks.  Stating with physical problems from a baseball to my face, a concussion one week and then a diabetic seizure for one my sons, a large allergic reaction for my daughter, and a stomach bug that hit my oldest son.  All of this has put a huge strain on my bride’s heart and mine as well.  We spent a lot of time holding each other and just letting the tears flow.  We knew what it was though.  Satan was trying to use all of this take us out…to stop this weekend from happening.

We have flipped it on him and surrendered it all to God.  The suffering is hard, but nothing in comparison to Christ and we know this.  We just turned to prayer and have had an army of prayer around us, which has pulled us through all of that in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago.

southeastern-expeditionsSo now we’re ready.  All the content is written.  Final details are being nailed down and tomorrow we head to the mountains.  We’ll have some great times of learning and fellowship and times of one-on-one with God, and some adventure on the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River, yes where they filmed Deliverance.  Hopefully no banjos on the shoreline.  Just kidding.

We’re just so pumped about this.  About the men willing to take the risk to head into the wilderness and we sit in eager anticipation and expectation of God’s goodness.  I know He is up to something big here and can’t wait to see what happens in the lives of these men, who range from 20 to their 60s, and then how their families, our church family, and community is impacted.  It’s all about God and He gets all of the glory here.

As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Forging A New Trail

I remember this walk I was on in January of 2015.  We had just finished a session at the Wild at Heart Boot Camp and the next hour or so was for each man to spend one-on-one with God.  We were given questions to pray about and seek God about. Those questions were how I saw myself as a man, how others see me as a man, and who does God say I am.  I never had taken time to spend in just contemplative prayer and discussion with God.  I remember sitting on a boulder over looking the snow covered grounds of Crooked Creek Ranch trying to listen for an answer, but not sure if I was hearing anything. 10361459_10204677376068595_8769313926448958482_n

After some time, I put my journal into my backpack and decided to take a walk.  I made my way to the main road that led out of the ranch back to Fraser, CO.  I remember waking and feeling the cool air and then watching my steps around some ice patches.  Once I got to more stable ground, I heard something that just blew my mind.  I heard, “This is who you have been.  You’ve spent too much of your life on this safe and wide road. It’s time for you to leave this road and take a new path.”  What do you do with this?  I remember later that day journaling, “I can’t take risks if I just stay on a path and not take the one less traveled.crossraods_520

I’ve thought a great deal about this walk lately and the new trail that God has been forging ahead of me these past couple of years.  I chose to let go of myself and the work He has done has been tremendous.  Last month, I began work in a counseling ministry and then have been given the chance to lead new men in discipleship and restoration of their hearts.

In some way I find the sense of humor of God in this.  I think of the quiet, reserved, and passive man that I’ve been most of my life.  He has taken that and flipped it all around.  He led me into counseling, where I am completing my Masters now and working with people one-on-one now.  On top of that, I continue to hear the call of God to seek the hearts of men beginning with this discipleship group.  I joked in our larger men’s bible study at church a couple of weeks back and we looked our value drivers.  To me, it related to Morgan’s teaching on Styles of Relating from Become Good Soil.  I shared with the men the parallel to Jesus and how he moves through each style or each value driver all in a manner of doing the Father’s will.  I talked about my predominant style, which we all have, but God will often need us to move.  I said, “I’m becoming a counselor, talk about moving out of your comfort zone.”

I can only imagine where God is going to use me next, but after sharing some ideas with some trusted men and mentors, the image is starting to come clearer.  As I said when I started this journey in early 2015, I have no idea where this is going to lead me, but all I know is that I am trusting in the Father to take the lead.  Proverbs 1:7 in The Message says “Start with God – the first step in learning is bowing down to God.”  That’s where I have start now.  I can’t take this to anyone, but Him first.

Where do you see yourself heading?  Have you ever sat with God and asked Him who you truly are and how does He want to use you?  Not everyone is meant to make radical shifts like this, but that is my story and this is how the Father chose to disrupt my life of complacency.  You never know when the answer may come.

the-road-not-taken-11The Robert Frost words, “Two roads diverge in the wood, and I took the one less traveled” continue to ring to me over and over.  It’s not going to always be pleasant and easy journey.  This road less traveled is full of potholes, rocks, and thorns.  I have days, where I venture back near the safer road and think, maybe I should merge there again.  I can’t though.  Once you have truly experienced God and His goodness and begin to follow, nothing can ever be the same.  You will be opposed, believe me, you will be opposed

It’s a journey folks.  To be able to step off the road of performance and the road of safety and comfort and to venture down a path where you can’t see around any turn only comes through faith.  Most of us never choose to take this journey.  Look at the traffic camera images every morning.  That’s most of us.  Trucking along day-to-day down the road we are all to familiar with.  Choose to risk and choose to forge a new trail where God moves ahead of you into the unknown.  The unscripted life is the only life worth living.

