Standing Up

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with you. I will not fail you or forsake you. (Josh 1:5)

Our men’s group (The Cave) just finished a series called Stepping Up – A Call to Courageous Manhood, offered by Family Life Ministries. It took us through the growing and learning process of boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mentoring and becoming a patriarch. None of the dozen men involved left cheated or felt their time invested was wasted. One participant captured the essence of our experience: “The Stepping Up study has helped me to realize man’s role in God’s will and has given me some tools to help me accomplish it.”

As men of the Cave, it seems clear to us that leading and managing our personal lives in a godly way is beneficial to ourselves, our family, friends, and surrounding communities. There are so many things for us to improve, however, that only God can help us make it happen. When we take a hard look at our personal lives and all the elements involved, an overwhelming sense looms at each of our doors. How we can be successful in structuring our priorities, managing our time, controlling our emotions, organizing our thoughts, words, and actions, tending to our energy supply, and protecting ourselves from the madness of this world is just an opening salvo.

In his book, Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer’s last chapter calls us to live a sacramental lifestyle. He references 1 Cor 10:31 to support that development, as far as God is concerned. It says, “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Knowing that God is never finished and we’ll always be a work in His progress, after our Stepping Up series, the question becomes—now what? How can we lead and manage ourselves in a way that is pleasing to the One who created us and wants the best for us? The sense we have is to move from stepping up toward standing up – and doing so in the renewal of our mind.

In the 12th chapter of Romans, God paints a remarkable family picture, where each of us has a unique and critical role to play. The first few verses (1-3) sounds His trumpet of direction, attitude, and hope. Being a living sacrifice, not conforming to this world but transformed by the renewing of our mind, and doing so with Christ-like humility is a very clear format for us to confidently embrace.

Our purpose as disciples in the Cave should match yours—to follow and become more like Christ. As true disciples, the Lord is our Shepherd and we shall not want. We “see” renewing our mind as the way God counsels us to proceed. We plan to coordinate biblical resources to help accomplish our mission.

Now that we’ve stepped up to realize our role in God’s will and are better equipped with some helpful tools, our pressing desire is to remain teachable, to seek truth, to be active in application, and to persevere even when the going gets tough. In Him, as that happens family and friends, no matter what transpires, we’ll be renewing in the spirit of our mind and more successful in “Standing Up.”

Ps 23; Phil 4:13; Eph 6:10-18