The first important thing we need to understand is that a man needs to have a healthy fear of the Lord. This is the only way he can lead, protect, and provide. To be a man of authority, we have to be a man under authority: the authority of Christ. Once we get this, we get the very heart of the Father when it comes to living out manhood. The second step, of course, is to obey Him.
To fear God is to give God the honor He deserves. It is not the casual approach we have with other men. It is taking God seriously. It is not about going to church on Sundays; it is being the church. It is not criticizing the pastors in church; it’s being a pastor dad to your kids and a pastor husband to your wife. To fear God is to take His name, His position, and His person seriously. Yes, God is our friend, but He is also our God. He is not just some ‘Big Man upstairs’; He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Men, we don’t have to curse God to dishonor Him. All we need to do is make light of His word and His work in us. It is when we put other things or people ahead of Him. It is when we exchange the truth of who God is for the empty promises of power, riches, fame, and success.
In living out our faith, it is easier for men to obey than to trust. An old hymn tells us to:
Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy with Jesus than to trust and obey
Men have a tendency to just obey. But to trust is much harder, and it requires faith and commitment. To obey, you have to know the system; to trust, you have to know the person.
It’s like how most of us view the police. When we see a policeman raise his hand and signal us to stop, we stop. Why? We need to obey, but we don’t necessarily trust the policeman. We are following the system, but we don’t necessarily put our full trust in the policeman. Another example is driving on our highways. We like going faster than the speed limit, but when we see the highway patrol, we slow down because we don’t want to get caught. It is easy to obey; it is harder to trust.
Pharisees who know their law and their religion command men to obey, but those who know the Father invite men to trust. A man of God knows that for him to fulfill his role as a man, he must not just blindly obey God; he must trust His heart and design for him. When Adam fell, the problem was not that he obeyed everything; it was when the most tempting offer came—to become like God—that he questioned God and disobeyed. If there is an absence of trust, there will eventually be a problem with obedience.
God calls us to trust Him. Obedience follows as we trust. And there is a reward for trusting and obeying God. Psalm 128 tells us that we will enjoy the fruit of our work, and there will be blessings and prosperity.
Excerpt taken from Dennis Sy’s new book ACT LIKE A MAN. Click on title to order plus free delivery!
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