 

 

Don’t Allow The Enemy a Foothold

As I prepare for my trip to Colorado in 2 weeks, one of the many things they asked us to do is to re-read John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart.  When I first saw this on the list, I thought, “really?”.  I’ve already read it 3 times over the past couple of years.  After going through some of the other things, I picked the book back up again began to read it once more.  After not reading it for a year and half, I was immediately sucked in again.  The reason being is the practical teaching that Eldredge placed in this book.

41ebvat8gvl-_sy344_bo1204203200_My last post a couple of week’s ago, I wrote about the Father’s restoration.  I thought more about that as I read through this book. I’m on the last couple of chapters now.  I realize just how desperately I needed restoration again and how complacent I was getting in my own spiritual discipline.  Life moves so quickly, so fast, and mine is no exception.  I’ve been on such a fast track that I think my time with God became more of an obligation, than a full on desire to be with God and walk with Him.  It really hit me yesterday, when I was sitting in prayer and a million thoughts began to run through my head, distracting me.  Later I was sitting and reading the book again and on the first page I was on, it talked about this very thing, being in prayer and just consumed with so many other things.

In essence, this is a battle that the Enemy is waging against us.  Knowing you’re trying to speak with the Father, the Enemy immediately thwarts us in some way.  I recognized that this was once again, another one of his tactics to distance me from the Father.  Satan will try in every way he can to pull you way from the Father.  William Gurnall stated, “It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell, it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons.

So what do we do with all of this?  How in the world do we handle this?  Knowing we are in a world at war.  Knowing as Jesus said, that thief wants to kill and steal and destroy.  Knowing as Peter stated that our adversary, the devil, prowls around the world, looking for someone to devour.  What do we do?  Discipline!  Being disciplined every day to walk with God, not out of a sense of obligation, but from the reality that we are in a world at war and we need to be able to stand strong and firm in the faith of who we are in Christ.

Spiritual discipline seems so hard for many of us though.  John wrote, “A man will devote long hours to his finances when he as a goal of an early retirement; he’ll endure rigorous training when he aims to run a 10k or even a marathon.  The ability to discipline himself is there, but dormant for many of us.”  In essence, although it requires work, when we have our own goals in life, we can find a way to discipline ourselves to attain those goals.  The Father has the goal of walking intimately with each and everyone of us.  It’s readily available to us, yet we find it so difficult to do.  We don’t want to get up in the morning.  We don’t feel the sense of connection with the Father when try praying or reading Scripture.

This may, for many of us, be easier said than done, but we have to become more intentional, more disciplined through real prayer, meditation, fasting, submission, journaling, and studying of Scripture.  All of these disciplines coincide together.  If we don’t get intentional about how we walk with God and if we don’t stay on alert through this armored with the full Armor of God, which He has given us, the Enemy will easily gain a foothold in our hearts and find a way to take us out.armor-of-god_seriesbutton2_raster_web

Eldredge wrote, “Against the Evil One we wear the armor of God.  That God has provided weapons of war for us sure makes a lot more sense if our days are like a scene from Saving Private Ryan.”  God has given us the armor for a reason.  This is no fairy tale we live in.  Don’t live in fear of the Enemy, but rather live with a sense of knowing he is there and wants in every way to destroy your connection with the Father, through lies, deceit, pain, and struggles.  Being disciplined enough to prepare yourself each day and not walk through this world, blind to this reality will help you stand stronger.

This armor is what you need and you need to pray it over your life every day, authentically. Put on the belt of truth, choosing to live a life of honesty and integrity, the breastplate of righteousness, knowing that His righteousness can stand against any condemnation and corruption, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, choosing to live for the Gospel at any moment.  He has given us a shield of faith to deflect the arrows that the Enemy will try to fire our way.  Those arrows come in the form of wounds, sin, agreements, and anything else meant to draw you from God.  We have the helmet of salvation, which declares nothing can now separate us from love of Christ and our place in His Kingdom. Lastly, we have the sword of the Spirit, through which the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth’s through His Word to enable you to counter the assaults of the Enemy.

