"Be The Man."
My word for 2019 is “Brave.” I want to be braver than I have ever been. Bolder than I have ever been. I want to risk more for God, my family and my church. My word is brave and I am already doing pretty good with it. watched two scary movies this year already. Only had one nightmare.
Here is why "Brave" is my word, Philippians 2:12… Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
It’s kind of an ironic statement because salvation cannot be earned by good works; it can only be received as a free gift. But once you receive the free gift of salvation, you have to take it to the gym and work it out. Which means we become the men of God that you were saved to be.
“Fear and trembling,” those are the words that made me think "brave" because the truth is, this ain’t easy. It’s not easy being a man of God in this world, in this culture. We are tempted at every turn with sex, power, control, money.
Paul would refer to all of this in Galatians 5 as “acts of the sinful nature.”That’s why we are working out our salvation with fear and trembling, because it’s gonna take some courage to be the man of God we are called to be in this world.
In 1989 Ric Flair was getting ready to wrestle Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. Steamboat was the champ at the time. Ric Flair had already won the championship 5 times and was going for it a sixth time. He cuts the best promo ever! He tells Ricky that he is the best in the world because he’s the world champion. Then he says, “But if you really want to be the man, then you have to beat the man. And I am the man.” Ric Flair went out and won the title for the sixth time.
But he was exactly right. I’ll be honest. I want to be the man, therefore I need to beat the man. But the man I have to beat isn’t out there, it’s me. Justin the Man of God VS. Justin the Man of the Flesh. If I want to be the man of God then I need to beat the man of the flesh. And I do that by living by the spirit. I think that’s a lot of what it means to be a the man when it comes to Christianity.
Galatians 5:22-26… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
To be the man you have to beat the man. Beating the man of the flesh is done by being the man that is living by the spirit.