Being disciplined and intentional enough each day to walk with God and pray His full armor over your life, will help you to be prepared for the onslaught that is to come.  We will continue to be attacked.  Look around you.  People we love are being taken out everyday.  It’s a reality.  We have to be prepared and discipline ourselves to truly walk in this reality and walk with the Father allowing Him to come over our lives to Father us and guide us in the way we should go.  It’s a daily struggle.  Don’t let complacency set in.

A Year Later – An Amazing Journey

Since this time last year, I have been continually sharing with all of you pieces of this journey that God has placed me on as He took a hold of my life and transformed me like I never, ever thought possible.  Looking back to where I stood a year ago, the growth in my life, the movement that the Holy Spirit has brought to me, and the purpose and direction that I now follow is like nothing I ever thought possible.  All of that came because of two major events for me, first during a mens’ ministry study at my church a year ago last week, and then the adventure to Colorado a year ago this week to Wild at Heart.

I continue to look back over this journey with a joyful heart as to what God has opened.  It all came down to one thing though.  Making that decision that I was no longer going to walk on this journey alone and that I was going to put that stake in the ground and draw a line in the sand to follow Jesus from here on out into the the unknown.   I surrendered my life and told God that I was now all in.  I was no longer going to be stranded and just dip my toes in the water.  I was diving in.

I know I mention Wild at Heart continuously on this page and in my writing.  I have discussed pieces of the journey and where it has taken me, but it’s all for a significant reason.  I firmly believe that this transformation in life is available to each and every one of us.  If God can make use of my life, he can make use of everyone.  He is calling on each and everyone of us.  Ephesians 1, the Father chose us before the foundations of the earth.  He chose everyone of us and wants to use each of us for His glory.  Not our…His.

That’s been the important thing to remember.  I was on long journey to nowhere for along time.  I was a husband and father to the best way I knew how and I thought part of that was working for my own successes.  It was all about what I can do for me which was in turn to provide for them.  That was the limit of it all.  It was not for God’s glory.  He was literally an afterthought.  I became cynical and complacent in life.  I battled issues of being angry, being deceitful.  I battled lust and pornography, which consumed me as an escape.  I hid behind my false self.  I loved food and was way out of shape.  Just didn’t care to take of myself and my health was affected.  I entered a dark time where I was even more lost when my Dad died.  I carried wounds and sins with me and hid them deep inside of my heart.  I no longer had any guidance and the little guidance I did receive came from self-consumed people.

In the months and weeks leading to last January, God began a real work to prepare me for what was about to come.  My heart slowly opened.  When I was accepted to go to Wild At Heart, I knew something big was beginning to happen.  I just didn’t know what.  I tried my best to just let the week happen, preparing myself with an open heart to let God unveil all He was looking to.  I was completely blown away by what the entire experience brought and the way my life was going to change afterwards.

I knew things weren’t going to be the same and they certainly weren’t.  I battled though at times. There were days when it became very easy to just go back to who I was.  To just settle with life and not take a risk to make a change I knew that had to be done.  God called and I responded, though.  I now knew Him as Father and I allowed Him to Father me through it all and He still does today.  I shed the old self, the false self, the old nature and I put on my new nature as God’s son and now alive and restored through Jesus Christ.

Densely-01-2For each and everyone of to go on the journey of transformation requires something big of us and something that is very difficult to do.  It requires allowing ourselves to be torn down and rebuilt.  I saw a quote from Mike Mason that said, “A thirty-year-old man is like a densely populated city. Nothing new can be built, in its heart, without something else being torn down.”   At 36 years of age, that’s exactly what I had to do and what each of us have to do.  We have to open the door to our heart to Jesus and allow Him to enter and bring out those wounds and sins, so that we can then renounce and repent and then drive forward to be healed and restored to who we were meant to be.  In my counseling studies, this is called exposure.  It’s very much needed.  We need to be exposed to ourselves and to Christ in order to have a chance at the life we were meant to have.

This journey is far from over.  I was broken and then restored.  I was dead and then reborn.  I had no direction and now I have God’s purpose and direction.  It’s possible for all who are willing to let go and turn to Him.  Trust me.  I didn’t think it was possible and yet here I stand.  Restoration and life is very much possible if we will just trust God’s will and allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts.  It takes work and you will be opposed, but trust God with your life is all you need

I Want To Be The Real Deal

Being the real deal…Being Authentic.  What do those words say to you?

While you ponder that, I would like to take you on a journey to look down deep inside yourself.  There is something that every single one of us has had as a part of our sin nature. That is our fig-leaf.  We have all been posers in some way.  I don’t care who you are.  It’s been an inherent part of our nature since the fall of man.  Genesis 3, what do Adam and Eve do after their sin and they now realize they’re naked.  They sew fig leaves together to cover them selves.  They hide.  Ever since then, this has been such a huge and inherent part of us has humans.  We are posers!

God’s revealed so much of this to me in my life over these past years and especially the past few weeks.  Through Wild at Heart, I was able to allow God into my heart deeper to further expose the poser inside of me.  The false-self.  The Ransomed Heart guys shared the analogy of an iceberg.  10% of the iceberg is above water, while the other 90% hides below.  This correlates to our motives and behaviors.  Our behaviors are the 10% on the surface, while the motives are all hidden. I wrote last week about motives and what drives them.  We have to examine those to really get at the heart of how we act and how we portray our lives.  Do we portray a false front or are we authentic?

There’s many ways that we pose or put on the false front to hide.  For me, God pointed right to my reserved passivity.  For many years I have hid behind my quietness and not willing to take a stand and be a voice.  I would speak-up off from time to time, but often would stay back.  I hid behind that as a strength.  Of being to be observant and only speak when needed.  Someone once told me I was tough to read.  Never really let that sink in until this time when I really looked at my heart.  That really told me that I was hiding.  I was putting on a false front and not living authentic as a man.  I was always the nice guy that just got along.  Easy to capitulate and not put up a fight.  God had another way for me though and he has been working on my heart to show me all of this.

People hide in a number of other ways too.  Either way you cut it, the surface behaviors you present to the world are driven by motives that are hidden.  We have to be able to get to the heart of those motives and know what they are before we can address them and really begin to grow and shed that fig leaf.  One thing they shared with us is that deconstructing the poser in us is huge in realizing our brokenness and where we need restoration.   When we shed that poser a cool thing happens.  We lose our ability to bullshit our way through life anymore.

As for me, I want to be the real deal.  To be the authentic man.  God wants all of us to be the real deal.  To shed our false-self.  To put off the old man, our sinful nature and come alive.  To be authentic.  It can be a very difficult journey to do so.  To really get at the heart of your brokenness and seek God for the restoration that you need.  I recommend you get away from your regular life for a day or two.  Escape into solitude and just commune with God.  Go in the wilderness or somewhere and let him get at your heart.

“Christ has truly set us free” (Galatians 5:1).  Because of this freedom we have in Christ, we can shed the poser.  We can put off our old sinful nature and come alive in Christ.  Ephesians 1:4, “Even before he made the wold, God loved us and chose us Christ to be hold and without fault in his eyes.” God made us and knew us before creation.  He made our hearts to be real and to authentic and to be good.  Jesus is the picture of full authentic masculinity.  He is what each us could have been if we always put God first through everything in our lives.  And I mean everything.  “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy”  (Ephesians :23-24).

My call to everyone today is to let go.  Let go of the poser and the fig leaf that we all hold on too.  Search for your authentic self.  Let Jesus into your heart and he will restore you through all of your brokenness.  Trust me, he will restore you.  I would pray that if you have not taken a look down this path, that you try to.  Have faith the journey and where they Lord takes you.  Let him lead you.  For men, I would highly recommend you pick up the book, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge as a starting point.  For Women, I would highly recommend you pick up Captivating written by John and his wife Stasi.  My wife read this book and loved it.  Transformed her life.  Great starting points to really get down into your heart to restore it and come alive shedding the fig leaf we all hide behind.

This is not an easy journey or a quick journey by any means.  It’s been a long 1 1/2 year journey for me and now that God has really take hold of heart since the Wild at Heart Boot Camp, he has me on fast forward.  It’s a journey of restoration that Jesus has for each of us.  He came to save us from our sins yes, but he also came to restore our hearts.  To be made new and to be the people God intended us and created us to be all along.  I challenge you to take this journey if you have not.  Come alive and become the real deal.

SetFree